Barnes finishes 14th in elite women's road race

Barnes finishes 14th in elite women's road race

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Great Britain Cycling Team’s Hannah Barnes finished 14th in the elite women’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships.

The British rider - along with her teammates - rode a brilliant tactical race as Netherlands’ Chantal Blaak won the world title.

In the junior men’s race, Jake Stewart finished fifth after teammate Mark Donovan rode at the front of the race for more than 100km.

Elite women

British riders were involved in all the key moves throughout the race, constantly starting and joining breakaways.

Melissa Lowther was first to move - responding to an attack by Sweden’s Sara Penton, before going it alone in the opening laps.

Lowther was reeled in towards the end of the third lap before relative calm within the peloton until the final three laps.

First, Hannah Barnes responded to an attack by Dutch rider Amy Pieters, the group moving 35 seconds clear at one point.

The attack looked set to be reeled in on Salmon Hill before Elinor Barker helped Barnes up the climb, and Barnes pushed on with Dutch and Australian company.

In the penultimate lap, Dani King attacked with Dutch riders Annamiek van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen in hot pursuit.

Lizzie Deignan responded, and following an issue on Salmon Hill, caught the group on the descent, only for the attack to be reeled in once more.

Great Britain Cycling Team's Hannah Barnes, Elinor Barker and Hayley Simmonds

On the approach to the bell for the final lap, Hannah Barnes made another move, followed by Audrey Cordon of France and Netherlands’ Chantal Blaak - the group getting 45 seconds away from the peloton on the approach to the final climb.

Salmon Hill was final chance to stop the break from sweeping up the medals and the peloton responded.

Van Vleuten and van der Breggen responded, joined by Australia’s Katrin Garfoot and Poland’s Katarzyna Niewiadoma with the group of seven having a 43 second lead on the descent and looking certain to sweep up the medals.

Suddenly, Blaak made a burst away, opening up a 20 second gap, with her Dutch teammates stalling the chasing group to protect her chances of gold.

That move proved decisive and Bleak - who had crashed earlier in the race - crossed the line alone to become world champion, winning by 28 seconds.

Barnes and the chasing group suddenly found the peloton on their tails in a sprint for the other medals with Garfoot getting silver and Denmark’s Amalie Dideriksen winning bronze.

Barnes crossed the line in 14th, with King 20th and Deignan 41st, a further ten seconds back.

After the race, Barnes said she was proud of the team's effort.

"We went into it and we wanted to be really aggressive, we knew the Dutch were going to be and they were.

"We raced really well, we can be really proud of how we kind of came together, we were always present in the moves that were up the road and even though we didn't get the jersey or a medal I think that we have got a really good future as a team."

Hayley Simmonds took 48th, 2:31 behind Blaak with Barker 66th, another four minutes back. Alice Barnes and Lowther abandoned the race after six laps.

Junior men

Great Britain Cycling Team's Jake Stewart finishes fifth in the junior men's road race

For much of the race, it had looked as if Britain’s Mark Donovan would be rewarded for his bravery in joining and forming a number of key breakaways.

Kazakhstan’s Gleb Brussenskiy and Graydon Staples of Canada made the first major move, managing to create a bit of distance.

That move split the peloton, with a small chasing group including Donovan, working hard to join the leaders.

With around 100km remaining, they bridged the gap and formed a strong leading group, with a gap of around 55 seconds ahead of the peloton.

Donovan assumed a senior role within the leading group, taking control to get them up the formidable Salmon Hill climb.

Germany’s Leon Heinschke bridged across, soon followed by Kazakhstan’s Daniil Marukkhin and Italy’s Luca Rastelli to form a group of nine riders clear at the front with 50km remaining.

The group’s numbers were boosted by another rider as the Czech Republic’s Karel Vacek worked hard to get across and join them - but that move seemed to inspire the peloton to take up the chase themselves.

As they approached the beginning of the penultimate lap, the gap was less than 20 seconds - but somehow the leading group resisted.

As they approached the bell, with the peloton closing, Donovan attacked with Brussenskiy and Italy’s Luca Rastelli and they pulled further clear, joined by four other riders, including Denmark’s Julius Johansen - who immediately pushed on himself and opened a gap of around 10 seconds.

Great Britain Cycling Team's Mark Donovan was at the front of the race for over 100km

Donovan was sat in the chasing group - themselves around 30 seconds clear of the peloton with just over 10km remaining, but they had no answer to Johansen’s attack which secured him the title by 51 seconds.

Rastelli chased in vain alone, with Donovan in a quartet with Dutch rider Thyman Arensman and Italy’s Filippo Zana and Luca Colnaghi to battle out for bronze.

But the peloton had other ideas, pushing the four all the way - with the toll of being at the front of the race for over 100km proving too much for Donovan, who didn’t contest the finish.

That allowed a chance for Jake Stewart, who burst from nowhere in the closing stages, but couldn’t get around the Italian duo, with Rastelli taking silver and bronze going to Colnaghi as the British rider finished fifth, just missing out on a medal.

Stewart had mixed emotions at the result.

"The lads did a good job and it's a shame I couldn't finish it off and win the bunch sprint but that's how the legs were and it was a tough race.

"It's not a bad result."

Tom Pidcock - winner of the time trial earlier in the week - finished 25th in the main bunch with Jacob Vaughan 36th in the same time.

Donovan took 46th, a further 23 seconds back with Fred Wright abandoning the race on the penultimate lap.