Brennauer returns women's time trial gold to Germany

Lisa Brennauer netted two gold medals in a little over 48 hours when the German outpowered the Ukraine’s Anna Solovey to claim the elite women’s individual time trial at the UCI Road World Championships on Tuesday.

On Sunday Brennauer had jointly claimed the gold medal in the women’s trade team time trial event with Specialized-Lululemon, forming part of the winning squad for a second year running. But the 26-year-old proved to be equally unstoppable on Tuesday when she clinched the individual gold ahead of Solovey and Specialized-Lululemon teammate Evelyn Stevens - the American, with bronze, also back on the Worlds podium for the second time in 48 hours.

Brennauer’s success also provided Germany with their second gold medal in hours, coming on the same day that Lennard Kamna had already clinched the junior men’s title. If compatriot and defending Champion Tony Martin is in need of extra motivation when he races on Wednesday in the elite men’s event, he will certainly be able to draw on Tuesday's inspiring rides by his fellow-Germans.

“I’m still surprised, can’t believe it, “ Brennauer said. “The World Championships have their own rules, sometimes people only prepare for this one race and you don’t see them all year, so they’re not on your ‘plan’. So I’m overwhelmed this could happen.”

Eleventh in last year’s world championships individual time trial, Brennauer said the increased distance this year - 29.5 kilometres as opposed to 22 kilometres in Tuscany in 2013 - had played into her favour.

“I was a bit sick in 2013, but yes, the longer the better for me, so I was quite happy it was a long distance,” Brennauer said.

“I can’t believe it right now, I’ll need some time for me to know that it really came true. I had a really good day, I gave it all on the climb, I took no risks on the descent and then went full gas.”

Indeed, Brennauer’s late effort saved her success. Fifth in the first split and second, four seconds back, at the second time check, by the finish she had dug deep into her reserves - and her last ditch-effort opened an impressive 18 second gap on her closest rival, Solovey.

Brennauer may be young - just 26 - but she already has a glittering palmares. The junior world time trial champion in 2005, and the reigning German national and time trial champion, between 2008 and 2012 she won a raft of medals at European and World Cup level on the track, mainly in team pursuits. Since 2013, the road results have begun to stack up, too, with 12 road wins, mainly in time trials, this year prior to Sunday’s success.

Tuesday’s triumph, though, is surely the individual highlight of her career - and after Judith Arndt’s success in 2011 and 2012, it means Germany have claimed three out of the last four women’s ITT World Championships titles, too.

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.