Dutch rider Ellen van Dijk scored another victory for the host nation at the European Road Championships 2019, taking the women’s time trial competition.
An imperious Van Dijk led at the mid-way put and continued to ride away from her nearest rival, Germany’s Lisa Klein.
Van Dijk won by 30 seconds over Klein to secure her fourth consecutive Euro title, with Lucinda Brand (Netherlands) taking bronze, 52 seconds down on the winner.
How it happened
The women’s time trial was the first of the elite individual tests of this year’s European Championship held on the 22.4km loop in Alkmaar, starting alongside the picturesque canal and racing out into the countryside surrounds.
After a sharp chicane across the canal, the course entered a long winding straight out of Alkmaar before a 90-degree right and then another hard left, which set up the long straight out.
A less technical middle section followed before the long drag back into Alkmaar, which closed with a long sweeping turn.
Dutch cyclocross champion Lucinda Brand set an early benchmark time with 28-59, but her time in the hot-seat was expected to be brief as she was only fourth fastest at the intermediate timing check 12.4km into the course.
Lisa Klein came through the mid-way point with a new fastest time, 17 seconds quicker than Brand, eventually finishing as the provisional fastest with a time of 28-36 and knocking Brand off of top spot.
But the last rider on the road, Ellen van Dijk, was already hot on her heels and looked likely to retain her title.
Van Dijk hit the intermediate points with a new fastest time of 14-18, 12 seconds up on Klein, and only continued to extend her lead on the run back to the finish.
The 32-year-old crossed the line in 28-07, pushing Klein back into the silver medal position 29 seconds back.
Brand’s strong performance on the second half of the course secured her bronze medal position.
British hopes put in a strong showing but were well outside of the fight for the gold, with Hayley Simmonds finishing seventh at 1-13, while British TT champion Alice Barnes was ninth, 1-14 down.
The elite women’s event followed the women’s under-23 TT, which was won convincingly by Germany’s Hannah Ludwig with a time of 29-20.
Brits Elizabeth Holden and Anna Henderson were also strong performers in the U23, with Holden finishing sixth, 49 seconds behind the winner and Henderson 10th at 1-27.
European Championships 2019, Alkmaar: Women’s elite individual time trial (22.4km)
1. Ellen van Dijk (Ned), in 28-07
2. Lisa Klein (Ger), at 30 seconds
3. Lucinda Brand (Ned), at 52s
4. Vita Heine (Nor), at 54s
5. Anna Kiesenhofer (Aut), at 1-03
6. Mieke Kröger (Ger), at 1-07
7. Hayley Simmonds (GBr), at 1-14
8. Pernile Mathiesen (Den), at 1-15
9. Alice Barnes (GBr), at same time
10. Kelly Murphe (Irl), at 1-27