Blanka Vas, member of Team SD Worx, won the gold medal in the U23 category on Sunday, finishing 11th in the women’s road race at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.
The 154.1 kilometer race started from Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest lake, and saw the Hungarian champion, fourth in the World Championships for adults two years ago, break away from the group on the only climb on the way to Glasgow, and was caught by the peloton shortly afterwards. From there, Blanka Vas was well positioned among the favorites, not even bothered by the crash ahead of her on the technical circuit, which was difficult with short but steep streets and 48 bends.
Defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands, in the last season of her career, started after two technical problems, splitting the group of favorites for the final 35 kilometers, with Vas in second with two other U23 medal contenders.
In the battle for the U23 medals, 21-year-old Blanka Vas proved the fastest and was crowned U23 world champion ahead of Shirin van Anrooij of the Netherlands and Anna Shackley of Great Britain. This gives her three world championship medals in this age group: she was runner-up in both mountain and off-road cycling in 2020.
“It is a huge success, not only for her, but for the whole Hungarian cycling sport, we are very proud of her,” Zsolt Dér told MTI. The national captain explained: they had expected that Blanka Vas would enjoy the track, as she had no problems with turning and positioning compared to the majority of the field. It was also planned that if there was a dangerous looking breakaway, she would try to get into it, which she did, as well as to compete actively later on, as they had seen in previous World Championships that good results can be achieved from early breakaways.
After winning the U23 gold medal in the road race, Blanka Vas said that winning her age group at the Cycling World Championships in Glasgow was a great motivation for the future.
She highlighted that hard work always pays off.
Blanka Vas, who was 11th in a field of more than 200 adults, described the 154.1 kilometer race as difficult, with bad legs at the start and in the first few laps of Glasgow, but admitted to fighting to survive until the finish line. At the end of her statement, she said in Hungarian: “I am very happy and thank you for your support.”
Via MTI, Featured photo via Facebook/Blanka Vas