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UCI Road World Championships 2015: Elite Women - Individual Time Trial

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the elite women's individual time trial of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, Virginia.

Welcome back to the live coverage of the world championships. We had an exciting morning of racing in the individual time trial for the junior men.

Leo Appelt of Germany put in a smashing time from the second wave of riders, and after more than two hours in the hot seat he was confirmed as world champion.

His compatriot Lisa Brennauer will be the final rider off this afternoon as defending champion for elite women.

There are four waves of women but only 44 riders. Oddly, Kristin Armstrong, the two -time Olympic gold medalist and multiple world champion was given the second spot via the UCI's rather labrythinal seeding algorithm.

Corinna Lechner (Germany) is down the ramp.

Lechner is one of the younger riders on the start list at 21.

Kristin Armstrong is on the ramp to a big cheer of the home crowd. Big smile and off she goes.

Armstrong returned from retirement this year in a surprise announcement, and quickly established herself at the top of the pecking order in the USA by winning the US championship time trial.

But the UCI weights international competition more, and Armstrong has stayed at home this year.

Aude Biannic is off.

Armstrong is, at 42, twice the age of our first starter, but she is still very fast.

Speaking of fast, Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland) is the next rider off. She was part of the silver medal TTT squad Boels Dolmans.

Armstrong has her very sleek looking Felt TT machine, complete with the SRAM electronic group that is wire free.

Russian Svetlana Vasilieva is down the ramp, she is our youngest rider of the elite women.

The road heading away from the start is quite bumpy and has lengths of pavers. It's not quite cobbles, but it's rough and hard to put down power on. Armstrong is bouncing all over.

Ukranian Olga Shekel is off. 

The first black woman to compete in the world championships is on the ramp. This is Jeanne d'Arc Girubuntu of Rwanda.

We overheard some locals complaining there were no black men racing yesterday so hopefully they're out cheering Jeanne on.

 

Evelyn Garcia of El Salvador heads down the ramp to start her race. There is a huge contingent of Latin Americans here cheering wildly at the finish.

Armstrong is powering over the James River, looking very smmoth and powerful at 60kph.

Kathryn Bertine is off after shaking like a leaf on the start ramp. The Saint Kitts and Nevis rider lives in the USA so is basically a home rider.

Shekel makes the U-turn slowly and has to sprint out to get back up to speed.

Armstrong is first at the first check, and at 9:03 and 32 seconds quicker than Lechner she's likely to catch her minute woman soon.

Biannic was second at the check but has just been topped by Pawlowska.

Mongolian Enkhjargal Tuvshinjargal has already started, and now Cecile Gotaas Johnsen of Norway is off. That's the last of wave 1.

It's still quite breezy and the wind coming back over the James River is directly in the riders' faces. They'll have to push through that wind twice over the course of the 29.9km race.

Armstrong is heading back in for her second lap, holding a steady 47kph as she closes in on Lechner. Once past the German it will be smooth sailing with no other riders in her path.

Pawlowska is doing a good ride, looking quite smooth and aerodynamic on her Specialized.

Armstrong is heading up the hill to the start/finish and passing Lechner up the climb.

Armstrong is out of the saddle, sacrificing a little aerodynamics for power up this steep climb. She's then in the drops as she recovers around the final turn.

Oh dear, she slipped a gear on the transition from the climb to the flat - she got stuck in the small ring for a second and had to fuss with her derailleur.

It's clearly very windy out there, the flags are whipping in the direction of Armstrong and she's fighting to keep the big steady.

She's 20:25.69 at the second check.

Pawlowska is running a deep profile front rim and disc wheel - some riders are choosing lower profile front rims to help with control in the wind.

She's big ringing the climb and it looks very painful and not fast.

Once again Biannic was second at the check, but now that Pawlowska is heading to check 2 she will be bumped to third. But Armstrong is way, way ahead of the Pole - 53.25 seconds with the third leg yet to run.

