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Spanish racers challenged by time trial

By Monika Prell in Stuttgart

The Spanish contingent began competition at the World championships with mixed results. The best rider proved to be Rafael Serrano, who finished 17th in the Under 23 time trial, at one minute and 59 seconds behind winner Lars Boom from The Netherlands.

The 20 year-old Serrano was happy when he talked to Cyclingnews. "This is my first Under 23 World championship; I already rode the junior championships. I went well (today); it was a very great experience. I liked the [course] profile; there was a technical and a power part."

His team-mate Sergio Domínguez, who finished 59th, at five minutes 20 seconds behind Boom, commented after the race, "I went well in my first World Championships, even if the profile was very hard. Mainly the second lap was very hard for me. The last three kilometers consisted only of a big ascent. Now I am happy because this was the last race of this season for me, and I will benefit from my holidays."

On the women's side Marta Vila took 24th at two minutes and 35 seconds behind winner Hanka Kupfernagel. "Those were my third World championships, and I did a lot better than in the other ones, because I was very young in the first ones," said Vila. "I liked the profile; the second part was very hard, mainly the last two kilometers... . I am very content. I will ride the race on Saturday, and then my season is finished. I am very tired."

Maribel Moreno was not so happy with her performance. "My race was not my best. The profile was too easy; weightier riders are privileged. I needed more mountains to win, because my strength is climbing."

Both women will ride the road race on Saturday. Tomorrow, José Iván Gutiérrez and Luis León Sánchez will get a second chance to put Spain on the podium when they race the elite men's time trial.