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UCI Road World Championships 2018: Women's Elite Individual Time Trial

Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live race centre for full coverage of the elite women's time trial at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships. 

 

52 riders will take on the rolling 27.8km course in Innsbruck and at the end of it another rainbow jersey will be awarded. The start is just a few minutes away. 

Fernanda Yapura (Argentina) will be the first rider down the ramp at 14:40 local time. 

 

The riders will set off at intervals of 1:30 until the last rider - 2017 champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) - at 15:56.30. 

Van Vleuten is the overwhelming favourite to take another gold medal today. The Dutchwoman has been imperious against the clock this season. The only time she hasn't won a TT this year was the Dutch nationals, so if she falters it's likely to be a compatriot in the rainbow jersey, with Anna van der Breggen posing the most convincing case. Here's our piece on the possible contenders. 

 

Two-horse races? Top contenders for Worlds elite time trials
 

 

Yapura has rolled down the ramp and the time trial is officially underway. 

 

A couple of very interesting names among the early starters. 

 

Lucinda Brand (Netherlands) is off in a couple of minutes, followed directly by Tayler Wiles (USA). Brand was one of the riders to beat Van Vleuten at the Dutch nationals and was also third in the Giro Rosa TT, so could be a strong outsider toady. 

 

 

Brand rolls down the ramp and gets straight into her aero tuck. She has to come up onto the bars to negotiate a couple of corners away from the start area before the countryside opens up. 

 

Here's the course. It's fairly flat for the first half but then climbs to Absam and rolls from there to the line. 

 

 

It's the same course used for the junior men's TT this morning, whereas the male counterparts in the elite category will race a course nearly twice as long with a much more significant climb. Some of the riders have expressed their dismay at the disparity between the men's and women's courses - TT's and road races - at these Worlds. 

 

While Brand is out on course - and likely to set the first real benchmark - have a read of this story on the Dutch from Kirsten Frattini. They could take all three medals. 

 

World Championships: Dutch fab four rival for women's time trial title in Innsbruck

 

Barbara Mayer rolls down the ramp to huge cheers. That'll be because she's Austrian - one of two on today's start list alongside Martina Ritter. 

 

Barbara Mayer rolls down the ramp to huge cheers. That'll be because she's Austrian - one of two on today's start list alongside Martina Ritter. 

 

Alice Barnes (Great Britain) rolls down the ramp. She's a young rider but a promising one and should be full of confidence after winning the TTT world title with Canyon-Sram at the weekend. 

 

Leah Kirchmann (Canada) starts her effort. 

 

Coming up in the next several minutes we have two former world champions in Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands) and Lisa Brennauer (Germany). Also Elis Longo Borghini (Italy), who could be up towards the top of the standings. 

 

Longo Borghini is underway. She says she's not expecting to be among the medals but is eyeing a top 10. 

 

The intermediate checkpoint comes after 17.5km near the top of the Absam climb. The first rider, Yapura, has just gone through it in a time of 25:03. 

Van Dijk rolls down the ramp and storms through the twisty opening metres. This course may be slightly more hillier than her liking so she'll need to attack the first half. 

 

Van Dijk rolls down the ramp and storms through the twisty opening metres. This course may be slightly hillier than her liking so she'll need to attack the first half. 

 

Brennauer is off. She was the winner in Ponferrada in 2014. 

Brand goes through the checkpoint now and does so in a time of 23:34. That's 1:29 up on Yapura and even more on the other riders who've just gone through. 

 

Tayler Wiles is 40 seconds down on Brand at the checkpoint. 

 

Barbara Mayer is on the course, the first of two Austrian rider's to start in this afternoon's Individual Time Trial #InnsbruckTirol2018 pic.twitter.com/4IUq9TrWdW

We have our first finisher. Yapura crosses the line and stops the clock on 38:46.

 

Kirchmann sets the new fastest time at the split! 15 seconds quicker than Brand. 