Armstrong is back out for the second trip over the pavers along Monument Avenue.

Pawlowska is choosing to ride in the gutter and avoid the pavers.

Up ahead, Armstrong is taking obvious risks in the corners, now going as flat out as possible.

Armstrong is fastest and first at check 3, with 29:31.31.

Cecilie Johnsen is setting good times out on course, she was third at the first check.

Armstrong is looking a bit slower across the James River on this lap, the wind is punshingly strong on the bridge.

Pawlowska is now 1:13 behind Armstrong in second place.

The wind swirls around and comes from all directions, riders have said. It's very difficult to find shelter, especially when the tall buildings funnel the wind.

Johnsen is through the second check in third place.

The skies were quite cloudy this morning for the junior men, but the sun has come out for the women and it is getting warmer. This could mean the conditions will change for the later starters - the wind may let up.

Armstrong is heading back to the finish now and the pain is evident - she's dropping her head up and down hoping to get more out of her legs.

1km to go for Armstrong and she is taking the climb in the saddle this time, but still not in the aero bars.

Armstrong has better luck with her gears at the top of the climb this time, she gets back down in the aero bars and goes head down toward the line.

Armstrong gets out of the saddle and sprints into a massive cross-headwind to the line for 40:50.45. 43.297kph average - that's pretty quick compared with the other women in this wave. Will it hold up?

Trixi Worrack (Germany) kicks off the second wave of riders.  This wave also includes Tara Whitten (Canada), Carmen Small (USA) and Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands) as top contenders.

Pawlowska comes in for second best 42:53.03.

Whitten is another rider who returned from retirement with an eye on Rio.

Lithuanian Daiva Tuslaite is off behind Mexican Ingrid Drexel and Siobhan Horgan (Ireland).

At the finish, the Ukrainian Shekel has fought to the line for sixth best, a distant four minutes slower than Armstrong.

Norway's Johnson has the Mongolian rider in her sights.

Trixi Worrack is on a storming ride! She's only three seconds behind Armstrong at check 1. She has the advantage of having a wealth of international competition under her belt this year, including the gold medal in the TTT on Sunday.

A lot can be said for momentum...

Carmen Small is off - she's also been lacking a bit of international competition this year after moving from Twenty16 to Bigla mid-season. But she has high aspirations for this race.

The Mongolian has re-passed Johnsen, diving inside the corner into the hill - a bit dodgy.

Finland's Lota Lepisto is off next.

Woah! Whitten is fastest at the first check by three seconds! Oh, Canada.

Johsen comes to the line for third best time and gets to head to the podium.

Worrack is looking very tight and low on her aero bars, but is lagging now 9 seconds behing Armstrong by GPS. We would love to get a look at the ride of Whitten. But we get a nice shot of Worrack's lovely Cervelo painted in Velocio butterfly spots.

Ellen Van Dijk is next down the ramp and hits off like a rocket.

Small is fourth at the check at 14 seconds, with Whitten leading the way.

The standings at the finish so far:
1 Kristin Armstrong (USA) United States Of America 40:50.5
2 Katarzyna Pawlowska (Pol) Poland 42:53.0
3 Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen (Nor) Norway 43:17.3
4 Aude Biannic (Fra) France 43:41.0
5 Svetlana Vasilieva (Rus) Russian Federation 44:19.2
6 Corinna Lechner (Ger) Germany 44:26.2
7 Kathryn Bertine (SKN) Saint Kitts And Nevis 44:37.0
8 Evelyn Garcia (ESa) El Salvador 44:39.1
9 Enkhjargal Tuvshinjargal (Mgl) Mongolia 44:45.8
10 Olga Shekel (Ukr) Ukraine 44:45.9
11 Jeanne d'Arc Girubuntu (Rwa) Rwanda 47:41.7

Small is fourth at the check at 14 seconds, with Whitten leading the way.

