Aigul Gareeva (Russia) claimed the junior women’s time trial at the World Championships in Yorkshire despite taking a wrong turn in the final kilometre.
The Russian overcame that mishap to beat European champion Shirin van Anrooij (Netherlands) to the rainbow jersey by three seconds, while home favourite Elynor Backstedt (Great Britain) had to settle for the bronze medal.
Gareeva recorded the best time at the intermediate checkpoint, just 0.67 seconds quicker than Backstedt, but the Russian began to stretch out her advantage over the second part of the 13km course.
As she passed beneath the flamme rouge, Gareeva looked a likely world champion, but her hitherto smooth display suddenly hit turbulence with a shade under 300 metres to go, when she followed the deviation on the left for race vehicles instead of swinging right onto the finishing straight.
Gareeva quickly realised her error and turned back onto the course but the incident cost her upwards of a dozen seconds and took away all momentum before the final drag to the line. The Russian shook her head as she entered the final 100 metres but on crossing the line she found she had still recorded the best time, just over three seconds up on Van Anrooij.
"There was a kind of mess in my head, and I kept going. People showed me the way and I went right. I don’t really know what happened really," Gareeva said afterwards. "I knew that I was the best, but I won by just a small bit of time."
Only two riders were left to finish when Gareeva took the lead: Camilla Alessio (Italy) and Backstedt, who had deftly and narrowly avoided a calamitous crash on a wet corner in the opening section of the course.
Alessio never threatened Gareeva’s winning time but did enough for provisional third place, and the Italian remained at the finish line to await Backstedt’s arrival.
Backstedt was unable to match Gareeva’s pace over the back end of the course but the Gent-Wevelgem winner bounded up the final drag towards the finish to limit her deficit to 11 seconds, which was enough to secure the bronze medal for the second successive year.
Alessio, silver medalist in the discipline in Innsbruck twelve months ago, had to endure the disappointment of missing out on the podium by four seconds, while Wilma Olausson (Sweden) claimed fifth place, 17 seconds down on Gareeva.
The morning’s earlier pace-setters had included American riders Zoe Ta-Perez and Megan Jastrab, who had to settle for seventh at 26 seconds and ninth at 51 seconds, respectively, while Leonie Bos of the Netherlands had a lengthy stint in the hot seat before placing sixth, 21 seconds back.
The world title would ultimately fall to Gareeva, who was strong enough to withstand misfortune. Seventh in Innsbruck a year ago, Gareeva took second in the time trial at the recent European Championships. Van Anrooij beat her by two seconds on that occasion, but the Russian reversed the order in Yorkshire to claim the rainbow jersey.
The racing continues on Monday afternoon with the Junior men individual time trial.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Aigul Gareeva (Russia)||0:22:16|
|2||Shirin van Anrooij (Netherlands)||0:00:03|
|3||Elynor Backstedt (Great Britain)||0:00:10|
|4||Camilla Alessio (Italy)||0:00:14|
|5||Wilma Olausson (Sweden)||0:00:16|
|6||Leonie Bos (Netherlands)||0:00:21|
|7||Zoe Ta-Perez (USA)||0:00:25|
|8||Sofia Collinelli (Italy)||0:00:35|
|9||Megan Jastrab (USA)||0:00:44|
|10||Ella Wyllie (New Zealand)||0:00:51|
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