WORLDS’15 Women’s ITT: The Hero And The Villumsen
Race Report: At the halfway point it looked likely that the second rider off, Kristin Armstrong, would take the win. Enter the final wave of riders and Linda Villumsen who put in the ride of her life to win the rainbow stripes. In the junior men’s race; German Leo Appelt showed his big promise for the future.
Kristin Armstrong, the second rider off the ramp and the first rider home, looked like she would take a stunning victory at 42 years of age. That was until Linda Villumsen, Anna Van Der Breggen, Lisa Brennauer and Karin Garfoot each put in brutal rides. Villumsen was the first of them across the line and her time acted as a carrot for the fast finishing Van Der Breggen and Brennauer but neither were able to overhaul the New Zealander who took a win of tremendous class in a field packed with talent.
It was a case of close but no cigar for team USA as both Adrien Costa and Brandon McNulty took two steps of the peloton but neither did enough to beat a sensational ride by Leo Appelt (Germany) who stormed round the 30km course in 37:45.01, 17 seconds ahead of Costa. The German led at every intermediate split and his average speed of 47.68km/h would’ve been enough to place 4th in the U23 men’s time trial the day before.
World Junior Men’s Individual Time Trial Result:
1. Leo Appelt (Germany) in 37:45.01
2. Adrien Costa (USA) at 0:17.22
3. Brandon Mcnulty (USA) at 0:59.74
4. Keagan Girdlestone (South Africa) at 1:07.73
5. Gino Mader (Switzerland) at 1:11.38
6. Jasper Philipsen (Belgium) at 1:22.48
7. Niklas Larsen (Denmark) at 1:34.70
8. Tobias Foss (Norway) at 1:35.73
9. Ilya Gorbushin (Kazakhstan) at 1:52.67
10. Alexys Brunel (France) at 1:52.82.
ELITE WOMEN’S TIME TRIAL
The Elite woman’s time trial course consisted of two laps of the 15km urban course. The route heads down Monument Avenue, a wide boulevard which has been listed in the prestigious, 10 Great Streets of America award. There’s a 180 degree turn at the top and back into town before heading over the James River, which today will be ridden into a strong headwind. The riders will then head back over the river and around downtown Richmond before starting the second lap.
Old and Young
The 21 year old Corinna Lechner (Germany) was the first off the ramp but she wasn’t the first to finish, 42 year old Kristin Armstrong (USA) took that honor as she set a very fast time of 40:50.45. None of the other earlier starters were able to get close with Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland), who was a member of the silver medal winning Boels-Domans squad in the TTT earlier in the week, setting a time 2.02 slower.
As the second set of riders headed off we had our first challengers as Tara Whitten (Canada), who had taken a break from cycling for 3 years, beat Armstrong’s first intermediate split by 3 seconds and Trixi Worrack (Germany) was also within punching distance as she sat 3 seconds behind the American.
At the second time check though it was clear that Armstrong had cranked up the speed as the race went on, Whitten and Worrack came through 14 and 19 seconds back respectively. They were both well inside the time of Pawlowska who remained in 2nd place.
At the third time check and it was clear that Carmen Small (USA) should also be considered a potential challenger, she was 12 seconds down at the 1st time check and 23 down at the second but her consistent pace was testing Whitten who had gone out far too fast and faded to 37 seconds down on Armstrong at the 3rd time check. Worrack was the best placed of this trio but even she was 30 seconds down at the final time check.
Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands) had started slowly but at the second split she was 23 seconds down and the time gap was going in the right direction for her. Worrack was the first of these four women home but although she was second fastest she was still 30 seconds behind Armstrong. Whitten was the next home but she had faded and finished more than a minute down, still good enough for 3rd at the moment. Van Dijk was still improving and she was in second place at the third check point just 27 seconds in arrears.
Carmen Small was the next challenger home but she had faded significantly inside the final section and was off the podium, 1.07 back. Van Dijk timed her effort almost perfectly to come in 2nd, 33 seconds down but in truth she was nowhere near the time of Armstrong who, by setting off early, had avoided the increasing winds that were now buffeting the course.
