Racing in just her second Elite World Championships in Richmond Virginia, Lauren formed part of a dangerous 9 riders move in the closing 2 laps of the race before attacking the break to ride away with Italian Valentina Scandolara. The duo, who have raced together since junior days, were only caught at 2km to go after a late desperate chase from the Dutch team.
“I knew there was going to be a chance of a break going today just because of the depth of the field and also the nature of the course”
“I felt strong today and I was really trying to stay relaxed and conserve energy, the final was really hard”
The challenging city course around Richmond, Virginia offered around 12km of mainly flat wide roads with a lot of corners before three short sharp climbs in the final 4km including Libby hill, a twisty cobbled climb and 23rd street, a 13% cobbled climb to test the field.
“The course wasn’t so hard once or twice but eight times is what did the damage. Each lap the field would stretch through the hilly sector and after 4-5 laps the field was starting to dwindle, just as the Aussies started to light up the race”
“We had numbers so we had to play them. First Rachel went away solo and then I followed a small group that went across to form the group of nine, next up with the break gaining time we had to assess the situation and try to work out what the other teams would do, this is difficult but with Aus having the upper hand with the two of us there we decided to start attacking the break as there was less the 15km to at this point.”
Lauren tried a few times before getting off the front with scandolara. The two build up a small advantage quickly and lead the world championships with a real chance to take the two top steps of the podium with only a handful of kilometers to go. Unfortunately for Lauren, the Dutch decided to chase and closed the gap in the final kilometers. Lizzie Armistead took the win for Great Britian ahead of Anna van der Breggan of The Netherlands and Megan Guinier of the USA. Lauren finished in 28th place with only thoughts of what could have been.
“Of course I’m disappointed we were caught, but to be able to perform at this level like this in the final of the World Championships gives me a lot of confidence for next season, I’m going to be back for more that’s for sure”
Lauren now heads back to Europe for some rest after a long season. She will return to Port Macquarie in late October to begin her build up for 2016 and a run at Olympic selection for the Rio Olympics.