Italy's Bronzini wins cycling worlds road race
Updated: September 24, 2011, 14:58
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HOLTE, Denmark (AP) Defending world champion Giorgia Bronzini won the 87-mile world road race Saturday in a mass sprint finish.
The Italian finished in 3 hours, 21 minutes, 28 seconds, ahead of Marianne Vos of the Netherlands by a half wheel. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg of Germany was third.
"I have no words,'' an exhausted Bronzini said after the race.
Clara Hughes of Canada broke free of the peloton early but was caught in the final miles.
The peloton had stuck together for most of the race. After 63 miles, Namoi Cantele of Italy unsuccessfully attempted a breakout and the field ended more strung out in the hilly landscape north of Copenhagen.
U.S. rider Amber Neben made a push in the eighth lap. But Hughes, a former Olympic speedskater turned cyclist, took off. At one point, Hughes was 46 seconds ahead before being passed near the finish.
For the U.S., Theresa Cliff-Ryan was 18th, Shelley Olds was 22nd and Neben finished 73rd, 41 seconds back.
New Zealand's Linda Villumsen, who won silver in the time trial Tuesday, crashed with several riders near the final mile.
In the junior world championships road race, Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier of France won the sprint.