It’s been a fantastic two days of racing, with the Junior and Elite women’s Individual Time Trial World Championships. Let’s re-live them, with videos, photos, links and more. We’ll start with the elite women – and wow, what a race!
If you want to see the entire ITT coverage, the UCI will archive their full coverage on their youtube channel, BUT it’s geo-restricted, so you might not be able to see it. UPDATE! You can if you add the Hola app, or use Tunnelbear, set your country to something like New Zealand and Spain, and you can watch it! It has the fantastic commentary from Ant McCrossan and Rochelle Gilmore – and here’s the full coverage from Dutch station NOS, with Marijn de Vries commentating.
So how did the race play out?
Worlds ITTs are different to what we see in the usual races. They’re a much smaller peloton, just 48 riders, and with the UCI promoting internationalisation, there were lots of riders who don’t race in the pro-races getting their chance to race on the World stage. This is fantastic for the riders, but it also means there’s a narrative that there are early times set that crash around the middle as the top riders come out. This time it was a bit different,
The 15th rider to start, Annika Langvad, was clearly the strongest early rider, before she’d even hit the checkpoints, one of the happy surprises of the race. Langvad may have won the Danish ITT Champion in 2011, 12 and this year, but she’s much better known as a mountain bike racer – she won the Marathon MTB World Champs in 2011 & 12, and she should have ridden the Olympics XCo, but she’d broken her finger. Denise Ramsden and Mélodie Lesueur had come in at 30:06.46 and 29:55.37, but Langvad’s power was relentless, and she finished in 28:27.69. Check out Lagvad’s stories about the race – her blog beforehand, and her video on moving from MTB to preparing for the road:
This time stood, and stood, and stood…. through the middle of the ranks, then then as some of the biggest names started and finished behind her, including Loes Gunnewijk and Elisa Longo Borghini, whose post-race interview talks about how that felt, despite her form not being 100% after breaking her hip in June. It was only when Trixi Worrack came in, living up to her “most aggressive rider” reputation by attacking the line with all her power, that Langvad was knocked off the top spot – with only nine riders to finish.
One of the riders who Langvad beat was Ganna Solovey, the two-time Junior ITT World & European Champion who was caught for steroid doping at age 19, and returned from her ban just in time to win the European u23 ITT title. Another was Olga Zabelinskaya, last year’s Road and Olympic bronze medallist, who has only ridden two races this year – Chrono Champenois and the TTT World Champs – because she was a little bit busy having her third child, who was born on the 1st of May, and there at the finish-line waiting for her.
Out on the road, one of the favourites, Shara Gillow, had a disappointing day, finishing 12th overall – while her ORICA-AIS team-mate Emma Johansson, whose big focus of the week will be the road race, got her first ever top 10 Worlds ITT placing, finishing 10th. But Trixi had been knocked off the top, by her team-mate Carmen Small, who finished in an incredible 28:16.92 – ending up beating fellow lulu and USA teamie, and last year’s silver medallist Evelyn Stevens to bronze by just 0.04 second! Here’s an interview with Carmen talking about her ride and how it feels:
By this time, it was clear what would happen in the race for gold, as Linda Villumsen was flying through the checkpoints at the fastest speed – only to have the big favourite of the race, Ellen van Dijk, smash her times behind her. Villumsen has been the most consistent rider on the ITT Worlds stage, ending up on the podium in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. She came 4th in the Olympic ITT, and took the first half of the season off, aiming for this goal of finally winning, only starting racing with Wiggle Honda at the Giro Rosa. She finished in 28:12.28, 47kph – but even that couldn’t beat Van Dijk.
This course could have been made for the Dutchwoman, and damn, she deserved this win. Last year her early, relentless attacks were one of the delights of the Olympic Road Race – you could feel her glee as she exploded off the front over and over again, getting caught and letting Gunnewijk take a turn, or getting caught and attacking AGAIN, without drawing breath, forcing the field to chase her and use up their precious energy, while they knew full well that her team-mate Marianne Vos was sitting on waiting her turn – and we know how that turned out!
Ellen’s been having an incredible year, stepping up and keeping the Specialized-lululemon team strong, despite their biggest stars, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Evie Stevens, being badly injured, and Trixi Worrack breaking her collarbone. Ellen fought her way through the spring season, lighting up the Road World Cup series, ending up second in the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Ronde van Drenthe, and third in Trofeo Binda – while fighting for the win each time. She finished the series third overall, and her GC wins in the Belgian Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour and the Dutch Energiewacht Tour left her third in the overall UCI rankings, even before the points from her Boels Rental Ladies Tour win were added. At 26, she has had the season of her life, and watching that familiar look of pain and determination on her face as she pulled on every ounce of her formidable power, to top it with another World Championships rainbow jersey was a lovely thing. Her total of gold medals? Four – the Scratch race from the 2008 Track World Championships, two TTT Worlds with Specialized-lululemon in 2011 and 2012 – and now this, and she was incredibly happy.
WORLDCHAMPION!! I am the happiest girl on the planet :)))))))))))))
— Ellen van Dijk (@ellenvdijk) September 24, 2013
Here’s her post-race interview (in English)
and here’s the moment she met the Netherlands National team after her win (so touching, even if you don’t understand Dutch!)
1. Ellen van Dijk, Netherlands, 0:27:48.18
2. Linda Villumsen, New Zealand, + 24.10
3. Carmen Small, USA, + 28.74
4. Evelyn Stevens, USA, + 28.78
5. Trixi Worrack, Germany, + 31.66
6. Annika Langvad, Denmark, + 39.51
7. Olga Zabelinskaya, Russia, + 40.30
8. Ganna Solovey, Ukraine, + 42.48
9. Tatiana Antoshina, Russia, + 42.57
10. Emma Johansson, Sweden, + 52.98
There are lots of photos from the day. My top favourites are by Wei Yuet, who has been taking gorgeous photos every day. Check out his ITT photos and his Worlds sets on flickr, and everything else on his website.
And here are more videos – the press conferences
Junior Women’s ITT
Of course, it wasn’t just the elite ITTers who raced this week. The future Van Dijks and Villumsens took to the road on Monday, and that was all drama. It’s always a turning-point for the young riders who get to race Worlds for the first time, especially for the non-European riders, who haven’t had the chance to test themselves against an international competition before. Imagine, being 17 or 18, and realising that all that time you’ve turned down the social life your friends are enjoying, and it’s all worth-while?
Australian Alexandria Nicholls was one of those riders – starting second on the 16.19km course, her time of 11:35.77 looked unbeatable, especially as the final rider on the road, the European Junior ITT Champion, Severine Eraud of France, was 13″.49 behind at the checkpoint. But the young French rider had it all under control, pulling that deficit back and more, finishing in the rainbow jersey, with another Aussie, Alexandra Manly, in third place. Remember the names in this top ten – there’ll be stars of the future in there!
1. Severine Eraud, France, 0:22:42.63
2. Alexandria Nicholls, Australia, + 02.69
3. Alxendra Manly, Australia, + 08.17
4. Zavinta Titenyte, Lithuania, + 11.49
5. Anastasiia Iakovenko, Russia, + 13.05
6. Demi de Jong, Netherlands, + 14.11
7. Kelly Catlin, USA, + 20.72
8. Floortje Mackaij, Netherlands, + 21.04
9. Kinley Gibson, Canada, + 22.81
10. Luisa Kattinger, Germany, + 23.47
There’ll be more videos and blogs and links added as I find them – and of course, if you find anything, or want to chat, please do in the comments – or talk to me on twitter as @_pigeons_. And remember, we still have the Road Races to come!