Rally Cycling’s Sara Poidevin climbed her way to 14th place at the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria this weekend. With no separate category for the under-23 women, Poidevin claimed the unofficial world title while competing in the elite race for Team Canada alongside her Rally Cycling teammates Katherine Maine and Sara Bergen.
Held over the hilliest parcours in recent World Championship’s memory, the peloton was decimated on each passage of the eight km Igls climb. Eight riders escaped the peloton on the finishing circuits and Poidevin sprinted into Innsbruck for 14th place.
“My result is really motivating and makes me excited to do more European racing,” said Poidevin. “It was really inspiring to race against the best riders in the world while our whole team worked cohesively – I loved being part of that.”
An untimely crash leading into the day’s first major climb left many riders scrambling. Poidevin was among its victims, which included newly-crowned World Time Trial Champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands).
“I crashed at a pretty critical moment,” said Poidevin. “I was getting into position leading into a steep three km climb when someone in front of me hit a median and I had nowhere to go. I had to chase for a few kilometers and spent the whole climb weaving through the pack. It definitely cost me some energy but fortunately, I recovered quickly.”
After a long season, it was a good feeling for Poidevin to close things out with a world-class performance in Austria over such a demanding course.
“You couldn’t hide out there,” said Poidevin. “The race was super tough and the body responded well. The atmosphere in Innsbruck was amazing, there were fans lined three deep all the way up the top of the climb and all through the city. It was a beautiful way to head into the offseason.”
In the elite men’s race, Rob Britton spent over 180 km off the front of the race before being reeled in by the obliterated peloton. Former Rally Cycling athlete Mike Woods, also representing Team Canada, leaped out of the pack on the final climb of Höttinger Höll. With gradients approaching 28%, Woods pulled Alejandro Valverde (Spain) and Romain Bardet (France) off the front. In the sprint for the coveted rainbow jersey, Woods sprinted to third.
UCI Road World Championships Results
1 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) 4:11:04
2 Amanda Spratt (Australia) 0:03:42
3 Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) 0:05:26
4 Emilia Fahlin (Sweden) 0:06:13
5 Malgorzata Jasinska (Poland)
6 Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada) 0:06:17
7 Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) 0:07:05
8 Amy Pieters (Netherlands)
9 Lucinda Brand (Netherlands) 0:07:17
10 Ruth Winder (United States Of America)
11 Rasa Leleivyte (Lithuania)
12 Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland)
13 Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)
14 Sara Poidevin (Canada) *U23
15 Anastasiia Iakovenko (Russian Federation)
16 Megan Guarnier (United States Of America)
17 Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa)
18 Clara Koppenburg (Germany)
19 Margarita Victo Garcia Cañellas (Spain)
20 Erica Magnaldi (Italy)