Annemiek van Vleuten continued her dominant season with a thrilling victory in the elite women’s road race at the UEC European Championships in France.

The Dutch road race world champion made her move with around 500m to go as she outsprinted Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) in an uphill finish to the line.

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Kasia Niewiadoma (Poland) and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Netherlands) finished third and fourth respectively, five seconds behind the top two.

Van Vleuten sprints to European road race title

Lizzie Deignan abandoned the race after a crash with around 35km remaining.

"Thanks to the Dutch squad because we lined up with a dream team,” said Van Vleuten, who was competing at the European Championships for the first time.

"We had eight super-strong girls and we decided that it was in our advantage to make the race really hard.

"Between myself and Anna van der Breggen, it was both our jobs to make the race super hard to set something up for the other girls. I was so proud to race together with my team and I am so proud to do this together."

Team-mates Van Vleuten and Van den Broek-Blaak were involved in an intriguing battle with Niewiadoma and Longo Borghini for the final two laps of the wet circuit.

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Eventually it was Longo Borghini and Van Vleuten who pulled away in the final kilometre, setting up a sprint finish.

Van Vleuten started her attack at the bottom of the climb to the line and Longo Borghini couldn’t catch her in a close chase.

Deignan, who won the GP de Plouay for a record third time on Tuesday, wasn’t able to finish the race after a crash with around 40km remaining.

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