The sixth European Women’s Cycling Championship was closed in Northern Italy for a long time. After some skirmishes in the first laps, Ellen van Dijk decided halfway through to go on her own.
The experienced Dutch, who was second in the time trial on Thursday, had three dangerous fellow refugees with Paladin from Italy, Kasper from Germany and Biannic from France.
One by one, Van Dijk threw them overboard until she was left alone uphill on the penultimate lap.
In the background, the German women did everything they could to get closer, the strong Julie Van de Velde also did her part for leader Lotte Kopecky.
On the penultimate climb towards Povo, an elite group with Van Vleuten, Vollering, Niewiadoma, Longo Borghini, Lippert and time trial champion Reusser broke away from the rest.
They came back to within 8 seconds of Van Dijk, but due to a lack of cooperation, the four-time European time trial champion drove away again. She did not stop on the final climb and was able to take plenty of time to celebrate her first individual road title.
Lotte Kopecky, who missed the boat on the penultimate climb, eventually finished 14th. So she still has some work to do with a view to the World Cup, on a course that should suit her better.
Ellen van Dijk was of course very satisfied with her European title. “I can’t believe it. Lately I’ve mainly been busy with the time trial and suddenly I’m European champion on the road.”
“I can wear this jersey for a whole year now. Until the last lap I didn’t think for a second that I could win. I don’t know what to say.”