2021 UCI Road World Championships

Five Favorites For The 2021 UCI Road World Championship Women's Road Race

Five Favorites For The 2021 UCI Road World Championship Women's Road Race

The UCI Road World Championship women's road race in Flanders, Belgium takes place on September 25.

Sep 9, 2021 by Jessica Alexander
Cav MVDP, Pidcock Recover In Time For Worlds?

The UCI Road World Championship road race in Flanders, Belgium takes place on September 25 and 26th. The Flanders region is a hotbed for professional cycling, known for its steep, and often cobbled climbs. 

Both the men's and women's elite road races begin in Antwerp and feature several complex circuits that will give this year's world championships a true taste of Belgian cycling madness. 

The elite women will race on September 25 for 157.7km with an official start on the Grote Markt in Antwerp. The peloton will pass through the village of Keerbergen before arriving in Leuven. After arriving in Leuven, the elite women will complete 1.5 laps of the local circuit, one Flandrien circuit and then 2.5 final local circuit loops. The finish features the same slight climb up the tough Geldenaaksevest.

Anna van der Breggen

Defending champions Anna van der Breggen is expected to lead the Dutch super-team one last time at this year's world championships. Van der Breggen, who has often faced her greatest competition from within the Dutch squad will retire at the end of the 2021 season. 

Van der Breggen has had an overwhelmingly successful final season, adding ten wins to her palmares including Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the overall title at the Giro Rosa.

Van der Breggen has expressed doubts about her form following the Tokyo Olympics, but the Dutch rider hopes to end her storied career on top of the podium in Flanders.

Annemiek van Vleuten

Annemiek van Vleuten is the 2019 UCI Road World Champion, the 2020 European Road Champion and the silver medalist for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 2021 has been an incredible year for her as well; she won the overall in the Stemana Ciclista Valenciana, the Ladies Tour of Norway, the Dwars door Vlaanderen, the Tour of Flanders as well as the 2021 edition of San Sebastian. 

Van Vleuten and Van der Breggen, while teammates under the flag of the Netherlands, have treated fans to countless battles as they have jostled for continental, world and Olympic titles throughout their careers. On Saturday, September 25, the world will watch the two Dutch greats battle one last time.

Marianne Vos

Marianne Vos rounds out the Dutch superteam in Flanders with her explosive finishing speed. The three-time road world champion began her season with wins at Gent–Wevelgem and Amstel Gold Races. Vos seems to have arrived back on top form with three stage wins in the recently concluded Simac Ladies Tour.   

Lotte Kopecky

Lotte Kopecky is the 2021 Belgium National Road Race and Time Trial Championship. Kopecky also won overall at the Belgium Tour and Le Samyn des Dames road race in 2021. Kopecky will have the hopes of Flanders resting on her shoulders as she races across home roads this September. Based on her recent win at the Ceratizit Challenge, she appears ready to take on the Dutch squad.

Elisa Longo Borghini

Italian Elisa Longo Borghini, the 2021 Italian Road Race and Time Trial National Champion, has been a powerful force throughout the 2021 season. With wins at GP de Plouay and 2021 Trofeo Alfredo Binda-Comune di Cittiglio, the Italian has been a consistent animator of the Women's WorldTour. 

While Borghini may have a tendency to race overaggressively, she is guaranteed to put on a show in Flanders. Her recent bronze medal in the Olympic road race proves that she has the legs to claim the rainbow jersey if she plays her cards right against the dominant Dutch team.