The standings at the finish so far:
1 Kristin Armstrong (USA) United States Of America 40:50.5
2 Katarzyna Pawlowska (Pol) Poland 42:53.0
3 Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen (Nor) Norway 43:17.3
4 Aude Biannic (Fra) France 43:41.0
5 Svetlana Vasilieva (Rus) Russian Federation 44:19.2
6 Corinna Lechner (Ger) Germany 44:26.2
7 Kathryn Bertine (SKN) Saint Kitts And Nevis 44:37.0
8 Evelyn Garcia (ESa) El Salvador 44:39.1
9 Enkhjargal Tuvshinjargal (Mgl) Mongolia 44:45.8
10 Olga Shekel (Ukr) Ukraine 44:45.9
11 Jeanne d'Arc Girubuntu (Rwa) Rwanda 47:41.7

Whitten has faded somewhat, coming through check 2 now 14 seconds slower than Armstrong, so it looks like the American will have a long spell in the hot seat.

Van Dijk is not on a stellar ride in the first half - she is only sixth best, 20 seconds slower than Whitten. We'll see if she can pick this up.

Small has her minute woman in sight - it's Lija Laizane of Lavia ahead. She can't let this alter her rhythm.

Small heads up the hill to the start/finish and she stays in the aero bars the entire way, unlike Armstrong who was out of the saddle sprinting.

Tara Whitten is on a BMC Time Machine, using a full disc but lower profile front rim. She's on the rough pavers of Monument Ave.

Small is starting to pick up the pace behind.

Small still hasn't passed the Latvian, but she will soon as she has her just in front in the final straight. She's doing a very good time at this check.

Small is 23 seconds slower than Armstrong at the check and passes Laizane at the line.

The Americans have three in this race - Evelyn Stevens is in the final wave. There are only two spots on the team for Rio, and the fight is on to be selected. A podium today is a certain in for the team next year.

Worrack was quicker than Whitten at the third check, so the Canadian is fading rather quickly.

Ellen van Dijk comes to the line for check two, she's still lagging well behind podium pace, now fifth at 23 seconds.

The wind is still very strong out on course. The sun has gone back behind the clouds.

Van Dijk took a turn rather tight and had to do a big correction. But she did a good save. She's closing in on Martina RItter (Austria).

Van Dijk gets onto the wheel of Ritter and the Austrian doesn't pull over. Van Dijk might get a penalty which would be devastating.

Ritter is being told to drop back or move over.

In case you missed it, we had an interview with Carmen Small, who is at the third check now 4th at 36.7s.

Also, not to be missed is the exclusive podcast interview with road race contender Lizzie Armitstead.

Worrack is coming to the line, she's not even looking ahead - she's head down barrelling to second fastest, 58 seconds slower than Armstrong.

Now Whitten is coming in for her finish. She's really dropped off her starting effort, perhaps being out of competition so long has knocked off her pacing.

She'll be third best 1:05.6 behind Armstrong.

Our hot seats are now Armstrong, Worrack and Whitten, but Small is heading back toward the finish now. She was fourth at the check, can she pick it up?

Wave three is getting underway with Hayley Simmonds (Great Britain).

The British champion is in the wave with Luxembourgh champion Christine Majerus, Audrey Cordon (France) and German champ Mieke Kroeger.

Small is passing the SPaniard Sheyla Gutierrez, and still tight in her aero position. 

Majerus had a puncture in the TTT, but even though she only got to race 5k, she still earned her silver medal with Boels Dolmans.

Van Dijk has done a great leg and is second at check three - but still 27 seconds slower than Armstrong.

Van Dijk is going to have to make up her time on the trip back into Richmond over the bridge and into the headwind, because she won't be making up time on the finishing climb.

Cordon takes off from the start for her ride. She's having her 26th birthday today.

Small is out of the aero bars early to brake heading into the very fast final left turn. She's out of the saddle powering up the climb to the finish now.

