Riders React: Women's Individual Time Trial at Road World ChampionshipsTue 24 Sep 2013
Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands) won the elite women’s individual time trial world championship in Florence ahead of Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) and Carmen Small (USA). The Dutch powerhouse set a time of 27’48 over the 22.05km course, dominating the race from start to finish with the fastest time at both intermediate splits. Villumsen finished 24” behind Van Dijk to capture the silver medal while Small narrowly edged out Evelyn Stevens (USA) for the bronze medal at 28”.
Emma Johansson (Sweden) secured the final spot in the top ten, 52” behind Van Dijk. It is the first time the Swedish National Time Trial Champion has cracked the top ten in the race against the clock at Worlds.
“I felt quite okay during the race,” said Johansson. “Obviously it hurt as it should when doing a time trial. Considering the course, I did reasonably way. Dead flat and not very technical doesn’t suit me. I struggled a bit to keep the high speed that riders like Ellen can maintain. I died a bit towards the end. I was feeing stiff from pulling those heavy gears for so long.”
“This is my first top ten in a time trial at the World Championships,” Johansson continued. “I’m happy with that. My time trialing has improved this year, and I wanted to do a good result here because of that even though the course didn’t suit me. More than anything, I’m happy that the form is good. That’s the most important thing for me. The road race on Saturday is my main objective.”
Australian National Time Trial Champion Shara Gillow had been considered in the running for a medal in Tuesday’s event. Rather than capping off her fantastic season with a sixth podium in the time trial, Gillow found herself outside the top ten in 12th place at 1’20.
“I’m very disappointed with my ride today,” said Shara Gillow. “There’s no way I can pretend to be anything else. I give everything I can on any given day. I’m pretty upset by what I had to give today. We all have bad days, and this was one of mine.“
“Big congrats to Ellen for taking the win,” Gillow added. “She really deserved it. Although I’m disappointed about today, I know that this has been my most successful season I have had to date. I’m happy about that, and I’m looking forward to the road race on Saturday.”
Loes Gunnewijk (Netherlands) finished 4” behind Gillow to slot into 14th place. Happy with her personal results, Gunnewijk was also thrilled to see her compatriot earn the gold medal.
“It was hard!” said Gunnewijk. “I did everything I could and had nothing more in the legs, so I was satisfied with that. It was nice to see my roommate become world champion today. I’m so happy for Ellen.”
Johansson, Gillow and Gunnewijk line up for the elite women’s road race on Saturday at the Road World Championship. Gillow is joined by Amanda Spratt, Gracie Elvin and Tiffany Cromwell on the Australian National Team to give ORICA-AIS six starters in the final race of the season.