Nationals news shorts: Third Italian title for Malori

Round up of European time trial results

Third Italian title for Malori

Adriano Malori successfully defended his Italian national time trial title in Bogogno ahead of Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Garmin) and Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo). The Movistar rider had previously won time trials at Tour de San Luis, Tirreno-Adriatico and Circuit Cycliste Sarthe this season but was off the pace at the Tour de Suisse as finished ninth and fourth in the two time trials.

With no rider within one minute of his time of 44:13 minutes, Malori proved his characteristics suited the technical course to make it a hat trick of titles.

"It was quite a technical course, with lots of turns, climbing... it wasn't easy at all," Malori said. "Fortunately, I felt really great, stronger than in the Tour de Suisse, and as there were many descents between the climbs, I was able to give my everything from the very start.

Malori will make his fourth career appearance at the Tour de France this season where is looking to claim the opening time trial and with it, the first yellow jersey of the race.

"Now it's time to start thinking about next Saturday: the competition will be quite stronger, it'll be a difficult day for me... but I feel strong and motivated," he said. There's not much work to go: some specific training on the TT bike, with short, fast sessions... from a physical point of view, I'm ready for the Tour."

Kelderman wins first Dutch national title 

Winning his first Dutch national championship ahead of his LottoNL-Jumbo teammates Rick Flens and Jos van Emden, Wilco Kelderman was happily surprised as he explained, "I never expected this result."

The young Dutchman gave credit to team trainer Mathieu Heijboer who Kelderman added had "put a lot of time in developing our time trial."

Kelderman will be making his Tour de France debut in the Netherlands as national champion with the ambition of recording another top-20 finish at grand tour.

"That is going to be fantastic, of course," he said. "It’s always special to put on a champion’s jersey. This is my first national title with the professionals and that feels even better."

Van de Breggen holds off Van Dijk to win Dutch time trial title

Anna van der Breggen held off Ellen Van Dijk, the favourite leading into Wednesday’s time trial, to win her first Dutch national title. Calling the win beautiful, she explained, “I dreamt of wearing the red, white, and blue colours," adding, "This title in itself is very special." Van de Breggen's win was the latest in a successful 2015 season that started with victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Dillier wins Swiss title

Silvan Dillier opened his 2015 account as rode to a commanding victory in the Swiss national time trial championships on a hilly 39.4 kilometre circuit in Lausanne with over a minute back to second place finisher Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling).

Dillier was the last rider to start, but said he was not given any time checks out on course. "The guys taking the time never told me the time gap so I was thinking I was behind and that they did not want to kill my morale," he said. "But actually, I was in front. They didn't tell me because they did not want me to get too excited." 

The 24-year-old’s attention now shifts to Sunday's 192km road race, with the course passing by his childhood home. "We are not the team with the most riders, so that will be different from the past few years," he said. But what counts is how intelligent you ride. It will be a very exciting race for sure."

Marcin Bialoblocki and Eugenia Bujak win Polish titles

New British Continental team One Pro Cycling' claimed a maiden national title in Poland as Marcin Bialoblocki powered to victory. The 31-year-old was 19 seconds faster than second placed Kamil Gradek for his first win with the team and first national title. Current road world champion Michal Kwiatkowski decided against defending his title.

In the women’s race, Eugenia Bujak (BTC City Ljubljana) beat Rabo-Liv's Katarzyna Niewiadoma by nine seconds to defend her title, a day before her 26th birthday.

Johansson claims Swedish time trial title

Feeling the pressure of arriving at nationals as the strong favourite, Emma Johansson lived up to expectation to finish just under a minute ahead of Sara Mustonen-Lichan (Liv-Plantur) on the 30km course."Technically my race was good and I was able to settle into a good rhythm," Johansson said. "I still feel the racing from the last two weeks in my legs, so maybe I’m not at my freshest. I lacked a little bit of the explosiveness I have normally out of the corners."

Johansson now turns her attention to Saturday’s road race, aiming for her fifth win but facing an uphill battle as the sole Orica-AIS rider.

"The road race is going to be the hardest race I do all year," Johansson said. "Sara Mustonen has a ten-rider team. They will all ride together against me. I always have to take a lot of responsibility, and I’m ready for the challenge.

Lotta Lepistö defends Finnish time trial title

Despite flatting in the final kilometre, Lotta Lepistö of the Bigla Pro Cycling Team was relieved to have successfully defended her title. Completing a nerve-wrecking 27.4 kilometre time trial on a flat out and back course in the rain, Lepistö’s winning margin was substainal with no rider finishing within one minute her time.

"I was a little nervous because it was my first long time trial this year," she said. "I started a little too fast and took some speed off and kept a good constant pace after that," she added. Lepistö proved herself as the strongest rider on the day overcoming the weather, a mechanical and self-belief. "I didn’t have that much self-confidence because the route was so long and I knew Sari [Saarelainen] was in good shape in the time trial because she just did the time trial in Baku last week. I had a flat in the last kilometre too so I was very relieved to defend my title and cross the line with the fastest time."

Schweizer garners first Swiss time trial crown

After finishing runner up for two years in a row, Doris Schweizer can now call herself the Swiss time trial champion as she covered the tough windy and rolling course in 29:23 minutes.The win was the second of the day for Bigla Pro Cycling Team after Lotta Lepistö.

Riding for a Swiss team gave the 25-year-old extra motivation ahead of the race as she explained. "The course really suited me," Schweizer said. "The plan was to start fast so I could see the girl in front of me. After 10km I saw her and passed her. I was just suffering," she explained. "I was the favourite coming into the race but I was nervous because the last few years I haven’t been good here. I’ve made some mistakes in the past and today I was focused and I think I did a good race."

The British, Canadian, French, German and Spanish national time trial titles will all be decided today. 

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