Lizzie Armitstead is the new UCI women's road world champion after edging out Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands in a thrilling finish to the race in Richmond, Viriginia yesterday.
She becomes the fourth British winnner of the event after Beryl Burton, who triumphed in 1960 and 1967, Mandy Jones in 1982, and Nicole Cooke, who won in 2008, the same year she won the Olympic road race in Beijing.
WIth two laps of the closing circuit left in the 129.6 kilometre race, it looked as though the winner might come from a nine-strong breakaway group.
However, they failed to work together to ensure they stayed away, meaning the chasing group, including Armitstead who was isolated from her British Cycling team mates, was able to get back on.
The Yorkshire rider's last attack, on the final climb, put some riders out of contention, but coming over the top towards the finish line, she had not managed to distance all of her rivals.
With no-one willing to make the first move, Armitstead bided her time before launching the sprint and then, when van der Breggen got past her, used the Dutch woman to lead her out to victory.
“This is the big one,” said Armitstead afterwards. “You get to wear the jersey and the rainbows are a very special thing in cycling.
"It's a dream come true," continued the 26-year-old, who riding with Boels-Dolmans had already successfully defended her UCI Women Road World Cup title this year.
"I knew that the sprint was going to be difficult," she added. "I knew I had to lead it out in that situation, so I took it to one side of the road and dictated the sprint.
"I knew that if I was on one side of the road, they would have to attack me from the other.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.