Anna van der Breggen tried hard to smile on the podium as she stood next to Dutch teammates and rivals Annemiek van Vleuten and Ellen van Dijk, but yet another silver medal - as Van Vlueten pulled on her second rainbow jersey as time trial world champion - was clearly difficult to accept.
"It doesn't happen often that a whole country is on all steps of the podium. It's nice, but I'd like to change the order a bit," Van der Breggen said a little later.
"We were all hoping to be the fastest. I knew Annemiek was the last rider, and you never know if you are going to win a race like this. I had to wait until she crossed the line. Of course I was hoping to win."
Van der Breggen covered the rolling 27.7km course 28 seconds slower than Van Vleuten, with Van Dijk at a more distant 1:25. She struggled to understand where Van Vleuten gained time.
"I think I had a good time trial. I made a nice plan before the start and I was feeling good, so I'm happy about my time trial. I could really go fast and I think that we did good," she said.
"The end of the course was the most difficult, and so I did a steady pace in the beginning and tried to take the climbs as fast as possible, and take a bit recovery in the end. I really liked the speed changes, going up and going down, and taking speed into the next climb. I have to say that I liked this parcours."
Van Vleuten, Van der Breggen and Van Dijk filled the podium for the Netherlands, and while their success highlighted the strength of women's cycling in the Netherlands, their performances came from three separate paths.
"We have different personalities so we prepare for the same event in our own way," Van der Breggen explained. "Annemiek trains a lot in altitude, many things bring her to her level, but we all have to think of what's best for ourselves."
There was little empathy between the three on the podium, but they will have to ride together in the women's road race on Saturday if one of them is to become world champion.
Van der Breggen hopes it is her turn to pull on a rainbow jersey.
"I think I have six medals of this colour [silver] now, and so I hope to change that one day. I know that my shape is good, especially after this time trial, so I'm going to try to win, and we are going to try and win again as a national team," she said, trying to express a sense of unity.
"I have another chance for the gold medal on Saturday. I'm feeling good, which is necessary ahead of the road race on a difficult course. We'll be the favourites again, but last year everyone was speaking about Annemiek and me, but Chantal [Blaak] won the title. That's what we can play with again this year. Gambling on one rider is not good for our chances.
"I know we're the favourites and we have a strong team, but we should try to win it together because it's hard to be world champion."
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