AFP/ Bruges, Belgium
European road race champion Ellen van Dijk of the Netherlands claimed a second time-trial title at cycling’s world championships yesterday after finishing ahead of Marlen Reusser and Annemiek van Vleuten.
The 34-year-old Van Dijk was 10 seconds faster than Switzerland’s Reusser, who was also runner-up in the Olympic event in July, and 24sec ahead of her compatriot Van Vleuten, who won in Tokyo.
Van Dijk went down the ramp over an hour before her key rivals and had a “quite horrible” nervous wait in the leader’s hot seat.
“I didn’t expect to feel so emotional, but it has been so long (waiting) to get the world title back,” said the champion, holding her hand to her heart and fighting back tears.
“Marlen was so strong and was faster than me at first, but when she lost time near the end, I couldn’t quite believe it, it’s been a dream so long.”
Van Dijk last won the world title in 2013 in Florence and yesterday covered the 30.3km flat run through Flanders in 36min 05sec, at an average speed of 50.383km/h (31.3mph).
In a field of 49 starters Pakistan’s Asma Jan was last across the line some 15 minutes adrift.
The action continues today with the women’s and men’s junior time-trial events, also ending in Bruges.
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