The Dutch rider, pictured, who won silver in the time-trial, made her move clear of the breakaway group heading into the final 40 kilometres after a climb to take gold with a time of four hours 11 minutes and four seconds.
Van der Breggen’s victory margin was some three minutes and 42 seconds ahead of Australian Amanda Spratt.
Italian Tatiana Guderzo, the 2009 world champion, finished in third place, five minutes and 26 seconds off the impressive gold medal pace of Van der Breggen. Dani Rowe was the leading British rider, finishing in 26th place at 8:18 behind, with Sophie Wright in 41st and Hannah Barnes 45th.
Van der Breggen’s win came four days after Dutch team-mate Annemiek van Vleuten beat her to the time trial title.
Simon Yates, the recently crowned Vuelta winner, will line up alongside his twin brother Adam as part of an eight-strong British team in the men’s world championship race today.
It is a mountainous 258.5km course which seems ideally suited to the explosive, attacking style he and his brother share. Adam has the better one-day record of the two twins, boasting three major wins to Simon’s one, as well as a number of podium finishes.