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Dutch cyclist wins women’s road race at world titles

WOLLONGONG, Australia (AP) — Dutch cycling legend Annemiek van Vleuten surprised her rivals to win the women’s road race at the world road championships on Saturday.

Van Vleuten moved ahead with 600 meters left, attacking the lead group for an improbable win in the 164.3-kilometer road race.

Belgian Lotte Kopekcy finished second while Italian Silvia Persico took the bronze medal.

Earlier Saturday, Britain’s Zoe Backstedt celebrated her 18th birthday by turning the women’s junior road event into a one-woman race.

In wet and cold Wollongong conditions, Backstedt cycled away from the peloton with a solo attack at 10 kilometers and stayed clear for the remaining 57 kms to win by more than two minutes. Eglantine Rayer of France was second ahead of Dutch rider Nienke Vinke.

Backstedt defended her junior road race title and also is a world champion on the track and in cyclocross.

The championships end Sunday with the men’s road race.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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