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UCI Road World Championship 2021 – Ellen van Dijk secures women’s Indivdual Time Trial world title

UCI Road World Championship 2021 - Ellen van Dijk secures women's Indivdual Time Trial world title

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Veteran Dutch rider Ellen van Dijk became a world champion for the second time in the women’s individual time trial at the UCI World Championships in Flanders, Belgium on Monday.

The 34-year-old started early in the day and spent much of her afternoon in the hot seat as her rivals targeted her time of 36:05, but nobody could beat her to the rainbow stripes across the fast, flat 30.3km course from Knokke-Heist to Bruges.

Marlen Reusser of Switzerland, who finished second, was the closest at 10 seconds back, while fellow Dutchwoman and Olympic gold medallist Annemiek Van Vleuten finished third, 24 seconds off Van Dijk.

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Van Dijk said the win was a “dream come true: “I didn’t know I would become so emotional but it has been a dream for so long to get that world title once again. Everything this year felt so good Marlen Reusser was so strong I knew I had good level, but I knew she was super strong and in the last few weeks she has beaten me in the time trial and I had to ride the best ever time trial.

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“She [Reusser] had a faster intermediate time so I thought she would be faster but in the end… I can’t quite believe it… it has been a dream for so long.”

Van Vleuten, Van Dijk, and Reusser were race favourites, with the three of them winning races within the past month. Two weeks ago at the European Championships, Reusser had beaten Van Dijk in the time trial, while the Dutchwoman won the road race. Van Vleuten, meanwhile, came into Flanders in fine form off the back of Olympic gold and silver medals and winner of Madrid Challenge.

Van Dijk had set the fastest time through the intermediate time checks, until Reusser passed both two seconds up. It would take a momentus effort in the final technical section to Bruges, and for a moment Reusser had a couple of seconds advantage, but it was short-lived.

‘It has been a dream for so long’ – Eillen Van Dijk reacts to Time Trial victory

Van Vleuten was 16 seconds down through the time checks which sealed her place in third, pushing Germany’s Lisa Brennauer to fourth, allowing Van Dijk to celebrate her victory, as Reusser was only fast enough for second.

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On sitting in the hot seat, Trek-Segafredo’s Van Dijk said: “It’s horrible when I arrived in the hot seat Annemiek [Van Vleuten] still had to start, I didn’t know if it [my effort] was worth it I think the TT was good but I didn’t know and you sit there have nothing to do… it’s nerve racking . TT is my discipline and I knew it was going to be a really good course for me so I put everything into it… it’s a dream come true.”

Van Dijk’s world title comes eight years after her first time trial title in 2013, in Tuscany, Italy.

You can watch the 2021 UCI Road World Championships live and ad-free on the Eurosport app and Eurosport.co.uk. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now. You can also watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free racing on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream exclusive cycling documentaries.

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