Rio 2016: Van der Breggen times attack to perfection to claim women's Road Race gold

Anna van der Breggen won a sprint to the line to claim victory in the women's Road Race

Rio 2016: Van der Breggen times attack to perfection to claim women's Road Race gold
Anna van der Breggen wins the Women's road race (image via: Reuters)

Holland's Anna van der Breggen claimed gold in the women's road race following an incident packed race. 

The Dutch rider won ahead of Elisa Borghini (Italy) and Emma Johannson (Sweden) in a sprint finish after the trio had chased down American Mara Abbott who had led for the final 10 kilometres. 

Britain's Lizzie Armitstead finished fifth after a tumultuous week of build-up, while there was concern at the finish line after race leader Annemiek van Vleuten suffered a horrendous crash on the final descent which ended her race. 

The peloton during the women's road race (image via: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty)

Abbott pegged back follow Van Vleuten's horrific fall

With the race coming to life in the final 20km atop the final climb, an elite group of seven had broken and then been clawed back, before van Vleuten put in a telling attack.

Going clear of the lead group, the Dutchwoman hit the top of the climb in first place and was then tasked with taking on the dangerous descent which claimed a number of favourites in the Men's race on Saturday. 

Unfortunaltey, van Vleuten took a horrendous fall which saw her fall over her handlebars and into the side of the road where she remained unmoved in a chilling scene, but was said to be 'okay' following the resumption of the race. 

Abbott then became the sole leader of the race, and the former-Giro champion had about 10km between herself and a gold medal.

Van der Breggen claims gold with perfectly timed sprint

The triumvirate behind her of Borghini, Johansson and van der Breggen had other ideas though, and having defended themselves an attack led by Armitstead, they closed on the American along Ipanema Beach

With Abbott attempting to time-trial herself to the line, the chasing group worked well together and finally reeled the leader in 500metres from the finish line.

It was then up to the chasing group to decide the medals, and after rounding the final corner, van der Breggen overtook Borghini to claim gold, with Johansson having to settle for her second Olympic silver medal. 

British hopes ended up resting with Armitstead, who's build-up to the Games did not go according to plan and she could only manage fifth despite putting in an admirable performance which saw her leading the chase group for the majority of the final stages.