Kroeger is getting set to start.

Kroeger like Worrack has a tight frontal area, her hands nearly touching and the bars very close together.

Small powers to the finish, the wind now in her right ear. She just misses the podium spots, now fourth in the standings behind Whitten.

Van Dijk is looking fast heading around the left bend to the final climb. She needs to make up a lot of time if she wants that hot seat.

Van Dijk is passing Lepisto in the final straightaway, sprinting out of the saddle and fighting, fighting all the way - she's second, 34.31 down.

Standings#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult 1Kristin Armstrong (USA)0:40:50  2Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands)0:00:34  3Trixi Worrack (Germany)0:00:59  4Tara Whitten (Canada)0:01:06  5Carmen Small (United States Of America)0:01:07  6Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland)0:02:03  7Cecilie Johnsen (Norway)0:02:27  8Aude Biannic (France)0:02:51  9Siobhan Horgan (Ireland)0:02:56  10Martina Ritter (Austria)0:03:12 

Sorry about that formatting:

Standings

1 Kristin Armstrong (USA) 40:50.5
2 Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands) 00:34.3
3 Trixi Worrack (Germany) 00:58.8
4 Tara Whitten (Canada) 01:05.6
5 Carmen Small (USA) 01:07.0
6 Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland) 02:02.6
7 Cecilie Johnsen (Norway) 02:26.9
8 Aude Biannic (France) 02:50.6
9 Siobhan Horgan (Ireland) 02:56.3
10 Martina Ritter (Austria) 03:12.4

Armstrong has now been on the podium for more than an hour and it has to be getting tedious. She's passing the time by packing and repacking her bag, sorting through all her things.

The results as of the first two waves of riders are as follows:

1 Kristin Armstrong (USA) 0:40:50.45
2 Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands) 0:41:24.76
3 Trixi Worrack (Germany) 0:41:49.28
4 Tara Whitten (Canada) 0:41:56.10
5 Carmen Small (USA) 0:41:57.46
6 Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland) 0:42:53.03
7 Cecilie Johnsen (Norway) 0:43:17.32
8 Aude Biannic (France) 0:43:41.04
9 Siobhan Horgan (Ireland) 0:43:46.78
10 Martina Ritter (Austria) 0:44:02.88
11 Svetlana Vasilieva (Russia) 0:44:19.16
12 Lotta Lepisto (Finland) 0:44:23.87
13 Corinna Lechner (Germany) 0:44:26.19
14 Kathryn Bertine (Saint Kitts And Nevis) 0:44:37.00
15 Evelyn Garcia (El Salvador) 0:44:39.14
16 Daiva Tuslaite (Lithuania) 0:44:41.04
17 Lija Laizane (Latvia) 0:44:42.78
18 Enkhjargal Tuvshinjargal (Mongolia) 0:44:45.83
19 Olga Shekel (Ukraine) 0:44:45.90
20 Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spain) 0:45:10.34
21 Ingrid Drexel (Mexico) 0:45:54.24
22 Jeanne Girubuntu (Rwanda) 0:47:41.71

The wind for wave 2 seems to have been the strongest. At the finish, at least, the flags are blowing a bit less vigorously than before. If so, this will help the later starters quite a bit.

Oh dear, the Swiss rider Doris Schweizer has a stuck chain and has to stop and have the mechanic extract it.

None of the riders in this wave have been threatening the podium so far.

Majerus is the quickest rider in the third wave, and was fifth at the first check but looks to be picking up the pace.

Eri Yonamine (Japan) is on a good ride, she's sixth best at 45.8 seconds, and has passed the Colombian Serika Guluma.

The final wave of riders are in the start area having their bikes checked. We hope there is no drama like before the TTT, where the Hitec rider Charlotte Becker had her bike disallowed just before the start.

Majerus is coming through for seventh best. She was only a few seconds slower than Pawlowska.

