Annemiek van Vleuten claimed gold in the women's individual time trial at the UCI Road World Championships on Tuesday. The Dutchwoman completed the 21.1km course in a time of 28:50, 12 seconds faster than compatriot Anna van der Breggen.
Australian Katrin Garfoot rounded out the podium in third, 19 seconds down.
"I still cannot believe it. This season I've surprised myself with what I can do," Van Vleuten said. "To be world champion in the time trial, I never thought I’d be able to do this. This year I started to believe in it, and to be able to finish it off is incredible.
"To be an athlete, there are ups and downs, but the downs make the ups even more beautiful, I think. It's also really beautiful without the crash in Rio, but this makes the story really special."
Van der Breggen, just the second rider out on the course, took and held the initial lead with a mark that few even came close to matching for nearly an hour. American Chloe Dygert was the first rider to come within a minute, but Van Vleuten was not far behind her on the rain-slicked course.
Neck and neck with Van der Breggen at the first two intermediate time checks, Van Vleuten pulled ahead at the third and finished strong to extend the gap. Garfoot, Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) and Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands) were the only riders to follow that came home inside one minute on Van Vleuten. The 34-year-old secured her first career world TT gold as the final rider, last year's winner Amber Neben (United States), crossed the finish line.
"It was really hard because it started almost pouring rain on the course. I lost some seconds in the descending, I practiced in dry conditions and I had to be really careful," Van Vleuten said. "I for sure lost some time there. It was a bit hard, I was thinking, 'Oh shit, I'm in top shape and now it's raining and the weather conditions disturbed my great form.' Even if I lost some seconds, I still focused on what I needed to do.
"Because I only wanted to know if I was the last one, then it's good to have the time gaps. I heard on the climb I had almost the same time as Anna, and in the last 5km I heard I was fastest, so then I gave just everything.
"With my experience in time trialing I am used to dealing with this kind of course."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands)||0:28:50|
|2||Anna van Der Breggen (Netherlands)||0:00:12|
|3||Katrin Garfoot (Australia)||0:00:19|
|4||Chloe Dygert (United States)||0:00:38|
|5||Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands)||0:00:52|
|6||Linda Villumsen (New Zealand)||0:00:56|
|7||Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa)||0:01:19|
|8||Lauren Stephens (United States)||0:01:20|
|9||Hannah Barnes (Great Britain)||0:01:23|
|10||Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark)||0:01:34|
|11||Amber Neben (United States)||0:01:42|
|12||Lisa Brennauer (Germany)||0:01:48|
|13||Audrey Cordon Ragot (France)||0:01:51|
|14||Pernille Mathiesen (Denmark)||0:02:02|
|15||Juliette Labous (France)||0:02:02|
|16||Ann-Sophie Duyck (Belgium)||0:02:03|
|17||Trixi Worrack (Germany)||0:02:04|
|18||Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)||0:02:08|
|19||Elinor Barker (Great Britain)||0:02:10|
|20||Lotta Pauliina Lepisto (Finland)||0:02:14|
|21||Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada)||0:02:19|
|22||Eri Yonamine (Japan)||0:02:29|
|23||Olga Zabelinskaya (Russian Federation)||0:02:31|
|24||Lisa Morzenti (Italy)||0:02:31|
|25||Tayler Wiles (United States)||0:02:47|
|26||Ramona Forchini (Switzerland)||0:02:47|
|27||Ana Cristina Sanabria Sanchez (Colombia)||0:02:51|
|28||Antri Christoforou (Cyprus)||0:02:52|
|29||Marlen Reusser (Switzerland)||0:02:59|
|30||Martina Ritter (Austria)||0:03:02|
|31||Vita Heine (Norway)||0:03:05|
|32||Olena Pavlukhina (Azerbaijan)||0:03:09|
|33||Olga Shekel (Ukraine)||0:03:29|
|34||Rotem Gafinovitz (Israel)||0:03:30|
|35||Sari Saarelainen (Finland)||0:03:44|
|36||Aurela Nerlo (Poland)||0:03:51|
|37||Ksenia Tcymbaliuk (Russian Federation)||0:03:54|
|38||Omer Shapira (Israel)||0:03:57|
|39||Thea Thorsen (Norway)||0:04:01|
|40||Eileen Burns (Ireland)||0:04:12|
|41||Daiva Tuslaite (Lithuania)||0:04:19|
|42||Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spain)||0:04:21|
|43||Varvara Fasoi (Greece)||0:04:28|
|44||Yumi Kajihara (Japan)||0:04:53|
|45||Aurelie Halbwachs (Mauritius)||0:05:02|
|46||Brenda Santoyo Perez (Mexico)||0:05:10|
|47||Eyeru Tesfoam Gebru (Ethiopia)||0:05:10|
|48||Yao Pang (Hong Kong, China)||0:05:17|
|49||Eleni Michalista Tsavari (Greece)||0:05:19|
|50||Aranza Valentina Villalon Sanchez (Chile)||0:05:32|
|51||Qianyu Yang (Hong Kong, China)||0:05:41|
|52||Selam Amha Gerefiel (Ethiopia)||0:06:33|
|53||Justina Jovaisyte (Lithuania)||0:06:43|
|54||Jer Ling Serene Lee (Singapore)||0:07:26|