World championships: Judith Arndt powers through the rain for women’s time trial gold
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

World championships: Judith Arndt powers through the rain for women’s time trial gold

by Ben Atkins at 11:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, World Championships
 
German finally turns silver and bronze into gold; Villumsen takes one step up the podium; Pooley medals on a course that doesn’t suit her

Judith ArndtJudith Arndt (Germamy) has finally won the World time trial championship, with a powerful, rain affected ride through the Danish capital Copenhagen. After taking the bronze medal in 1997 and 2008, and silver in 2003, 2004 and 2010, the HTC-Highroad rider finally has the rainbow jersey against the clock to go with the road race one that she won in 2004, and the two that she has from the track.

Arndt completed the 27.8km in a time of 37:07.38, to knock former teammate Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) off the top spot by 21.73 seconds. Villumsen, who would have been riding for Denmark had she not changed her nationality two years ago, managed to hold on to take the silver medal – going one better than the bronze that she took in the two previous years – just 2.40 seconds ahead of outgoing champion Emma Pooley (Great Britain).

"Today could not have been better," said Arndt afterwards, "I was feeling very confident after having a lot of time trial success this season, and I was feeling good physically also, after preparing my legs in the Giro Della Toscana last week.

"The bike [her HTC-Highroad Specialized Shiv - ed] was working perfectly,” she added. “I didn't have to think about it, I just concentrated on having a perfect race.

"There were a lot of corners and the course was wet, but I was able to handle everything and had no mistakes or mechanical issues."

Two times around a completely flat circuit will not be for everyone

Like the previous races before it, the women’s time trial was run over two laps, making a total distance of 27.8km. The 51 riders were to set off at ninety-second intervals, in four waves of thirteen, with defending champion Pooley the last to set off. There were to be three intermediate time checks for the riders, one midway through each lap, at 6.7km and 20.6km, as well as the first crossing of the finish line at 13.9km.

The early running was made by second rider off Elena Tchalykh of Azerbaijan, who was fastest at the first two intermediate checkpoints. Her time of 18:40.55 at the halfway point was the fastest, but at the first check of the second lap Canada’s Rhae-Christie Shaw, who had proved to have timed her ride better than the Azerbaijani, crept just ahead.

Tchalykh was the first to finish with a time of 38:08.22 and, as Kethryn Bertine (St Kitts & Nevis) crossed the line a few minutes later, some light rain began to fall.

Shaw managed to hold her speed right to the finish and knocked Tchalykh off the top of the standings with 37:46.51; at 21.61 faster, it was to prove to be the fastest time set by the first wave.

Shaw’s time was to hold until midway through the second wave when compatriot Clara Hughes set off. The 38-year-old multiple Olympian, who took World time trial bronze in 1995, was only 2.93 slower than the fastest time set by Tchalykh at first check, and caught Dinah Chan (Singapore) before she reached the next one.

Hughes was 19.39 up on Shaw at half way, but began to slow slightly in the dampening conditions as the rain began to get heavier. At the finish, after riding the second lap on progressively wetter roads, she crossed in a new best time of 37:44.17; she was only 2.44 seconds ahead of her compatriot after being slowed by the conditions, but it was enough to go into the lead of a Canadian one-two.

And the rain came…

With the rain now falling heavily, none of the riders in the middle of the field was able to threaten the two Canadians’ times, and it was not until Ellen van Dijk of the Netherlands started towards the end of the third wave did anyone come close. The former Dutch champion, who won the time trial of the Holland Ladies Tour in the weeks before the race, was just 7.12 seconds slower than Tchalykh at the first check.

The rain had eased off as the later starters set out but the roads were soaking wet by now; there were a number of puddles on the course and a great many white lines that had to be treated with care. Ina Teutenberg (Germany) caught Martina Ruzickova for one and a half minutes, just before the cobbled square and the über-sprinter powered away from the tentative Czech rider.

At the halfway point Van Dijk had reduced her deficit to just 5.24 seconds, and was steadily getting faster. The HTC-Highroad rider, despite the rain, appeared to have timed her ride well and at the final checkpoint she had cut it to just 4.60 seconds.

Having also got steadily faster over the second lap, Giro d’Italia stage winner Shara Gillow (Australia) crossed the line in third place 23.76 behind Hughes.

Marianne Vos (Netherlands), riding her first ever World championship time trial, sprinted out of the start house, clearly meaning business. Meanwhile, van Dijk was sprinting all the way to the line but was just short, finishing 2.09 outside to slot into second place in between the two Canadians.

Tara Whitten, the top-seeded of the Canadians went through the first checkpoint just 3.27 down on Tchalukh and was closing in on her two teammates. Shortly afterwards, Villumsen, who two years ago would have been a local rider, went through just 5.66 down; Vos though, did not seem to be going at the pace that her initial enthusiasm had indicated was 10.19 behind at the 5.7km point.

The favourites are on the course and the times at last begin to tumble

As the final three riders set off, 2008 champion Amber Neben (USA) was just 4.66 seconds down at the first check; Arndt appeared to be on a similar ride to Vos, at 9.63 seconds behind, but Pooley, on a course that didn’t suit her in the slightest was only 4.21 seconds behind at that point and seemed on course for a highly unexpected medal.