The final wave are starting with Swede Emma Johansson. Just 11 more riders to go!

Schweizer made a great comeback from her mechanical to take 8th best time.

On the start it's Alena Amialiusik, winner of the Winston Salem classic.

Linda Villumsen heads off for her race. She's been on the podium so many times, and she's the Commonwealth Games TT champino. We will see if she can earn yet another medal here.

Villumsen is starting out strong, the GPS says she's quicker than Armstrong. The wind has really let up in town, flags are barely waving now.

After the third wave, the standings are basically unchanged, with Majerus, Cordon and Bujak slotting into the top 10.

1 Kristin Armstrong (USA) 0:40:50.45
2 Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands) 0:00:34
3 Trixi Worrack (Germany) 0:00:59
4 Tara Whitten (Canada) 0:01:06
5 Carmen Small (USA) 0:01:07
6 Mieke Kroeger (Germany) 0:02:00
7 Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland) 0:02:03
8 Christine Majerus (Luxembourg) 0:02:06
9 Audrey Cordon (France) 0:02:06
10 Eugenia Bujak (Poland) 0:02:09

Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada), who was part of the gold medal winning TTT team with Velocio, is about to start. Let's hope she's recovered from her fainting spell after that TTT.

Japan's Yonamine just finished her very good ride for sixth best, but is soon overtaken by Sablikova of the Czech Republic, who was fourth. Yonamine pushed to 7th.

Evelyn Stevens is off for her ride. It's go time for the American who needs a medal to get onto the team for Rio.

Lisa Brennauer of Germany is off and that completes our field with the defending champion. The wind is significantly calmer and this should help her against Armstrong who started when it was much gustier.

Villumsen is much quicker at the first check, a full three seconds better than Whitten. Australia's Garfoot is also faster than Armstrong but not Whitten - the conditions are going to make this final wave much faster.

Johansson comes past check 2 with seventh best, and behind her Stevens is only sixth bets at check 1. She's only four seconds down on Armstrong, however. 

Amialiusik is the first rider to upset the podium order - she's slotted into third for Belarus. She's had a great year of racing, landing on the podium in the Philly World Cup, too.

Here comes Villumsen to check 2. Will she be able to hold that fast pace?

Yes! She's smashed Armstrong's time, 10.75 seconds quicker at the halfway point.

Woah, Anna Van der Breggen (Netherlands) is on a smoking hot ride, she's quickest at the first check by four seconds from Villumsen.

Belgium's Ann-Sofie Duyck is fifth at check 2.

Van der Breggen has had a great push in the second half of the season, winning the Giro Donne with an unbelievable ride in the time trial there. She also was 3rd overall in the Lotto Belgium Tour.

Garfoot has come through with the third best time behind Armstrong, 11.37s behind Villumsen at check 2.

Brennauer doesn't look very quick in this first half, but she may be saving some for the second half.

Here comes Solovei, the Ukrainian has been out of competition most of the year after being released from her trade team. She is only 11th overall.

Canuel should be next to the check.

Here comes Canuel to the line for 10th best at check 2.

Stevens, behind her, was out of the saddle sprinting up the climb, using her strength to her best advantage.

Stevens is giving it a good effort for second, beating Armstrong's time - three seconds quicker but still 7 slower than Villumsen.

Van der Breggen has chosen a wider bar position for better breathing, she's looking quite fast at check 2, coming in just behind Villumsen, edging Stevens into third. 6 seconds down for the Dutch rider.

Brennauer comes to the line now pushing an enormous gear.

The defending champion is well down - only sixth best, 14.54 seconds down on Villumsen. Was it too much to do the TTT? Villumsen didn't have that pressure.

Armstrong skipped the TTT, but Stevens raced. She had to go quite deep to get the silver medal after Majerus punctured and they had to race with five. Does she have enough to keep up a medal performance?

