Lombardi hangs on for U23 Worlds win in Edmonton

Emma Lombardi takes the U23 world title. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

France’s Emma Lombardi was part of a lead group of five that managed to bike clear of the main chase pack in the women’s race and was the only one of the group able to hold off two of the speedsters in the chase group to take the win in Edmonton today.

Ireland’s Erin McConnell was first out of the water with Great Britain’s Sophie Alden and Olivia Mathias, Lombardi, the Netherlands’ Barbara De Koning and Australia’s Kira Hedgeland close behind. Those six would form a lead group, with McConnell quickly getting dropped leaving a group of five out in front.

By the end of the bike the group had an 80-second lead on the chasers, that included many of the pre-race favorites. By the halfway point of the run the five leaders were still in front, but Germany’s Annika Koch and Denmark’s Alberte Kjaer Pedersen had run themselves clear of everyone else and were rapidly gaining on the leaders.

Seeing the chasers getting close, Lombardi pushed hard and started to pull away, with Hedgeland staying close. Koch and Kjaer Pedersen quickly moved through everyone else in the field, but Lombardi was able to push to the line to take the win in 1:59:48. Kjaer Pedersen (2:00:05) would take the sprint over Koch (2:00:10) with Hedgeland moving up a spot from her fifth-place finish in Lausanne in 2019 to take fourth (2:00:28). Rounding out the top-five was France’s Lea Coninx (2:00:40).