Julie Bego claimed victory in the junior women’s world championship, breaking away 21 kilometres from the finish line and maintaining her lead until the end. Cat Ferguson of Great Britain took silver, while Fleur Moors of Belgium claimed bronze.
The race took place on Saturday afternoon on a local 14.3-kilometre circuit in Glasgow, which the junior women had to complete five times, covering a total of 70.3 kilometres. The primary focus leading up to the race was on five countries: Great Britain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium, with Australia also making frequent appearances at the front of the peloton.
The competition was intense, characterised by a brisk pace that led to an elimination race with a lot of activity on the hills. Fleur Moors, a strong Belgian rider, dominated the course and participated in a notable attack about 20 kilometres from the finish. Bego soon opened a significant gap, securing her victory, a triumph that was not a surprise given her previous successes, including a stage win in the Nations Cup this season.
Moors made a sharp attack but was caught by Ferguson in the last stretch, ending up with a bronze medal. Xaydee Van Sinaey secured tenth place for Belgium, while no Dutch riders finished in the top 10.
The Glasgow World Championships was a day of mixed emotions for the home team in the junior road races. They began the day as favourites for the women’s title, but Bego’s strong attack forced them to settle for silver for Cat Ferguson. The British team was led from the car by Emma Trott, the former Boels-Dolmans rider, and Ferguson is seen as a rising star in women’s cycling, with several significant wins to her name.
Ferguson expressed satisfaction with her season but also acknowledged some frustration with missing out on the gold. Her comments after the race shed light on the dynamics of the race, especially her struggle with positioning during Bego’s winning move. She also voiced frustration at the lack of cohesion in the chasing group, noting that Great Britain was the only team actively trying to chase Bego down. That was largely down to Great Britain having the largest number of riders in that group aside from France, who wouldn’t chase down their own rider.
Adding to the race’s challenges, rain began to fall, making the course slick. This led to crashes and mechanical issues for some riders, and Ferguson even suggested that the weather had provided an advantage to Bego. In reflecting on the race, Ferguson emphasised the difficulty in gaining on Bego, especially when other favourites were unwilling to work together. The race was a tactical and physical challenge that culminated in a well-earned victory for Bego and important lessons for other riders.
2023 World Championships Junior Road Race result
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