Austrian Laura Stigger wins junior women’s World Championship road race in front of home crowds

The local hero bested her breakaway rivals at the line

Laura Stigger wins the final sprint in the women's junior race
(Image credit: Innsbruck-Tirol 2018 / BettiniPhoto)

Austria’s Laura Stigger came out on top of a four-woman sprint to win the junior World Championship road race in Innsbruck.

Mountain biker Stigger takes home the road rainbow jersey after winning the junior cross country title earlier this month.

In only her second road race, Stigger was able to go clear from the peloton and then beat her breakaway companions Marie Le Net (France), Simon Boilard (Canada) and Barbars Malcotti (Italy) at the line.

How it happened

The junior women battled it out over a 70km route with some stiff climbs built in, including Gnadenwald and Igls.

The Russian squad drove hard on the front during the Gnadenwald climb and decimated the peloton.

>>>UCI Road World Championships 2018: dates, route, where to watch and more

But Stigger put in a big dig on the early gradients of Igls, followed by Malcotti and Boilard.

With 15km left to ride that trio had almost 30 seconds at the crest of the climb.

Le Net was the only rider left strong enough to bridge over to the Stigger group out front, setting the scene for the four-up sprint at the line.

Stigger was able to dip past Le Net to take her second rainbow jersey in a month.

Speaking after the stage, the young Austrian said: “It’s incredible to win in my hometown.

“Thanks to the people for standing on the course and cheering me on.

“It’s a very tight victory. My legs were burning in the sprint.

“This morning I didn’t believe I had any chance of winning because it’s only my second road race.

“I just wanted to have fun and now I’m the world champion.

“It’s unbelievable.”

The best placed British rider was 11th place Pfeiffer Georgi, who was 1-51 down on the leader.

Team-mate Elynor Backstedt came in 30th, almost five minutes down.


World Championship women junior’s road race

1. Laura Stigger (AUS), in 1-56-26

2. Marie Le Net (FRA)

3. Simone Boilard (CAN)

4. Barbara Malcotti (ITA)

5. Jade Wiel (FRA), at 14 seconds

6. Vittoria Guazzini (ITA)

7. Camilla Alessio (ITA), at 29 seconds

8. Aigul Gareeva (RUS), at 56 seconds

9. Mie Saabye (DEN)

10. Maina Galand (FRAN)

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.