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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
Worlds has begun, and there was no shortage of storylines on Thursday.
The elite women’s time trial kicked things off in Imola, Italy. The race came down to some big names, although a serious crash took the defending champion out of the race. Here’s hoping Chloe Dygert’s recovery goes as well as possible.
After Dygert’s crash, Anna van der Breggen crossed the line 15 seconds faster than Marlen Reusser to secure the victory, her first ever in the event after finishing as runner-up four times in her career.
Until next time, readers.
| Van der Breggen wins Worlds TT as Dygert crashes out
Anna van der Breggen has secured her first career world title in the individual time trial, powering to victory on a dramatic opening day of the 2020 UCI Road World Championships.
Defending champion Chloe Dygert looked like she might be on her way to a second straight TT title on the fast course in Imola, Italy, but crashed out in the second half of her ride. She sustained a serious leg injury in the crash and was taken to a Bologna hospital.
Van der Breggen, who has finished second in the event four times in her career, completed the 31.7-kilometer course in 40:20 to secure the gold medal. Marlen Reusser took runner-up honors, 15 seconds back, with Ellen van Dijk 31 seconds back to secure two Dutch spots on the final podium.
“Getting second for many years, I would say that I really can’t believe it yet,” van der Breggen said. “I had no idea, I just said to Danny Stam, my director in the car, ‘Don’t give me any time splits. It doesn’t matter, I just want to go as fast as possible to the finish line.’
“I only heard on the finish line that I won. It’s incredible and I’m really happy.”
The provisional lead changed hands numerous times over the course of the afternoon as bigger favorites started later in the order. Van Dijk set an impressive mark that withstood challenges from several riders who followed her off the ramp, but things ultimately came down to the last few riders on the road, with Reusser, van der Breggen, and Dygert the day’s final three starters.
Dygert was nearly 30 seconds up on Reusser at the intermediate time check but she crashed while rounding a bend on a downhill stretch and would not continue, having suffered a serious leg injury.
Reusser took over the hot seat as she rolled across the line in the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, but van der Breggen put in a particularly impressive second half of her ride and hit the line with a time 15 seconds faster than Reusser’s to secure the victory.
1 VAN DER BREGGEN Anna (Netherlands) 40:20
2 REUSSER Marlen (Switzerland) 0:15
3 VAN DIJK Ellen (Netherlands) 0:31
4 BRENNAUER Lisa (Germany) 0:45
5 BROWN Grace (Australia) 1:01
6 NEBEN Amber (United States) 1:20
7 NORSGAARD Emma Cecilie (Denmark) 1:22
8 KRÖGER Mieke (Germany) 1:31
9 STEPHENS Lauren (United States) 1:43
10 BUSSI Vittoria (Italy) 1:46
| Quadriceps and ligament injuries for Dygert
According to the IndyStar, Chloe Dygert’s father says that although she did not suffer any broken bones, her quadriceps was sliced “from one side to the other” and a ligament was “severed or severely damaged” in her serious crash on Thursday in the Worlds time trial.
Immediately after the crash, Dygert was airlifted to a Bologna hospital and scheduled for surgery. At the moment, the expected time of recovery is not yet clear.
| Van Vleuten plans to race Worlds despite broken wrist
Annemiek van Vleuten says she plans to start the road race at Imola Worlds despite breaking her wrist less than a week ago.
The reigning world champ told NOS on Thursday that “final test yesterday was really reassuring.” She will make a final decision on Friday.
| Women’s Roubaix route unveiled, teams announced
Organizers have unveiled the route of this year’s inaugural women’s edition of Paris-Roubaix, which will run on the same day as the men’s race, October 25.
Over the course of a 116-kilometer race, the women will take on 29.2 kilometers of cobbles across 17 sectors. The race will start in Denain and cover 20 kilometers before meeting the men’s course in Hornaing for the first sector of cobbles. The two most challenging cobble sectors, the Mons-en-Pévèle and the Carrefour de l’Arbre, are 47.5 kilometers and 16 kilometers from the finish.
The ASO also announced the teams that have been invited to the race. All eight Women’s WorldTour squads will make the start, along with 15 other squads, including Boels-Dolmans, Lotto-Soudal, Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling, Astana, and Paule Ka, among others.
| Thomas tips Tour riders for Worlds TT success
Geraint Thomas will start Friday’s elite men’s time trial at Worlds as a contender for the win, but fresh off of a runner-up ride at Tirreno-Adriatico, he expects someone who just finished the Tour de France to shine in Imola, Italy.
“I think someone coming out of the Tour will win,” Thomas told Cyclingnews. “After such a big hard block of racing at the Tour, maybe not necessarily one of the guys who was racing for GC but the guys who still had a hard Tour but have not emptied the tank. It’s definitely going to be an exciting race to watch.”
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Today’s featured image of Anna van der Breggen en route to victory in the Worlds time trial comes from Cor Vos.