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World Championships 2018: Van Vleuten comfortable winner on all Dutch podium

Joe Robinson
25 Sep 2018

Four Dutch riders in the top 10 as Van Vleuten defends her rainbow jersey. Photos: Innsbruck-Tirol 2018 / BettiniPhoto

The elite women's World Championship individual time trial proved an all-Dutch affair as Annemiek van Vleuten pipped compatriots Anna van der Breggen and Ellen van Dijk to claim the rainbow jersey. 

Van Vleuten managed to hold on throughout the second half of the course to beat Van der Breggen by 29 seconds, securing her second consecutive world time trial title.

The 35-year-old covered the 28.5km course in a time of 34 minutes, 25 seconds.

The Dutch registered four riders in the top 10, thanks to Lucinda Brand's sixth place, while the Americans also managed an impressive showing with fifth, seventh and tenth for Leah Thomas, Amber Neben and Tayler Wiles respectively.

Bronze medalist Van Dijk took the early hot seat, taking the place of Brand, before seeing her time bettered by almost a minute by Van der Breggen. Last to roll off the ramp was eventual winner Van Vleuten, who took a healthy lead at the first time split.

Timings on course suggested that the Mitchelton-Scott rider was then haemorrhaging seconds in the final few kilometres to her Dutch teammate, with it almost dropping to 10 seconds from 24 seconds over a short distance.

However, these proved confused as by the time Van Vleuten had crossed the line she had bettered Van der Breggen's time by half a minute.

Eventually, Van Vleuten looked comfortable in victory dominating the course, setting the fastest times at each of the intermediate splits. 

As for British interests, Alice Barnes and Hayley Simmonds posted competitive results finishing 22nd and 23rd respectively.

Speaking after her victory, Van Vleuten commented, 'You just want to win the jersey and I know how it is to train and race in this jersey' before looking forward to the elite road race this Saturday, of which she is favourite for victory.

She also spoke of how the course was uncompromising stating that 'the hard thing was not the uphill but that there was no recovery in the descent.

'Riding 80kmh in descent but pushing the gear downhill.'

There will be little time for Van Vleuten to celebrate as she now focuses her attention on taking a maiden world road race title.

Alongside Van Der Breggen and defending champion and fellow Dutchwoman, Chantal Blaak, Van Vleuten will look for yet another Dutch clean sweep of the elite women's world road jerseys.

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