• Megan Jastrab celebrates a hard-fought win in the junior women's road race. (Getty)Source: Getty
Megan Jastrab (USA) was the winner of the junior women's road race at the world championships after an attack within the final two kilometres saw her just hold off a fast-finishing Julie de Wilde (Belgium) to take the rainbow jersey of the world champion.
By
Cycling Central

28 Sep 2019 - 9:08 AM 

Yorkshire turned out in force on the side of the road to greet the junior women's peloton as it went through the roads around the finishing town of Harrogate.

Australia was without a rider in the race, but had a strong connection to the race regardless as Brunswick Cycling club member Catalina Soto Campos (Chile) was prominent in the main attack of the day.

Jumping away from the peloton with 24 kilometres remaining in the race with French rider Cedrine Kerbaol it looked that the pair might be allowed to contest the victory. 

However, the peloton dragged the pair back and despite a heroic continued effort by Soto, she was caught with under three kilometres remaining. 

That prompted attacks from the peloton as Russian rider Aigul Gareeva surged away with Jastrab on her wheel. Gareeva buried herself in the attack with Jastrab largely sitting on as the peloton chased hard behind. 

With the finish line in sight, it looked like the peloton might swamp the pair, and it nearly occurred, with Jastrab kicking just strongly enough in the sprint to the line to pass Gareeva and then hold off a rapidly closing de Wilde.

Gareeva finished fourth with Lieke Nooijen (Netherlands) slipping past her to fill out the podium.

"I can't believe it," said Jastrab. "I'm just smiling ear-to-ear right now and I'm just so grateful for my teammates today.

"It wouldn't have been possible without them. They were there from beginning to end. I know a couple of them got caught behind a crash and they came back stronger than ever. I'm so grateful for them.

"I knew it was going to be technical and it would be decided with two kilometres to go on the climb and then a fast descent. Katie Clouse and I were both at the front and then the Russian took off, and I was like 'well, this is what I thought was going to happen. I'm not going to let it go this time.

"I just stayed with her, didn't really want to work because I wasn't feeling the best. I saw that nobody was chasing so I just relaxed, kept it rolling and saw that we had a big enough gap that I could take a breather and then start my sprint, so it was great."