Marianne Vos clinches third title

FLORENCE, Italy -- Marianne Vos won her third title in the road race at the world championships Saturday and reinforced her status as the top rider in women's cycling.

The Dutchwoman attacked on the final climb of the 87-mile race with about 3 miles to go, adding to her titles from 2006 and last year.

Vos, who also won the road race at the London Olympics and has world and Olympic titles in cyclo-cross and track cycling, clocked 3 hours, 44 minutes along the route from Montecatini Terme to Florence.

Emma Johansson of Sweden finished second, 15 seconds behind, and Rossella Ratto of Italy crossed third with the same time.

The course concluded with five laps of a 10.3-mile hilly circuit in the Tuscan capital and Vos' attack came on the steepest section of the course, with a gradient of 16 percent. She then went into time trial mode for the final few miles and had enough time to lift her arms and celebrate even before she crossed the finish line.

Only two women have won more titles in this race. French legend Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli won it a record five times between 1985 and 1995, and Belgian standout Yvonne Reynders took four victories from 1959 to 1966.

Vos was also runner-up five straight times from 2007-11.

Vos' Dutch teammate, Anna van der Breggen, finished fourth and Evelyn Stevens of the United States was fifth.

There was also a Dutch winner in the junior men's race, with Mathieu van der Poel covering the same course in 3 hours, 33 minutes, 14 seconds.

Van der Poel also attacked on the final lap of the circuit and had enough time to grab a Dutch flag and celebrate with it before he crossed the line.

Mads Pedersen of Denmark finished second, 3 seconds behind, and Iltjan Nika was third for Albania's first medal in any discipline, with the same time.

Van der Poel is the junior Dutch national road champion and a dual junior cyclo-cross world champion. His father, Adri van der Poel, was also an accomplished rider who won several single-day classics in the 1980s.

The worlds conclude Sunday with the featured men's pro race.

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