The elite women’s peloton returned today to Flanders, the heartland of cycling, to fight it out for the World ITT championships. The 30.3km long race against the clock took place on largely wide and straight roads, a flat and non-technical course that favoured the pure time trial specialists. Starting from the seaside town of Knokke-Heist, the course ran along the North Sea coastline before heading inland towards Bruges.
All eyes were on the favourites as they lined up at the start house. Among them Swiss national champion and recently-crowned European ITT champion Marlen Reusser, who also recently won the time trial at the recent Simac Ladies Tour, Annemiek van Vleuten, who recently took out the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, and another powerhouse, Dutch rider Ellen van Dijk, who typically thrives on this type of terrain.
It was eventually Van Dijk who set the fastest time of 36:05, meaning she covered the 30.0km-long course with an average speed of over 50km/h. Second place went to Marlen Reusser, who finished 10 seconds behind the Dutch rider, and celebrates her birthday with a silver medal today. Annemiek van Vleuten, who was 24 seconds down, took third to round out the podium.