Stevens is looking strong and smooth, but so is Villumsen. While the American favors a smaller gear, Villumsen has a big gear rolling. She's got an all-black unbranded bike and wheels - goes well with the New Zealand all-black theme.

Villumsent is through check 3 and she's still fastest - 28 seconds quicker than Armstrong. The lack of wind is a big deal for the final wave.

Garfoot is still on a good pace, she's third best at check 3 behind Villumsen and Armstrong.

Stevens is heading to check 3, and she's losing ground - fourth at 19.83 seconds from Villumsen. She needs to pick this up - but her spot to gain time is the climb.

Villumsent doesn't bother getting out of the aero bars for the climb. She's muscling this ascent - it takes an enormous amount of core strength to climb like this.

Armstrong is unseated! The Kiwi crushes the Olympic champion's time by 30 seconds - 40:29.87!

Van der Breggen has gone through check 3 in second place at 14s, but Brennauer is gaining steam. She's just 2 seconds behind the Dutch rider at the check with third fastest.

Armstrong's third check is now fourth best, and she faces the very real possibility of not making the podium.

The GPS is measuring wildly different gaps, pushing Stevens from 16s to 1:00 behind Villumsen so we have no idea what the pace is like between these riders.

Antoshina comes through 7th best.

Garfoot just behind is storming! 40:39.19 for second best, pushing Armstrong into third, but more fast riders to come.

Villumsen, Garfoot and Armstrong are the three hot-seaters now, but Van der Breggen, Brennauer and Stevens are flying.

Van der Breggen is as good a climber as Stevens, and could very well pick up a handful of seconds on the final climb.

Solovei came in for 12th overall so far. Just four more riders - Canuel, Stevens, Van der Breggen and Brennauer.

Stevens is making the left into the climb.

Stevens has a punishingly long final straight to tackle and not enough time to do it. She's going to be well outside Villumsen's time.

She hasn't topped Garfoot, and she won't beat Armstrong. She'll come in for fourth best. 23s down on Villumsen.

Canuel came in for 13th. Here comes Van der Breggen, out of the saddle, sprinting! She doesn't do it!

Silver for the Dutch rider.

Only Brennauer can top Villumsen, but she was 16 seconds behind at the third check. That's a lot of time to make up. It only remains to be seen can she make the podium.

Brennauer brought something special for the finish.

Brennauer sprints, but she's not going to take gold or silver, but she gets bronze! What a great comeback in that last leg.

The top 10 riders are as follows:

1 Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) 0:40:29.87
2 Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands) 0:00:02.54
3 Lisa Brennauer (Germany) 0:00:05.26
4 Katrin Garfoot (Australia) 0:00:09.32
5 Kristin Armstrong (United States Of America) 0:00:20.58
6 Evelyn Stevens (United States Of America) 0:00:26.58
7 Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands) 0:00:54.89
8 Alena Amialiusik (Belarus) 0:01:06.03
9 Ann-Sofie Duyck (Belgium) 0:01:19.20
10 Trixi Worrack (Germany) 0:01:19.41

Brennauer is barely conscious after her ride. That was a very, very difficult effort in the end. The Americans were shut out of the medals, only managing fifth and sixth. But chapeau to Villumsen. She has a wall full of medals from the world championship TT but this is her first gold.

The level of the women has come a very long way - the top six riders within half a minute of each other, and the top three only separated by six seconds. Over nearly 30km that's just a sneeze.

We have the full results and photos from the elite women's race available here.

Notably, only three of the top 10, and none of the medalists raced before the final wave. No discounting the efforts of the late starters, but the lack of wind certainly hurt wave 2, especially. It was so blustery for the first and second waves they struggled to hold onto their bikes.

In case you missed it, the UCI has approved the WorldTour reforms, it's going to have a big impact on the men's side of the sport. you can find out more here.

The final podium ceremony is underway now, with the top three still bright red from their recent efforts. 

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to tune in for the elite men's time trial tomorrow at 1pm local time.

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