The Armstrong Era
Heading into the third wave of riders and only Martina Sablikova (Czech Republic) looked to have any chance to challenge the might of our American leader. She came through the opening time check just 6 seconds down in 4th place. At the second time check she was heading the wrong way and dropped to 6th overall, with no other women even close to Armstrong’s intermediate times the American had one hand on the rainbow jersey with the final wave about to head out.
Christine Majerus (Luxembourg) and Audrey Cordon (France) both put in excellent final sectors to move from 11th to 8th and 12th to 9th respectively but this wasn’t enough to get any closer than 2 minutes behind the dominant Armstrong.
The Final Wave
Emma Johansson (Sweden) set off for the final wave knowing that anything short of perfection would leave her trailing the leader. It was a poor start for the Swede who had given away 17 seconds at the first time check. Sablikova picked up her pace towards the end but she wasn’t able to break the podium and finished 4th, 1.01 down.
There was a shock on the course as Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) set the fastest time at the first time check, 6 seconds ahead of Armstrong. Lisa Brennauer (Germany) was the last rider off, would anyone be able to unseat Armstrong in the last 45 minutes of racing? Katrin Garfoot (Australia) was also leading Armstrong at the first check as she set a time of 9.02, just under a second ahead of the leader.
It had taken a while but the race was finally reaching boiling point, Villumsen had gone off hard but she wasn’t slowing and at the second time check she was 11 seconds up. Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands) was the penultimate rider off but she was quickly into her ride setting an 8.53 at the first time check, the leading time by 10 seconds. Garfoot was building into her ride and she reached the second time check in 3rd place, just 1 second down on the 42 year old American. Evelyn Stevens (USA) had started slowly, 7th through the first time check, but she was increasing her speed all the time and at the second time check she was 2nd, 8 seconds down on Villumsen. That lasted for less than 2 minutes as Van Der Breggen beat her into 2nd by 1 second. Brennauer was the next rider to hit the second time check but she was adrift in 6th place.
Villumsen had started quick but she was simply flying now, her final time check put her in 1st place, 18 seconds ahead of Armstrong. Garfoot was also putting in a good effort but she was 19 seconds behind the New Zealander in 3rd place. With 11 riders left to finish it was clear that the race would be between Armstrong, Van Der Breggen, Villumsen and Garfoot.
Villumsen had simply refused to slow down and she hit the line 40:29.87, 20 seconds ahead of Armstrong. Brennauer had been largely ignored so far but she had clearly turned on the turbo charger in the second half and she hit the final time check in 3rd place 16 seconds behind Villumsen but flying.
Garfoot was the next big name to finish and despite being 19 seconds behind Villumsen at the final time check she had made back 10 seconds and finished in 2nd. Villumsen’s slow final sector was acting like a great big carrot for the fast finishing Brennauer.
The next finisher was Van Der Breggen, she had been consistently high up at the intermediate checks and the La Course winner had a legitimate chance at Worlds glory in this hugely exciting time trial race. The Dutch woman had got faster and faster in the finish but the course was too short, she moved into 2nd just 2.5 seconds back. It was all in the hands of Brennauer now.
The finish line was closing for the German but not fast enough! She had chosen the worst time to show a weakness and she dropped down to 3rd, 5 seconds down after one of the most exciting time trials in recent years.
Stay PEZ for all the Worlds’15 action from Richmond.
World Women’s Individual Time Trial Result:
1. Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) in 40:30
2. Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands) at 0:03
3. Lisa Brennauer (Germany) at 0:05
4. Katrin Garfoot (Australia) at 0:09
5. Kristin Armstrong (USA) at 0:21
6. Evelyn Stevens (USA) at 0:27
7. Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands) at 0:55
8. Alena Amialiusik (Belarus) at 1:06
9. Ann-Sofie Duyck (Belgium) at 1:19
10. Trixi Worrack (Germany) at 1:19.