Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) won the world title in the individual time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, Virginia. He covered the 53.5km course in 1:02:29 to win the rainbow jersey ahead of Italy's Adriano Malori, who finished 29 seconds back to take the silver medal. France's Jerome Coppel finished 27 seconds back to take bronze medal.
"I knew it was a good course for me - it's the kind of course that suits me," Kiryienka said. "Of course Fabian Cancellara, and Bradley Wiggins were not here, but all of the other great time trial riders were here today. I think the level was very high, and it's of course great to win."
One of the event's favourites Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) finished in fifth place 1:01 back, which wasn't the performance he was hoping for after such a strong three weeks at the Vuelta a Espana. Another favourite, former three-time winner of the event Tony Martin (Germany) also had a disappointing ride finishing in seventh place at 1:17 back.
"For sure Tony Martin and Tom Dumoulin were the favourites today, but also we have difficulty comparing the last results," Kiryienka said. "Adriano was close to me so it was good for him, but today was my day."
Rohan Dennis (Australia) had a consistent ride up until his rhythm was disrupted by a mid-race bike change. He ended up finishing 1:08 behind Kiryienka's fastest time in sixth place. "I had a puncture with about 25km to go. It sucks but you can't do much about it. You just have to move on. Usually you lose 20 to 30 seconds. Kiryienka was on an absolute blinder. Maybe I could have been in the medals, but that's the way it goes. But Tony Martin just came in behind me, so coming in faster than him is a big achievement. He's the benchmark in time trials."
Always a strong time triallist, Kiryienka was one of the outside favourites to win the event after finishing fourth in the time trial at the Vuelta a Espana, second in the event at the Tour of Poland, third in the stage at Tirreno-Adriatico, and wins at both the Belarus Championships and the European Games this year. His most important victory this season in the time trial, outside of his recent world title, was his stage 14 win in the event at the Giro d'Italia.
"This year I was not in the Tour de France because I was tired from the first part of the season," he said. "The last race before I came here was the Vuelta. I actually have to thank my team. They gave me the chance in the Vuelta to not just work for the leaders, but thinking ahead to today for the World Championship. They told me that this could be my year, they had the sense that this could be my chance to be the place where Bradley Wiggins was last year."
The Belarus champion consistently crossed each of the three intermediate time checks with the fastest time, posting 18:45 at the first, 31:18 at the second and 49:30 at the third, and finishing the event in 1:02:29. "I had the splits along the way, and that was important, but it was a race against myself. I knew the splits, but I knew from the beginning that I was feeling very well, and riding very well," he said in the post-event press conference.
After a season full of time trial success, Italian champion Malori was picked as an outside chance to finish on the podium, and he pleasantly surprised cycling fans with a silver-medal performance. He had a slower start than Kiryienka, posting 19:12 at the first time check, which was only the eighth fastest time but he picked up the pace as the time trial went on and posted the second fastest times in the two subsequent checks, behind Kiryienka.
Meanwhile, Coppel was off the radar for a podium finish and ended up with an unexpected bronze. Like Malori, he also had a slower start, only slightly quicker than Malori with a 19:05 at the first time check. He gained speed through the final two checks, posting the third fastest times.
"Before the start it was not in my mind to be on the podium. I wanted to maybe be in the top 10, but I had really good sensations from the very beginning. Riders like Tony Martin and Tom Dumoulin were not on such a good day. In cycling you also need to be lucky and that was the case for me today," Coppel said.
