Chloe Dygert Owen wins elite women's individual time trial

Chloe Dygert Owen (United States) claimed an emphatic victory in the elite women's time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, a remarkable 1:33 clear of Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) and some 1:52 up on the defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands).

In the race of truth, the numbers say it all. Dygert Owen's winning margin is the biggest since individual time trials were first introduced to the World Championships a quarter of a century ago, beating the previous record of 1:27, established by Fabian Cancellara in 2009.

On a rainsoaked afternoon in and around Harrogate, an arid truth quickly revealed itself: Dygert Owen was in a race entirely of her own. From the moment she caught and passed 2014 champion Lisa Brennauer (Germany) for one minute inside the opening 12km, it was apparent that the world title was hers to lose.

Seven more riders suffered the same fate as Brennauer over the remainder of the 30.4km course, as Dygert Owen cruised by the riders who started in the eight minutes before she did. It was a show of force that brought to mind Miguel Indurain's crushing time trial victory in Luxembourg on the 1992 Tour de France.

The heavy rain that swept across Yorkshire on Tuesday morning during the under-23 men's time trial saw the race start delayed by half an hour to allow some of the surface water to be removed from the course, while riders set off at one-minute intervals rather than 90-second intervals as had been originally planned.

Dygert Owen made light of the treacherous conditions, however, hurtling around the undulating 30.4km course at an average speed in excess of 43kph. There were 19 riders still to finish when she crossed the line and bumped Alena Amialiusik (Belarus) from the hotseat, but it was already impossible to imagine anyone else donning the rainbow bands on the Harrogate podium.

By that point, Van Vleuten, the last rider down the start ramp, had gone through the 14.2km mark some 1:10 down on the flying Dygert Owen. Rather than targeting a third successive world title, Van Vleuten was now locked in a battle for silver with her fellow countrywoman Van der Breggen, who was just marginally slower at the same point.

The Dutch derby eventually fell the way of Van der Breggen, who rode strongly through the second part of the course to claim the silver medal. Van Vleuten was the only other rider to finish within two minutes of Dygert Owen.

Only two other riders managed to finish within three minutes of the American. Amber Neben (United States) delivered a solid display to place 4th, 2:38 down, while Lisa Klein (Germany) took 5th, a further two seconds back. Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) claimed 6th, just ahead of Leah Thomas (United States).

Lucina Brand (Netherlands) took 8th place, 3:15 down on Dygert Owen, and she jokingly recounted to NOS what she had told the American on meeting her at the finish area: "I asked her, did you drive in or something?"


Still only 22 years of age, Dygert Owen produced a performance on Tuesday that would have been good enough to place her 11th in the under-23 men's time trial, held on the same course that morning, which would have put her just ahead of a Tour de l'Avenir winner and a WorldTour professional.

"I really prepared well for this race, and I spent the past week with three-time Olympic gold medallist Kristen Armstrong," Dygert Owen said afterwards. "I was really well prepared. We focused on this race this year. I was coming back from injury, my concussion last year, and this is what we've prepared for and now we're looking forward to Tokyo."

Dygert Owen missed almost a year after racing after suffering a concussion at the 2018 Tour of California but has scarcely missed a beat since returning, winning time trial gold at the Pan American Games and dominating the recent Colorado Classic.

This was the eighth rainbow jersey of Dygert Owen's career and her first on the road since she won both the road race and time trial as a junior at the Richmond Worlds in 2015. Since then, she has claimed the individual pursuit world title on two occasions, setting the world record in Apeldoorn last year, and she has been part of the winning American team pursuit effort on three occasions. 

"It's always very special to wear the stripes," Dygert Owen said. "I'm really happy with the result and super thankful to everyone who believed in me."

The day's early pacesetter was Alena Amialiusik, but Dygert Owen blasted through the 14.2km mark some 2:30 quicker than the Belarusian, who faded slightly in the second part of the course but still finished 9th on the day. Brennaeur, who suffered the shock of being caught so early by Dygert Owen, limited the damage as best she could to place 10th, 3:19 down on the American.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chloe Dygert Owen (United States) 0:42:11
2Anna Van der Breggen (Netherlands) 0:01:32
3Annemiek Van Vleuten (Netherlands) 0:01:52
4Amber Leone Neben (United States) 0:02:38
5Lisa Klein (Germany) 0:02:40
6Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) 0:03:02
7Leah Thomas (United States) 0:03:12
8Lucinda Brand (Netherlands) 0:03:15
9Alena Amialiusik (Belarus) 0:03:17
10Lisa Brennauer (Germany) 0:03:19
11Amanda Spratt (Australia) 0:03:57
12Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada) 0:04:23
13Omer Shapira (Israel) 0:04:29
14Lisa Nordén (Sweden) 0:04:30
15Juliette Labous (France) 0:04:32
16Alice Barnes (Great Britain)
17Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) 0:04:35
18Pernille Mathiesen (Denmark) 0:04:36
19Anastasiia Chursina (Russian Federation) 0:04:37
20Anna Kiesenhofer (Austria) 0:04:39
21Vita Heine (Norway) 0:04:57
22Elise Chabbey (Switzerland) 0:05:09
23Louise Hansen (Denmark) 0:05:15
24Kelly Murphy (Ireland) 0:05:32
25Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus) 0:05:33
26Hayley Simmonds (Great Britain) 0:05:35
27Olga Zabelinskaya (Uzbekistan) 0:05:42
28Olga Shekel (Ukraine) 0:05:52
29Eri Yonamine (Japan) 0:05:54
30Audrey Cordon Ragot (France) 0:05:56
31Katrine Aalerud (Norway) 0:06:00
32Ashleigh Moolman-pasio (South Africa) 0:06:15
33Julie Van de Velde (Belgium) 0:06:22
34Anna Turvey (Ireland)
35Vittoria Bussi (Italy) 0:06:28
36Anna Plichta (Poland) 0:06:33
37Rotem Gafinovitz (Israel) 0:06:52
38Teniel Campbell TTO 0:07:17
39Gloria Rodriguez Sanchez (Spain) 0:07:18
40Tiffany Keep (South Africa)
41Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spain) 0:07:52
42Gillian Ellsay (Canada) 0:07:59
43Andrea Ramírez Fregoso (Mexico) 0:08:33
44Maria Novolodskaya (Russian Federation) 0:08:38
45Desiet Kidane (Eritrea)
46Valeriya Kononenko (Ukraine) 0:08:55
47Agua Marina Espinola (Paraguay) 0:09:08
48Fernanda Yapura (Argentina) 0:09:11
49Agusta Edda Bjornsdottir ISL 0:09:39
50Ting Ting Chang (Chinese Taipei) 0:10:11
51Ana Paula Polegatch (Brazil) 0:10:29
52Latefa Alyaseen (Kuweit) 0:19:37
53Noura Alomairi (Kuweit) 0:20:29

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