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Reusser defends Swiss time trial title ahead Olympic Games debut

Marlen Reusser wins Swiss time trial title
Marlen Reusser wins Swiss time trial title (Image credit: Ale BTC Ljubljana)

Marlen Reusser won the time trial title at the Swiss Road Championships ahead of her debut at the Tokyo Olympic Games later in July. 

The Ale BTC Ljubljana rider defended her title for the third season in a row, beating Melanie Maurer to by 1:35 on the 20.4km course in Chalet-à-Gobet, with a time of 28:21.

"I’m very happy to have been able to defend the title of national champion. I really wanted it, I had prepared myself and I was confident that I could do a good performance," said Reusser. “I’m satisfied, but I think there is still a lot of work to do on the way to Tokyo."

Reusser was selected as the sole representative of Switzerland in the women’s road race on July 25 and time trial on July 28 at the Tokyo Olympic Games, after Switzerland qualified for just one place. 

She was selected ahead of her compatriot Elise Chabbey despite Chabbey’s impressive performances in recent road races. The Canyon-SRAM rider won the first stage of the Tour de Suisse Women earlier this month as well as wearing the leader’s jersey for a stage at the 2.WWT Vuelta a Burgos Feminas in May. 

Reusser’s superior time trial capabilities appear to have edged out Chabbey’s road racing performances and she placed second at the World Championships in Imola in 2020, proving herself to be capable of challenging the best riders in the world against the clock.  

It is not just time trials that the 29-year-old excels in, however, she took 10th place in the road race at the Imola Worlds and has raced to top-10 places in both Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Tour of Flanders, as well as third overall at the recent Tour de Suisse. 

Of her form ahead of the Olympic Games Reusser commented: “Of course I’m very, very happy to be selected for the Olympic Games and to represent Switzerland. It’s a really big thing for me. Sadly, in the last weeks I was not so heathy, I was a bit sick with different things and also injured one time so I’m on a good basis now but I have really to put in the hard work now to be ready for the Olympic Games in one month. It’s going to be a hard month with a lot of training. I'm going to go to altitude again and then to heat acclimatisation so I think I will have to put in good work and good preparation and then I think I’m ready to rock and roll.”

The Swiss champion will have stiff competition from the likes of newly-crowned Dutch national time trial champion, and current World Champion, Anna van der Breggen. Chloe Dygert will also prove a threat in the race for the gold medal after recently reclaiming the US time trial title having recovered from her crash in Imola. 

A relative newcomer to cycling, Reusser started her pro career on the UCI World Cycling Centre team in 2019, aged 27, and it was during that same season that she took her first national time trial title. She then moved to Equipe Paule Ka for 2020 before joining the Women's WorldTour ranks with Ale BTC Ljubljana this season.

Reusser will also compete in the road race on Sunday, June 20 at the Swiss Road Championships.