British champion Pfeiffer Georgi took a fantastic fourth place in the elite women's road race after an exciting day four at the 2023 UEC Road European Championships in the Netherlands.
After a steady neutralised section, attacks were made from the off, with Claire Steels ramping up the pace for Great Britain 30km in to the 130km race. The bunch became strung out as the aggressive racing continued.
With 80km left to race, Alice Barnes and Becky Storrie were caught up in a crash after a slip in a damp bend, but quickly got back on to stay in contention. The German and Dutch teams continued to control the pace as Great Britain waited patiently, and the peloton came into the 13.7km circuit.
Crossing the finish line for the first time with five laps to go, Anna Henderson looked comfortable near the front of the peloton. Barnes was again involved in a crash just before the first ascent up the Col du Vam, whilst the head of the race increased the pace with frequent attacks from the Dutch team.
With 50km remaining, three riders gained a 30 second advantage, and Great Britain capitalised off the Dutch team leading the chase to close the gap with 30km to go. Elinor Barker took to the front with Pfeiffer Georgi and Anna Henderson on her wheel, positioning themselves well as they began the penultimate lap.
Henderson attacked with 24km remaining, forming a gap with a strong group before being caught by the main peloton just four kilometres later. Counterattacks saw Barker in contention as another group went off the front but were quickly brought back together. Henderson attacked again but was left frustrated as her moves were closed down with 17km remaining.
Climbing up the Col du Vam for the penultimate time, British champion Georgi followed Elisa Balsamo and Marlen Reusser in a three-up breakaway as Henderson stayed near the front of the chasing group. A reduced peloton caught the trio just as they ascended the climb, leaving it all to play for in the final lap.
Attacks continued to come thick and fast with Georgi and Henderson staying in contention, as the Dutch rider Mischa Bredewold went solo with 10km to go to seal the European title. The final ascent up the Col du Vam saw Henderson and Georgi battle for position but had a stiff fight against world champion Lotte Kopecky and Lorena Wiebes, with Georgi just missing out on a medal with a fantastic fourth place. Henderson finished in eighth to take a brilliant top 10 position.
Great Britain Cycling Team elite women’s road race, full results:
4th Pfeiffer Georgi
8th Anna Henderson
18th Claire Steels
39th Becky Storrie
54th Elinor Barker
DNF Alice Barnes
So far at the UEC Road European Championships, the Great Britain Cycling Team has won two European titles and two silver medals. The team is back in action tomorrow when Lewis Askey, Luke Rowe, Mark Stewart, Sean Flynn, Ben Turner, Ethan Vernon, Sam Watson and elite individual time-trial champion Josh Tarling will compete for the elite men’s road race title.
You can watch it live on Eurosport from 11:15am and follow on British Cycling’s social media channels.