The women’s elite individual time trial will be the kick off of eight days of racing at the 2022 World Championships in Australia on Sunday, September 18th. For the first time, the women will be riding the same distance as the men, with the newly added U23 women’s title to be chosen from the top U23 finisher of the elite women’s event.
Taking place just 80km from Sydney, Australia, the 101st edition of the Road World Championships will welcome more than 1,000 of the best cyclists from over 70 nations planning to arrive in Wollongong. The 34.2km individual time trial course will take riders around two 16.8km loops around a rolling course along the Australian coastline with 312m of elevation. The course profile should benefit the specialists with strong bike handling skills, hoping for a record third win like Ellen van Dijk or Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands who are both tied with 2 previous rainbow jerseys in the discipline.
The route is a challenging one, rife with 30 corners and a small climb up Mount Ousley that will burn the legs for those racing on the limit. Facing the rolling terrain and the technical turns, it will be tough to maintain power where riders will need to pace their efforts to get the most out of their individual
Riders To Watch
Many nations will be sending two riders for the individual time trial, with a few exceptions like the powerhouse nations of Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany to name a few. The Dutch return as the heavy favorites with the defending champion, Ellen van Dijk, alongside the decorated veteran, Annemiek van Vleuten. Both were on the podium last fall and have had incredible seasons leading to Australia, with a very possible repeat on the horizon.
Van Vleuten is the Olympic Champion in the TT and had earned gold ahead of Swiss Marlen Reusser that day. The 39-year-old veteran is also a heavy favorite in the road race, after winning both the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, and the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta this summer. Her compatriot Van Dijk beat the hour record in May this season, and pulled out of the recent Simac Ladies Tour to focus on her preparation for Sunday and arrive dialed in.
After her surprise performance at the Tokyo Summer Olympics last season, Marlen Reusser solidified her rivalry with the best around the world in the race against the clock. Almost a month ago to the day, the Swiss champion powered herself ahead of Van Dijk to win the European Continental Time Trial championships. The confidence boost should help her on Sunday should we see a glimpse of that same power.
One of the dark horses launching down the start ramp will be American Leah Thomas. She earned her first national title at the US National Road Championships this June. Winning the stars and stripes jersey was a major triumph since suffering from a neck injury she sustained earlier in the season. Thomas is expected to race both the TT and the road race, but as the current US national TT champion, is focusing her efforts in the time trial.
In only the second time the UCI has held the Road World Championships in the Southern hemisphere, Grace Brown will be leading the way for the home team. After the Aussie fans were disappointed with the news that Rohan Dennis would not be competing, hopes for some rainbow stripes will lay on the shoulders of Brown. She is the current Australian National TT champ, and arrives in Wollongong with another TT title, this time at the Commonwealth Games early last month.
Follow our coverage from the 2022 World Road Championships here on voxwomen.com throughout the week.
When: Sunday, September 18, 2022
Where: Wollongong, Australia
What: Elite Women’s Individual Time Trial World Championships
Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands) *****
Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) ****
Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) ***
Leah Thomas (USA) **
Grace Brown (Australia) *
‘Watch the Femmes’ TV Coverage: RTVE, TV3 Catalunya, TV2, NBCUniversal, Supersport, Zhibo.TV, FloBikes, GCN, CRTVG, DKTV2 Eurosport, ESPN, Eurosport Asia, JSPORTS.
Voxwomen works with brands that really do care about the growth and development of women’s cycling. MAAP is one of those brands. Please take a moment to visit them and see how they are progressing women’s cycling apparel and female cycling communities.
By Rebecca Reza