Photo gallery: The women’s races against the clock at Worlds
The 2017 UCI Road World Championships are in full swing in beautiful Bergen, Norway. With the races against the clock now completed, all eyes are on the weekend when the elite women and men will vie for the most prestigious symbol in cycling: the rainbow jersey in the road race.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s glance back at the events of the past few days. Our photographers were onsite to capture the pinnacle event of the season.
Team Time Trial
The women’s team time trial was the kickoff event of the 2017 UCI Road World Championships, and Bergen showed all its beauty as the sun shone kindly and fans welcomed the riders all along the course.
The only event of the week-long championships to be contested in trade teams instead of national teams, all eyes were on the dominant Boels-Dolmans to defend their team time trial title. Earlier this year, the Dutch-registered squad was victorious in the discipline at the Healthy Ageing Tour, Giro Rosa and Vårgårda. The rainbow stripes, it seemed, were theirs to lose.
But teams like Sunweb, Cervélo-Bigla and Canyon-SRAM had been nipping on Boels’ heels for a bit now, and the lower podium spots would be hotly contested.
Few would have predicted the upset at the hand of Team Sunweb however. But the white-and-black squad of TT-specialist Ellen van Dijk did just that, beating the defending champs by 12 seconds. Cervélo-Bigla rounded out the podium, 28 seconds down from Sunweb.
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Individual Time Trial – Junior Women
Italy again topped the podium at the junior Women’s individual time trial on Monday, Sept. 18th, this time taking both the gold and silver medals. Eighteen-year-old Elena Pirrone followed up her European champion TT title with the rainbow stripes while compatriot Alessia Vigilia completed the 16.1-kilometre course just 6 seconds slower. Australia’s Madeleine Fasnacht rounded out the podium.
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Individual Time Trial – Elite Women
Leading up to the women’s individual time trial at the Bergen world championships, the talk was dominated by two questions: will anyone be able to upset the Dutch squad? And will the weather hold?
Held on a course with sharp turns, a fast downhill and some cobbles, riders feared wet conditions. At the time of first rider Lauren Stephens’ (USA) start, the rain seemed to hold off but late starters wouldn’t be so lucky.
This was in favour of Anna van der Breggen, who was second to take to the 21.2-kilometre course, and who experience a mere drizzle on the far end of the course while her competitors faced much slipperier roads.
Finished while half the riders still had to start, Van der Breggen sat in the hot seat and anxiously watched on as her biggest competitors were among the last to start.
The first serious contention came from young American Chloe Dygert who had started just before Van Vleuten. The former junior world champion would come in a mere 25 seconds behind Van der Breggen. But just seconds after her pink booties crossed the finish, Van Vleuten crested the corner. Sprinting with all her might, the noise was deafening as fans banged the boards welcoming her in. The clock was ticking but not fast enough for Van der Breggen, who looked deflated as Van Vleuten punched the air. It may have been too soon to celebrate but she was confident with her result.
Eighteen riders later, no one was able to meet Van Vleuten’s pace, and Van Vleuten got her confirmation: she is the new world champion.
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