Van Vleuten wins the world time trial championship to bring the rainbow jersey to ORICA-SCOTT

Tue 19 Sep 2017

Dutch champion Annemiek van Vleuten has claimed the gold medal with an impressive ride in the women’s time trial event at the UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Bergen, Norway today. 

The performance secures the coveted rainbow jersey for ORICA-SCOTT for the first time in history, after yesterday’s confirmation that the 34-year-old has re-signed with the team for the next two years.

Van Vleuten won the event by 12seconds to compatriot Anna van der Breggen with Australian Katrin Garfoot in third to give ORICA-SCOTT two riders on the podium.

“I still cannot believe it,” van Vleuten said after her victory.

“This season I keep surprising myself with what I can do. To be world champion in the time trial I never thought I would be able (to do) this.  This year I started to believe in it and to finish it off is incredible.

“It was really hard because it started almost pouring rain on the course. I did my practice in the dry conditions so I had to be really careful and for sure I lost some time there.

“I still focused on what I needed to do and Loes Gunnewijk, my coach, was coaching me really well. That was special, she was once before my teammate and now she was coaching me.

“I heard on the climb I was on almost the same time as Anna but in the last five kilometres I heard I was faster so I gave it everything to the finish.” 

It’s been a miraculous turnaround for van Vleuten, who just over 12months ago took a heavy fall whilst leading at the Olympic Games in Rio. The ORICA-SCOTT rider said the experience has made her stronger. 

“To have up and downs, and sometimes some real downs, makes the ups even more beautiful,” she said. “This is beautiful without a crash in Rio, but that makes the story really, really special.” 

How it happened:

As the field started to roll down the start ramp for the 21.1km race against the clock in Norway the weather was cold but dry. 

Van der Breggen was second down the ramp and set an early benchmark of 29:02.51 with those immediately to follow well off the pace.

Van Vleuten was the first to look to threaten Van der Breggen, passing the first intermediate split less than one-second behind her Dutch teammate. 

Shortly afterwards the rain hit and made for wet roads as the 34-year-old tackled the hardest section of the course that included a climb to the second split.

The ORICA-SCOTT rider drifted slightly to 3.81seconds from the lead at the second split but a superb backend performance saw her turn it into a 12second lead by the third intermediate split at 16.5km before holding it to the line. 

After her bronze medal in 2016, Garfoot was the third-to-last rider off the ramp. 

After a steady start that saw her eighth fastest at the first split, the Australian lifted the pace over the climb to move into third overall at the second intermediate split – a position she held until the finish of competition. 

UCI Road Cycling World Championship – Women’s TT Results:

1.Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands/ORICA-SCOTT) 28:50.35
2. Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands/Boels Dolmans) +12.16
3. Katrin Garfoot (Australia/ORICA-SCOTT) +37.95

Photo courtesy of TDWsport.