At the halfway point, Villumsen had cut her deficit to just 1.94 seconds and, as the roads were beginning to dry, was getting faster and faster. Whitten meanwhile, was holding steady and was still 4.53 behind Hughes at the final checkpoint and seemed to be heading for a provisional silver medal.

Having seemed to be going slowly at the first checkpoint, Arndt was just 1.51 seconds down at halfway, somehow pulling more than ten seconds back in the second sector. Her former teammate Villumsen was doing likewise, and was fastest at 20.6km, 3.28 faster than Hughes and heading for the lead. Incredibly, Pooley was just 0.86 behind the time of Hughes at halfway, possibly heading for a successful defence of her rainbow jersey.

Villumsen almost lost it on a sharp right hander as her back wheel skipped, but she managed to hold it and get the power back on again quickly. Whitten though, somehow found some speed in the final sector and shot across the line 10.63 faster than Hughes in a time of 37:47.17 to put Canada in the gold and silver medal positions once more.

Shortly after Whitten finished though, she was knocked down into second place, as Villumsen took the lead from her, 4.43 seconds faster with 37:29.11. Arndt was 8.28 seconds faster than the New Zealander at final check though, and still accelerating towards the finish. Pooley meanwhile, was 12.21 seconds behind Arndt at final check.

The German was storming into the finish by now, and crossed the line in 37:07.38 to knock Villumsen, her former teammate off the top step by 21.73 seconds. Shortly behind her Pooley took the bronze medal and knocked Whitten off the podium altogether.

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World road race championship Elite Women's Time Trial Results: Copenhagen (27.8km)

  Click on the arrowsat the top of the column to sort the race results.
Country Result Name Team Time
ger GER 1 Judith Arndt (Team HTC-Highroad Women) 00:37:07
nzl NZL 2 Linda Villumsen (AA Drink - Leontien.nl) 00:00:21
gbr GBR 3 Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo) 00:00:24
can CAN 4 Tara Whitten (Team TIBCO - To The Top) 00:00:26
can CAN 5 Clara Hughes () 00:00:36
ned NED 6 Ellen Van Dijk (Team HTC-Highroad Women) 00:00:38
can CAN 7 Rhae-christie Shaw () 00:00:39
usa USA 8 Amber Neben (Team HTC-Highroad Women) 00:00:41
swe SWE 9 Emilia Fahlin (Team HTC-Highroad Women) 00:00:55
ned NED 10 Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) s.t.
ger GER 11 Ina Yoko Teutenberg (Team HTC-Highroad Women) 00:00:56
aus AUS 12 Shara Gillow () 00:01:00
AZE 13 Elena Chalykh () s.t.
swe SWE 14 Emma Johansson (Team Hitec Products Uck ) 00:01:01
usa USA 15 Evelyn Stevens (Team HTC-Highroad Women) 00:01:21
rus RUS 16 Olga Zabelinskaya (Diadora-Pasta Zara) 00:01:25
gbr GBR 17 Julia Shaw () 00:01:49
ita ITA 18 Noemi Cantele (Garmin-Cervelo) 00:01:58
sui SUI 19 Pascale Schnider () s.t.
fin FIN 20 Pia Sundstedt () 00:02:01
fra FRA 21 Mélodie Lesueur () 00:02:04
ltu LTU 22 Aleksandra Sosenko () 00:02:08
ukr UKR 23 Olena Pavlukhina () 00:02:19
bel BEL 24 Latoya Brulee (Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012) 00:02:29
est EST 25 Grete Treier (S.c. Michela Fanini Record Rox) 00:02:33
esp ESP 26 Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (Debabarrena - Gipuzkoa) 00:02:42
fra FRA 27 Christelle Ferrier-breneau (Gauss ) 00:02:45
cze CZE 28 Martina Sablikova () 00:02:57
rus RUS 29 Alexandra Burchenkova () 00:03:01
rsa RSA 30 Ashleigh Moolman (Lotto Honda Team) 00:03:07
aus AUS 31 Taryn Heather () 00:03:08
ita ITA 32 Elisa Longo Borghini (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo Ghezzi) 00:03:13
den DEN 33 Michelle Jensen () 00:03:19
slo SLO 34 Tjaša Rutar () 00:03:20
esp ESP 35 Eneritz Iturriaga Echevarri (Lointek ) 00:03:28
blr BLR 36 Alena Amialyusik () 00:03:29
ltu LTU 37 Katarzyna Sosna (Vaiana - Solaristech) 00:03:33
bel BEL 38 Liesbet De Vocht (Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012) 00:03:44
arg ARG 39 Valeria Muller () 00:03:52
THI 40 Nontasin Chanpeng () 00:03:59
ukr UKR 41 Tetyana Riabchenko (Forno D’Asolo Colavita) 00:04:00
MEX 42 Veronica Leal Baldaras (S.c. Michela Fanini Record Rox) 00:04:07
slo SLO 43 Alenka Novak () 00:04:12
KNA 44 Kathryn Bertine () 00:04:17
THA 45 Chapookam Monrudee () 00:04:21
aut AUT 46 Jacqueline Hahn (Kuota Speed Kueens) 00:04:48
SNG 47 Siew Kheng Dinah Chan () 00:04:56
kaz KAZ 48 Yelena Antonova () 00:05:21
cze CZE 49 Martina Ruzickova (S.c. Michela Fanini Record Rox) 00:05:46
SYR 50 Seba Alraai () 00:09:40
GUY 51 Claire Louise Fraser () 00:09:45

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