Van Vleuten defeats world champion Van Dijk in Dutch time trial championship

Annemiek van Vleuten narrowly defeated the reigning world time trial champion Ellen van Dijk to win the individual time trial title at the national championships in Zaltbommel, the Netherlands today.

The Rabo-Liv rider won the 23.67km race by a mere 0.26 seconds over van Dijk, with Marianne Vos in third, at five seconds.

It was the first national time trial title for Van Vleuten, 31, who last wore the tricolor jersey in 2012 as road champion.

"Secretly I had hopes here," van Vleuten said to De Telegraaf. "This winter I had surgery on a kinked iliac artery, and have just returned from some good altitude training. This week I was hitting power numbers on the road that I'd never achieved before.

"I said to my trainer that had the form to be champion, and I am extremely pleased that it worked out. I had a feeling that I was good, but now I have that feeling reinforced with a Dutch title. The difference was very small, so I'm particularly pleased that the luck was on my side, because I had to seize this unique opportunity. "

After winning the national time trial title twice in a row and finally becoming world champion last September, Van Dijk was disappointed to miss out on the win..

"Maybe it has taken time to after realizing my goal to win the rainbow jersey in Florence to get my focus all the way back," she said. "There is still time until the next world championship time trial in September, but there is work to be done, that is clear."

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