World championships gallery: Young stars and fervent spectators at the junior and elite women’s road races
The final Saturday of the 2021 road worlds saw young new champions, retiring greats and several thousand bike-mad fans lining the streets to cheer them on.
The American 18-year-old Kaia Schmid finished a close second to Zoe Backstedt in the junior race before 23-year-old Balsamo outsprinted triple world champion Marianne Vos in the elite competition.
Ruth Winder was among one of a pair of high-profile riders to hang up her wheels after Saturday’s elite race. The former U.S. national champion celebrated her final day as a pro with a 21st-place finish, while Dutch superstar Anna van der Breggen and Canadian veteran Karol-Ann Canuel also put a stop on their careers when they rolled to the line in Leuven.
Casey B. Gibson was in Belgium to capture all the action: