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UCI Road World Championships 2009: Women's Elite Individual Time Trial

Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews.com live coverage from today's second event, the women's time trial. Earlier on we saw Jack Bowbridge provide a further example of his talent when he dominated the Under 23 TT. He beat Nelson Oliviera (Portuga) and Patrick Gretsch (Germany) byt 19 and 28 seconds respecively. Here'e the top ten from that race:

1 Jack Bobridge (Australia) 0:40:44
2 Nelson Oliveira (Portugal) 0:00:19
3 Patrick Gretsch (Germany) 0:00:28
4 Marcel Kittel (Germany) 0:00:35
5 Adriano Malori (Italy) 0:00:37
6 Alfredo Balloni (Italy) 0:00:39
7 Alex Dowsett (Great Britain) 0:00:44
8 Blaz Jarc (Slovenia) 0:01:00
9 Rasmus Christian Quaade (Denmark) 0:01:07
10 David Veilleux (Canada) 0:01:12

Bowbridge will compete with the Garmin Slipstream team next season and is going to be one to watch.

The women's TT is over a shorter distance, namely 26.8 kilometres. That's achieved by racing two laps of a 13.4km circuit, with a 220m elevation gain.

The first wave of riders is underway, with Monrudee Chapookham (THA) getting them started at 14.00 euro time. Fastest rider at the first time check is European champion Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands) - she's motoring along.

Ellen Van Dijk of the Netherlands leads at the first two intermediate time checks.

Van Dijk is thundering along, catching her three minute woman now. She blasts past Mondrudee Chapookham and is now 27 seconds ahead of the next-quickest rider, Vilija Sereikate (Lithuania).

Blaza Klemencic (Slovenia) pedals along. She's got a very graceful style, although she looks more like a climber than a time trialist.

The course is pretty flat so it makes things tougher for those Van Dijk is a very strong rider, though, and she will relish this course. She's a past world track champion in the scratch race, and last year also won the second stage of the Tour de l'Aude plus that European championship title.

This season, she's shown well once again on the track. She won the pursuit and points race at the Copenhagen track World Cup and was second in the team pursuit.

 

Van Dijk goes through the third time check in a time of 27.40, two minutes and one second ahead of the next rider.

Jessica Phillips (USA) was just eight seconds back at the second check point...

Klemencic is on the climb, fighting her way up the hill.

At the next check point, she was a full 1'30.49 behind Van Dijk...

She was third fastest there... Phillips (USA) is now on the descent and is moving quickly.

As a track rider, Van Dijk will enjoy this mainly flat course...she's got plenty of power and is steaming along.

Iryna Shpylova (Ukraine) was second at the time check, 1.25 back. Meanwhile, Martina Ruzickova (Czech Republic) has got the next wave underway.

Van Dijk comes into the finish, setting the best time thus far of 38.10.08... Vysotskaya crosses the line now, over two minutes back.

Then Chapookham does likewise, losing 4.19.39...

Another strong track rider, Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain) now starts her test. She's third off in this second wave of riders.

Ruzickova pedals along; she's got a great position on the bike. Meanwhile Veronica Leal Balderas (Mexico) comes in, 1.56.60 behind Van Dijk for second.

1.43.86 back for Blaza Klemencic (Slovenia), who goes second for now. However her time is immediately bettered by Eneritz Iturriagaechevarria (Spain), who is 1.00.54 behind.

Irish champion Olivia Dillion now gets underway. She's a strong rider who is based in the US.

Pascale Schnider (Switzerland) is also underway. Now here comes Phillips - she's quickest! 32.56 seconds faster than Van Dijk!

That's a good improvement by the American TT champion.

Houvenhagel was third quickest at the first time check.... Now about to start is Polona Batagelj, the last in this second wave.

Team Austria has had to make a change in its line-up for Sunday's road race. Thomas Rohregger cannot ride, as he had have a cyst removed from his buttocks this week and still has too much pain by riding. His place will be taken by Christoph Sokoll.

Olivia Dillion of Ireland crosses the first time check in 11th place.

There are four waves in all, with the main favourites tending to go in the last of these. Group four includes Jeannie Longo Ciprelli, who is still impressing despite being almost 51 years old..

Swisswoman Schnider -- who has a large fan following here, as might be expected -- is sixth at the first time check.

Schnider gets lots and lots of local support as she rolls along!

There are some very narrow roads on this course, some almost are as narrow as alleys.

Olivia Dillon was ninth quickest at the time check. Pascale Schnider is going well, it seems...we'll get you a time check on her.

Houvenhagel is pedalling a nice, low gear. The course is really picturesque, and the weather is perfect. Swiss scenery is among the nicest in Europe.

O'Donnell goes second, 34.60 off the best time...

Australia's Bridie O'Donnel takes third at the first time check.

Out on the course, Houvenhagel is 20 seconds off the pace set by Jessica Phillips...

Houvenhagel is third best at the end of lap one...  Meanwhile Julie Beveridge (Canada) is pedalling along, passing some cheering spectators and going through narrow Swiss streets.

As anticipated, Great Britain’s Mark Cavendish has pulled out of the 2009 UCI Road World Championships ahead of the Elite Men’s Road Race. He has been ill and will be replaced by Ian Stannard.

Olivia Dillon (Ireland) finishes, provisional twelfth for her...

Pascale Schnider comes in for seventh place now, 52.62 back. Meanwhile Beveridge is third fastest at the 13.4 kilometre point, dropping Houvenaghel down to fourth.

The Mexican skinsuit has a rather bizarre colour pattern, with a white panel across the back of the otherwise green shorts. Hard to describe - you'd have to see it. It's like a vastly oversized chamois or something.

Giuseppina Grassi Herrera (Mexico) is ninth at the 19.36km time check. At the finish, Phillips, Van Dijk and Eneritz Iturriagaechevarria are sitting in the medal seats, waiting to see if they will get bumped out of them by the later riders.

Dillon comes up to the 19.36km checkpoint, crossing the marker line there in 12th. She's now on the sescent with just over seven kilometres remaining in her test.

O'Donnell now finishes, dropping the Basque rider out of third. She was 52.90 behind the time of Phillips, who continues in the hot seat.

Houvenhagel comes in now for fourth, 1.11.52 back. Now at the start house is Diana Ziliute (Lithuania), a strong rider. She gets underway with a very determined look on her face.

Next to go is Emilia Fahlin, who we believe has one of the most-viewed profiles on the Columbia website...a very popular rider.

She's still just 20 years old but has taken some strong results, and should continue to improve.

Olivia Dillon (Ireland) now finishes, netting eleventh. She was 2.32.27 back.

Julie Beveridge comes in now, bumping Van Dijk down to third. She's 23 seconds back...

The names get bigger and bigger from this point on. It will be very interesting to see how Emma Pooley gets on - she's had a superb season and is a really strong rider.

Ziliute now goes quickest at the first time check...she's looking good.. However Tara Whitten has now gone quicker again - the Canadian is flying!

Out on the road, Whitten is 23 seconds quicker than Jessica Phillips (USA). She's a powerful rider and is hauling that gear around.

Next over the second check point is Guderzo (Italy), who goes second quickest. She is 5.76 faster than Van Dijk's time there. Phillips is third at that point, but of course she sped up relative to Van Dijk as the TT went on.

Vicki Whitelaw (Australia) comes in for the provisional sixth best time, 21.11 seconds back. We expect there to be more changes as this race progresses...as mentioned, many of the big names come in the final wave.

Tara Whitten (Canada) is a clear 21.78 seconds faster than Van Dijk at the next time check...she's flying!!

Ziliute, the 1998 world RR champion, is currently running six seconds off the pace of the race leader Jessica Phillips (USA). Phillips smiles when the time check comes in. But how will Whitten do? 

Wow - she's a full 36 seconds quicker out on the course...motoring along.

Guderzo is 5.85 seconds off the best pace on the second ascent of the hill. Ziliute is on it now, fighting the bike up the slopes. She's quickest there, 3.2 seconds faster than Van Dijk's time. Let's see how Whitten does when she gets to this point...

Regina Bruins (Netherlands) finishes her first lap, with the second best time. She's 17.26 seconds off the Whitten express...

Wonderful weather for the riders - Switzerland in September is a good venue for the worlds. At this time of year, the weather can really be unpredictable, although this region is a better bet than most places.

Whitten is on the hill, grinding a big gear up to the new best time. Wow - 40.87 seconds quicker than Ziliute!

Whitten should go quickest, needless to say, and will have a nervous wait while the fourth wave of riders gets underway. The first of those (Longo) will start in five minutes time.

Whitelaw is traveling through the village streets section - looks great, with narrow, sunlit roads.

At the start, Emma Pooley is making her final preparations for what is expected to be a strong ride. She's off in less than ten minutes..

Here comes Guderzo...she's chasing second place...close...ahhh, she gets it by less than a second.

Meanwhile, Longo starts.... Can the 50 year old take a medal? She's taken 1074 races during her career - amazing. Meanwhile, Ziliute now comes in, taking the second-best time...15.92 off the pace of Phillips.

To give an idea of her age, Longo first won the women's Tour de France in 1987...that's 22 years ago!

Now here comes Whitten...has she kept her pace until the end? 

The answer is yes! Wow...she's 37.44 seconds faster than Phillips, moving into the gold medal position.

Whitten is a track specialist who this year took the silver medal in the world championships omnium. She's also taken silver and bronze medals in the track world cup.

Kristin Armstrong (USA) is now on the course...she's a really strong time trialist who, of course, won the Olympic title ahead of Pooley last year.

Pooley may look for revenge today; she starts behind her, with a minute and a half between the two.

Worrack finishes, netting the provisional silver medal...she's 28.56 seconds behind Whitten...

Linda Villumsen (Denmark) leaves the start house...another good rider. There's just four left to go - Tatiana Antoshina (Russia), Christiane Soeder (Austria), Judith Arndt (Germany) and Amber Neban (USA)....

