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Dutch cycling great Ellen van Dijk retains women’s time trial world title | More sports news

SYDNEY: Dutch woman Ellen van Dijk held her time trial title and the rainbow jersey for another year with a blistering ride to beat Australia’s Grace Brown at the road cycling world championships Sunday in Wollongong.
The 35-year-old clocked 44 minutes and 28.60 seconds over the 34.2-kilometer course through the streets of the coastal city south of Sydney to claim her third world title.
The gold medal made Van Dijk the second most successful rider in the history of the women’s world championships, behind Jeannie Longo of France, who won four titles between 1995 and 2001.
“It was a very difficult course and I really didn’t expect to win it. I didn’t think it was the perfect course for me,” said Van Dyke, who claimed her first title in 2013.
“But I just thought I had a great year in the rainbow jersey and I will give it my all today. I had no idea how I was riding. Honestly, I was so surprised when I crossed the finish line.”

Brown finished second with 12.73 seconds behind Van Dijk in 44:41.33 to claim her first medal at the world championship, while Switzerland’s Marlen Reusser took bronze and with it her silver of the last two editions in 45:10.28 supplemented.
It was the first time that the women and men competed over the same distance on the same day at the same World Time Trial Championship.
Brown, the 10th rider, started at a brisk pace on a sunny but stormy day and crossed the line more than two minutes faster than the second best of the early starters.
The 30-year-old looked good for a stunning home win until the last two of the 43 riders – Van Dijk and Reusser – headed for the city beach.

Both improved Brown’s time at the first intermediate timing point and van Dijk kept her pace on one climb and swept through the 24 corners on each of the two laps of the twisty course.
Van Dyk’s compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten, the two-time world champion and reigning Olympic gold medalist of the time trial had a disappointing day, finishing seventh over a minute and a half off the pace.
Italian Vittoria Guazzini finished fourth in 45:20.71 to take the inaugural title for women under 23. The elite men’s time trial will take place later on Sunday, the opening day of the championships.

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