American Taylor Phinney was on the radar for a strong finish after winning a stage at the USA Pro Challenge. However, he only recently returned to racing from a year-long leg injury, so it was unclear if his form was good enough for a medal performance in the time trial in Richmond. He ended up finishing a respectable 12th place, 1:36 behind Kiryienka and as the top American. His compatriot Lawson Craddock finished 22nd at 2:27 back.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus)||1:02:29|
|2||Adriano Malori (Italy)||0:00:09|
|3||Jerome Coppel (France)||0:00:26|
|4||Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain)||0:00:29|
|5||Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands)||0:01:02|
|6||Rohan Dennis (Australia)||0:01:08|
|7||Tony Martin (Germany)||0:01:17|
|8||Maciej Bodnar (Poland)||0:01:17|
|9||Marcin Bialoblocki (Poland)||0:01:22|
|10||Moreno Moser (Italy)||0:01:32|
|11||Jan Barta (Czech Republic)||0:01:34|
|12||Taylor Phinney (United States Of America)||0:01:37|
|13||Oliveira Santos (Portugal)||0:01:52|
|14||Stephen Cummings (Great Britain)||0:01:59|
|15||Michael Hepburn (Australia)||0:01:59|
|16||Matthias Brandle (Austria)||0:02:00|
|17||Alex Dowsett (Great Britain)||0:02:07|
|18||Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Belgium)||0:02:16|
|19||Stefan Kueng (Switzerland)||0:02:18|
|20||Luke Durbridge (Australia)||0:02:18|
|21||Rasmus Quaade (Denmark)||0:02:19|
|22||Lawson Craddock (United States Of America)||0:02:27|
|23||Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands)||0:02:31|
|24||Andriy Grivko (Ukraine)||0:02:32|
|25||Hugo Houle (Canada)||0:02:36|
|26||Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spain)||0:02:45|
|27||Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus)||0:02:48|
|28||Gatis Smukulis (Latvia)||0:02:56|
|29||Rein Taaramae (Estonia)||0:02:56|
|30||Silvan Dillier (Switzerland)||0:02:57|
|31||Yves Lampaert (Belgium)||0:03:00|
|32||Tanel Kangert (Estonia)||0:03:01|
|33||Ilnur Zakarin (Russian Federation)||0:03:07|
|34||Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan)||0:03:13|
|35||Jesse Sergent (New Zealand)||0:03:14|
|36||Alexey Lutsenko (Kazakhstan)||0:03:24|
|37||Vegard Stake Laengen (Norway)||0:03:26|
|38||Gustav Larsson (Sweden)||0:03:26|
|39||Aleksejs Saramotins (Latvia)||0:03:27|
|40||Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania)||0:03:30|
|41||Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden)||0:03:31|
|42||Andreas Vangstad (Norway)||0:03:43|
|43||Sam Bewley (New Zealand)||0:03:44|
|44||Ryan Roth (Canada)||0:03:51|
|45||Christopher Juul Jensen (Denmark)||0:03:55|
|46||Romain Sicard (France)||0:03:57|
|47||Alexandr Pliuschin (Republic Of Moldova)||0:04:00|
|48||Lukas Postlberger (Austria)||0:04:18|
|49||Mekseb Debesay (Eritrea)||0:04:20|
|50||Gediminas Bagdonas (Lithuania)||0:04:20|
|51||Rigoberto Uran (Colombia)||0:04:41|
|52||Nikias Arndt (Germany)||0:04:47|
|53||Petr Vakoc (Czech Republic)||0:05:01|
|54||Serghei Tvetcov (Romania)||0:05:39|
|55||Polychronis Tzortzakis (Greece)||0:05:48|
|56||Manuel Rodas Ochoa (Guatemala)||0:05:54|
|57||Tuulkhangai Tuguldur (Mongolia)||0:06:46|
|58||Neofytos Sakellaridis Mangouras (Greece)||0:07:05|
|59||Muradjan Halmuratov (Uzbekistan)||0:07:07|
|60||Segundo Navarrete (Ecuador)||0:08:51|
|61||Ahmed Elbourdainy (Qatar)||0:09:46|
|62||David Albos Cavaliere (Andorra)||0:11:56|
|63||Gorgi Popstefanov (Fyr Of Macedonia)||0:13:06|
|64||Juan Martinez (Puerto Rico)||0:13:44|
|65||Carlos Eduardo Quishpe (Ecuador)||0:14:15|
|DNS||Artem Ovechkin (Russian)|
|DNS||Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwanda)|
|DNS||Nikolay Mihaylov (Bulgaria)|
|DNS||Norlandis Taveras (Dominican Republic)|
|DNS||Rafael German (Dominican Republic)|