The Olympic silver medalist was so strong that she managed to overtake her minute-woman Lisa Brennaur (Germany), who herself was fast enough to take a bronze medal.
Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands) was the only rider to come within a minute of Reusser’s time, but had to settle for the silver medal.
In the absence of world champion Anna van der Breggen and Olympic champion Annemiek van Vleuten, Reusser was untouchable, and Van Dijk was the only rider who managed to come anywhere remotely near her victorious time.
This is the first time the Women’s European Championship time trial has been won by a rider outside of the Netherlands, after Van der Breggen won it last year, and Van Dijk the four years before.
Reusser looked extremely powerful on the flat route, clocking 27:13 over the distance of 22.4 kilometres.
"I really liked the parcours. I already knew I had super-good legs at the moment. It was just about really going as fast as I can," she said.
"It was a nice TT. It was fast from the beginning to the end. So I’m really happy."
Reusser's next target will be the road race on Saturday, in which she’ll represent Switzerland alongside Elise Chabby, but she also laid down a marker ahead of the World Championships in Belgium later this month.
"We have two strong riders in the team, so let's see what we get there. But my next big, big goal is the time trial in Belgium. It is on my 30th birthday, so I really want to make myself a big gift there."
How it unfolded
The riders took on the flat 22.4km route on a warm day in Trento for the second day of the 2021 European Road Championships, with no hint of any wind that might have affected the outcome of the race.
Lisa Klein was the early pace-setter. The German caught her minute-woman Elena Cecchini (Italy), who suffered a mechanical just as the pass was being made, and posted the quickest time at the intermediate check-point 11.1km into the route.
Klein’s time at the finish was 35:03, which was good enough to see off challengers from riders like Riejanne Markus - who was, along with Van Dijk, one of the two riders representing the Netherlands in the absence of Anna van der Breggen and Annemiek van Vleuten - as well as Valeriya Kononenko (Ukraine), Vittoria Bussi (Italy), and Anna Kiesenhofer (Austria), who was riding her first race since becoming a household name by winning the Olympic road race.
The first rider to better Klein’s time at the intermediate sprint was her teammate Lisa Brennauer, who went three seconds quicker, but hopes for a German gold took a big hit just moments later, when Reusser smashed that new best time by over half a minute.
It was a blistering first half of her ride, and suggested that the Olympic silver medallist was on course to go one better this time. But the last rider out on the course, Van Dijk, made sure the contest remained alive, by posting a time just seven seconds slower at the intermediate check.
Reusser was on a mission, however, and her superiority became even clearer when she started to bear down on Brennauer. Brennauer might have benefited from the catch being made, as she enjoyed some benefit from remaining not too far from the Swiss rider's slipstream.
After catching Brennauer, Reusser’s next target was Bussi, who was also caught and passed by Brennauer.
Reusser’s time at the finish was a whopping 1:21 faster than Klein, who found herself knocked off the hot seat and pushed down to third in a matter of moments as her teammate Brennauer also bettered her time.
Klein was then dropped out of the medals as Van Dijk reached the finish, 19 seconds slower.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country)||Result|
|1||Marlen Reusser (Switzerland)||0:27:13|
|2||Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands)||0:00:19|
|3||Lisa Brennauer (Germany)||0:01:02|
|4||Lisa Klein (Germany)||0:01:22|
|5||Riejanne Markus (Netherlands)||0:01:43|
|6||Valeriya Kononenko (Ukraine)||0:01:52|
|7||Anna Kiesenhofer (Austria)||0:02:00|
|8||Vittoria Bussi (Italy)||0:02:09|
|9||Sara Van De Vel (Belgium)||0:02:13|
|10||Emma Norsgaard (Denmark)||0:02:18|
|11||Nathalie Eklund (Sweden)||0:02:25|
|12||Alena Amialusik (Belarus)||0:02:28|
|13||Ann-Sophie Duyck (Belgium)||0:02:30|
|14||Aurela Nerlo (Poland)||0:02:32|
|15||Audrey Cordon-Ragot (France)||0:02:36|
|16||Katrine Aalerud (Norway)||0:02:39|
|17||Tamara Dronova-Balabolina (Russia)||0:02:40|
|18||Omer Shapira (Israel)||0:02:42|
|19||Karolina Karasiewicz (Poland)||0:02:49|
|20||Elise Chabbey (Switzerland)||0:02:50|
|21||Ganna Solovei (Ukraine)||0:03:01|
|22||Dana Rozlapa (Latvia)||0:03:02|
|23||Eugenia Bujak (Slovenia)||0:03:06|
|24||Gabriela Erharter (Austria)||0:03:18|
|25||Elena Cecchini (Italy)||0:03:30|
|26||Tatiana Antoshina (Russia)||0:03:38|
|27||Rote Gafinovitz (Israel)||0:03:44|
|28||Claire Faber (Luxembourg)||0:03:48|
|29||Lourdes Oyarbide (Spain)||0:04:10|
|30||Hafdis Sigurdardottir (Iceland)||0:04:24|
|31||Gloria Rodriguez (Spain)||0:04:52|
|32||Viktorija Senkute (Lithuania)||0:05:06|
|33||Tereza Medvedova (Slovakia)||0:06:16|
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