 

Brand comes to the finishing straight now and she's comfortably going to set the fastest time. 

 

36:07 for the Dutchwoman, who overtook two riders there. 

 

Tayler Wiles finishes her ride and stops the clock on 36:56 - 48 seconds down on Brand. 

 

Van Dijk is 19 seconds up on Brand at the moment, according to live time comparisons. 

 

Labous is 38 seconds down on Kirchmann at the first split. 

 

Longo Borghini comes through the checkpoint now, 26 seconds down on Kirchmann. 

 

Here comes Van Dijk towards the checkpoint. She is six seconds up on Kirchmann. 

 

Brennauer might not be in the medals today/ She's 50 seconds down at the first split.

 

Kirchmann is in the home straight...

 

New fastest time!

 

35:52 for the Canadian. That's 15 seconds quicker than Brand. 

 

What a ride by Leah Kirchmann. 

 

Anna van der Breggen has started her ride. Can she finally claim a rainbow jersey?

 

Leah Thomas has the third best time at the checkpoint, 15 seconds down on Van Dijk. 

 

Georgia Williams (New Zealand) crosses the line and goes into fourth place provisionally, 1:06 down on Kirchmann. 

 

Live timings suggest Van Dijk is now down on Kirchmann. As expected, the uphill terrain in the second half of this course appears to be hurting her. 

 

Labous finishes 1:13 down. 

 

36:42 for Longo Borghini. That's third place as it stands, but it's 50 seconds off the current lead. 

 

Van Dijk takes the lead!

 

The Dutchwoman finds another few seconds and stops the clock on 35:50 - just under two seconds up on Kirchmann.

 

Van der Breggen has already caught her minute woman. Or one minute thirty woman. 

 

We're into the final 10 starters now. 

 

Brennauer finishes her ride 1:23 down. A disappointing one for the former champ. 

 

 

 

Great time from Leah Thomas! 

 

The American finishes seven seconds down on Van Dijk to go third provisionally. 

 

Still to come...

 

 

Audrey Cordon Ragot (France)

Elena Pirrone (Italy)

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark)
Trizi Worrack (Germany)

Amber Neben (USA)

Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands)

 

Live timings tell us that Van der Breggen is 16 seconds up on Van Dijk as it stands. She's nearing the checkpoint where we'll have a reliable comparison. 

 

Ragot and Pirrone are off. 

 

Worrack heads down the ramp now. 

 

Here comes Van der Breggen to the checkpoint, and she's flying! 28 seconds up on Van Dijk!

 

Amber Neben (USA) is underway. She's 43 years old and hasn't been racing a full season but has still won some TT's, including the Pan-Am Games and the US nationals. She was the world champion in 2008 and 2016. 

 

And that brings us to Van Vleuten. The 2017 champion and heavy favourite rolls down the ramp. Here we go!

 

All the riders are out on the course. The rainbow jersey will be decided in around 35 minutes' time. 

 

It's still looking good for Van der Breggen according to the live timings. She has such a steady position and is building her lead to 35 seconds. 

 

Van der Breggen is about to catch another ride. She's 50 seconds up on Van Dijk as it stands but the real threat is Van Vleuten further back down the road. 

 

Van der Breggen is almost a minute up as she comes into the final few kilometres. 

 

Hayley Simmonds (GB) is 1:47 down at the checkpoint. 

 

Van der Breggen is into the final kilometre...

 

This is without doubt going to be the fastest time...

 

34:54!

 

Head down all the way to the line, Van der Breggen goes into the hotseat, 56 seconds up on Van Dijk. 

 

Van der Breggen is sat on the floor beyond the finish line, breathing hard. She went deep there. 

 

Live timings suggest Van Vleuten is eight seconds up on Van der Breggen after 10km. 

 

We could well be on for that all-Dutch podium. 

 

It doesn't look like Neben's going to surprise us again. She's 51 seconds down on Van der Breggen as it stands. She's almost halfway through the course. 