Armstrong goes quickest at the first time check! She's almost eight seconds faster than Whitten's time.

Prior to Armstrong going quickest, Noemi Cantele (Italy) had pushed Whitten close...she was just 2'82 back at that first time check. Emma Pooley has gone fourth quickest there, 11.88 back. Villumsen then goes fifth there.

End of lap one for Longo - she's going well! She's second at this point, 11.35 behind Whitten. However Cantele is flying - she beats the Canadian's time by 12.29"!

This is a real tussle...the finale is going to be brim-full of suspense.. Villumsen is nine seconds quicker out on the road!

Thurig is 11.83 off Cantele's time at the halfway point..

Here's Armstrong - 22.56 faster than Cantele!! She said earlier this year that she was likely to retire, but wanted to go out on top. She's certainly flying here today...

Pooley is running 20 seconds slower than Cantele, and 46-odd seconds off Armstrong's pace. So she's not matching the American thus far. She's fifth at the second checkpoint.

Next up - Villumsen. She's riding well but can't match Armstrong, who is a cool 23.34 faster...

Longo's impressive! She's second fastest at the third check point! Ohh...now Cantele goes quickest there, beating Whitten's time by 14.22"

Armstrong is really moving...she's on top of the gear and pedalling really briskly. Arndt, meanwhile, is nearly 20 seconds off Cantele's time, which is in itself slower than that of Armstrong.

Soeder looks good on her TT bike, sitting low and compact. Thurig is third at the top of the hill on lap two. How will Armstrong do? She's got her Swiss rival in sight and goes 39.15" faster than Cantele here!

Whitten looks a little resigned at the finish...she knows that she is very unlikely to take gold today. So too Neben, who is seventh on the road.

Pooley is on the climb...she doesn't appear to be on her best day; she's fifth, one minute and five behind Armstrong. But who would bet against her going for a long one in the road race?

Villumsen will be the next rider to that time check...she's going well, netting third place, 40.25" behind Armstrong. Whitten is second...can she hang on for a medal?

Armstrong is a perfect picture of concentration and effort....she's going to catch Thurig. She does so, whipping past as Longo goes second at the finish, 14 seconds faster than Whitten. But that silver medal position drops to bronze when Cantele comes in, 38.98 faster than Whitten...

Neben is driving along...her title is slipping away, though.. She's 21 seconds behind Cantele, who currently leads but will be eclipsed by Armstrong, surely.

Alexia Rhodes (Australia) takes provisional fifth, 1.12.87 back.

Armstrong finishes - sprinting all the way, she goes 55.01 seconds faster than Cantele - wow!!

She's left it all on the course...she's asking her soigneur for time checks, but I don't think she's got anything to worry about...a dominant performance...

What a stunning ride for the Olympic champion...

The fight is surely for the other medals now... Villumsen is driving onwards, 55" behind Armstrong's pace.

Pooley comes in to finish...she is a provisional sixth, 1'57 behind..

Now Villumsen finishes, grabbing third. She was 58'25 behind Armstrong's time. Four riders on the course...

Neben is 1'30" behind Armstrong's marker on the course...she'll finish soon, and will see her title pass to her compatriot.

Tatiana Antoshina finishes for fourth place. Next up, Christiane Soeder, who is getting pleny of encouragement from the crowd.

Armstrong is being congratulated at the finish...she knows she has it, and smiles at the thought.

Fourth for Soeder, 1'28" back...  Only Arndt and Neben left out on the course.

Arndt drives it onwards, edging out Soeder for fourth place. 1.24.25 back.

Neben's under the kite...last kilometre of her reign as champion, but she's ridden with determination today.

She drives it home, netting sixth. New world champion - Kristin Armstrong!

Second is Naomi Cantele, with Linda Villumsen taking bronze. They were 55.01 and 58.25 back respectively.

Very dominant ride by Armstrong. "It doesn't matter how many times you become world champion, it's still the best feeling in the world," she says at the finish. She said that she was fifth last year after the Olympic title and found it very difficult to motivate herself, but said she had to come back again and try to win. She certainly did that today - there was an eternity between herself and the other riders. Chapeau!

Here is our final top ten:

Finish
1.Kristin Armstrong (USA) 35:26:09
2.Noemi Cantele (ITA)  +0:55:01
3.Linda Melanie Villumsen (DEN) +58,25
4.Judith Arndt (GER) + 1:24:25
5.Christiane Soeder (AUT) +1:28:27
6.Amber Neben (USA) +1:29.74
7.Tatiana Antoshina (RUS) + 1:31:75
8.Tara Whitten (CAN) +1.33:99
9.Karin Thürig (SWI) +1.38:01
10.Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (FRA) +1:48:34
 

That's it for the first day of the Worlds!  Join us again tomorrow for the Elite Men's Individual Time Trial.  Will we have another dominant winner tomorrow, Cancellara perhaps?  Read along and find out!

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