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New U23 time trial champion Ellen van Dijk (Columbia-HTC) at the Tour of Qatar
Dutchwoman wins second straight title
Columbia-HTC's Ellen Van Dijk won the U23 women's individual time trial at the European championships for the second consecutive year on Wednesday. The Netherlands' Van Dijk completed the 28-kilometre course in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium with a time of 36:41, besting Sweden's Emilia Fahlin, her Columbia-HTC teammate, by 20 seconds.
"I am very happy, of course," said Van Dijk. After suffering a concussion from a crash in the Ronde Van Gelderland in April, Van Dijk was unable to race or train for nearly six weeks, lowering her expectations for success. "I was very insecure about my fitness, but it seems I was able to succeed today, even after the lost training time.
"The course was quite long, with a couple of stone sections that were also uphill, and it was very hard near the end. The uphill was at a very important part of the course where you can easily loose a couple of seconds, but the wind was behind me, so that was a bit of help."
Van Dijk will also compete in the 135-kilometre European road championship on Saturday in Oostende. "We expect to ride very well, as we are a strong, international team of eight girls who work really well together."