World championship time trial: Ellen van Dijk roars to second rainbow jersey

Van Dijk scores third-straight TT world title for Dutch team, beating Marlen Reusser and Annemiek van Vleuten.

Photo: Getty Images

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Ellen van Dijk put in a dominant ride to claim her second time trial world title Monday.

Van Dijk spent much of the day in the hot seat after setting a crushingly fast time early in the race and had to endure a tense wait as Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) came close to toppling her mark.

Reusser was unable to repeat her recent European championship victory over van Dijk and finished second, while van Vleuten made it a Dutch one-three on the podium.

The win was van Dijk’s second world title after also winning in 2013. The 34-year-old Trek-Segafredo rider has enjoyed a stellar late-summer, winning the European road race title and placing second to Reusser in the Euros TT.

“It’s so emotional, it’s been a dream so long to get that world title again,” van Dijk said.

“Everything felt so good this year, but there was Marlen Reusser, so strong, so strong. I knew I had a really good level, but I knew also she was super strong. The last couple of weeks she (Reusser) beat me in every time trial and I knew it would be super-difficult to win – I would have to race the best ever time trial.”

Now with 32 individual and team time trial victories over a 15-season stretch, van Dijk is undoubtedly one of the dominant time trialists of her generation.

“This is my discipline, and this was a really good course for me, and I put everything into it,” she said. “It’s really a dream come true.”

Van Dijk set a staggeringly fast mark toward the start of the day and was the first rider to cover the 30km course at a pace faster than 50kph. Van Dijk topped countrywoman Riejanne Markus’ early ride into the hotseat by two minutes, and her spot at the top of the scoresheet went untroubled for some time afterward.

Van Dijk’s time looked unstoppable until the final flurry of riders rolled down the ramp in Knokke-Heist. The American veteran Amber Neben was in the final five starters and pushed out a strong opening half of the course and hung tough through the final to post a time that left her fourth at the end of the day.

As expected, Reusser was the first serious threat to van Dijk’s gold medal position and went a fraction faster than the Dutchwoman through the first section of the course. Van Vleuten followed soon behind Reusser but was lagging 16 seconds back on her Swiss rival after the 14km time check.

Reusser held her form through the final stretch of the course but was unable to match van Dijk’s red-hot finish, crossing the line 11 seconds down on the Dutchwoman to finish second.

Like Reusser, van Vleuten was unable to hit the finishing speed of van Dijk and finished third, 24 seconds back. Van Dijk burst into tears when her countrywoman came to the finish in the realization that she had scored her second rainbow jersey after an agonizingly long wait in the race-leader’s chair.

Californian rider Leah Thomas was among the first batch of starters and posted a strong ride that left her 14th overall. She will now recover and refocus on the road race Saturday.

Defending champion Anna van der Breggen and 2019 rainbow jersey Chloé Dygert did not race.

World Championships WE - ITT Results

Time Trial
1VAN DIJK EllenNetherlands36:05
2REUSSER MarlenSwitzerland0:10
3VAN VLEUTEN AnnemiekNetherlands0:24
4NEBEN AmberUnited States1:24
5BRENNAUER LisaGermany1:29
6LABOUS JulietteFrance1:47
7KLEIN LisaGermany1:52
8LOWDEN JoscelinGreat Britain1:59
9MARKUS RiejanneNetherlands1:59
10AMIALIUSIK AlenaBelarus2:19
11KIRCHMANN LeahCanada2:34
12NORSGAARD EmmaDenmark2:43
13CANUEL Karol-AnnCanada2:48
14THOMAS LeahUnited States2:50
15KONONENKO ValeriyaUkraine2:50
16CORDON-RAGOT AudreyFrance2:56
17KIESENHOFER AnnaAustria2:56
18EKLUND NathalieSweden2:57
19BUJAK EugeniaSlovenia2:59
20KARASIEWICZ KarolinaPoland3:04
21JASKULSKA MartaPoland3:06
22VAN DE VELDE JulieBelgium3:07
23SHAPIRA OmerIsrael3:15
24GUAZZINI VittoriaItaly3:17
25GEORGI PfeifferGreat Britain3:18
26SOLOVEI GannaUkraine3:30
27AALERUD KatrineNorway3:31
28ROŽLAPA DanaLatvia3:38
29PIRRONE ElenaItaly4:08
30VAN DE VEL SaraBelgium4:08
31KOERNER RebeccaDenmark4:08
32GAFINOVITZ RotemIsrael4:19
34HERNÁNDEZ Lina MarcelaColombia4:22
35ISASI ZiortzaSpain4:31
36YAPURA Fernanda AnabelArgentina4:33
37BJORNSDÓTTIR Agusta EddaIceland4:54
38JANSE VAN RENSBURG FrancesSouth Africa5:16
39KUSKOVA YaninaUzbekistan5:19
40PREEN HayleySouth Africa5:36
41CAMPOS DanielaPortugal5:47
42COLMENARES Yeny LorenaColombia6:15
43SOMRAT PhetdarinThailand6:44
44GUNNARSDÓTTIR Bríet KristýIceland7:07
45ROLAND LucianaArgentina7:39
46TESFALEM AdyamEritrea8:43
47INGABIRE DianeRwanda9:12
48MALIK KanzaPakistan14:49
49JAN AsmaPakistan15:44

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.

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