 

Cordon Ragot is 1:53 down at the intermediate. 

 

Ludwig is coming to the checkpoint but she's not going to be in the mix today. She's 1:35 down. 

 

Van Vleuten is nearing the checkpoint. She still looks to be up on Van der Breggen. 

 

Another good Canadian ride. 36:41 for Karol-Ann Canuel. That's 6th provisionally. 

 

Here comes Van Vleuten to the checkpoint....

 

19 seconds up!

 

Van Vleuten catches Neben!

 

The 2016 world champion started 1:30 ahead of her. 

Just 7km to go for Van Vleuten who still appears to be extending her lead over Van der Breggen. This is her world title to lose now. 

 

Van Vleuten is perhaps fading slightly. She went past Neben but the American is still close at hand, and the live gap to Van der Breggen seems to have dropped by a couple of seconds to 23. 

 

20 seconds now for Van Vleuten. It's dropping. 

 

A downhill section now, though, and she shouldn't lost too much time in the last 4km. 

 

Ragot finishes 15th provisionally. 

 

It doesn't look like Worrack, Neben, Pirrone or Ludwig will be troubling the medals, so this is all about Van Vleuten now. 

 

Van Vleuten's live lead drops to 18 seconds. It's falling, but not quickly enough for Van der Breggen. 

 

Van Vleuten has just two kilometres to hold on. 

 

16 seconds now but she's into the final kilometre...

 

Van Vleuten is bearing down on Worrack in the final km.

 

It's down to 14 seconds but Van Vleuten is digging in. 

 

Van Vleuten comes round Worrack and bursts for the line. 

 

Van Vleuten does it!

 

Annemiek Van Vleuten (Netherlands) wins the 2018 elite women's time trial world title

 

34:25 was Van Vleuten's time.

 

It appears those live timings were misleading, because that's a full 28 seconds up on Van der Breggen. 

 

Top 10

 

1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) - 34:25

2. Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) - 34:54

3. Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands) - 35:50

4. Leah Kirchmann (Canada) - 35:52

5. Leah Thomas (USA) - 35:57

6. Lucinda Brand (Netherlands) - 36:07

7. Amber Neben (USA) - 36:12

8. Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada) - 36:41

9. Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) - 36:42

10. Tayler WIles (USA) - 36:56

 

 

"There are not so many who have won the World Championships twice," says Van Vleuten. 

 

"For sure I had some pressure but I also had to last year, so it's no different. If you're here starting, you want to win. And I know how beautiful the rainbow jersey is."

More from Van Vleuten...

"The hard thing about this TT was that there were uphills but on the descents there was no recovery - you also needed to push, so the legs were screaming to stop pedalling on the descents but you have to keep going otherwise you lose time. So I was riding 80kmh on the descents but I could still pedal. That's the difference with juniors - we have bigger gears. You had to push on the descents and that made it almost a flat time trial with hills.

 

"I know I took some time in the first part but I also felt I went out pretty fast. At nationals I went out too slow so I felt I had to start fast and then die at the end. It's not nice to do, but I saw yesterday in the juniors and U23s that people had trouble in second part. I also was in trouble but then you have a good TT I think."

 

Here's our report page

 

World Championships: Van Vleuten leads Dutch sweep of women's time trial
 

 

Van der Breggen has a face of stone as the three Dutchwomen line up for the podium ceremony. No glance between the two as Van Vleuten moves past and into the middle ahead of her trip to the top step. 

It's frightening to think there was 1 minute 25 seconds between the gold and bronze medals. In fact, only seven riders were within two minutes. 

 

Tomorrow it's the elite men's TT.

 

Here are the start times

 

 

 

For all the photos from today's race, we have a gallery in our stage report. 

 

World Championships: Van Vleuten leads Dutch sweep of women's time trial

 

Time to wrap up here. Keep your eyes on CN for all the news and reaction from Innsbruck, and join us again right here tomorrow for live coverage of the elite men's TT. 

 

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