September 29/10 10:03 am - Road World Championships - Women's ITT report
Posted by Editoress on 09/29/10
Tara Whitten of Edmonton finished seventh in the women's individual time trial at the Road Cycling World Championships on Wednesday. Whitten, a two-time world champion on the track, was one minute and 5.91 seconds behind the winner, Emma Pooley of Great Britain for the 22.8 kilometre circuit. Anne Samplonius of Montreal finished 15th, at one minute and 54.81 seconds.
Pooley was the strongest rider from start to finish. She was over eight seconds ahead of Arndt at the first and second splits, and increased her margin in the final eight kilometres to 15 seconds. This, despite having to change her position at the last minute when her bike didn't pass inspection.
"I had to move the saddle back a bit and move the bars up a bit because it wasn't within the regulations. I get a small exception because I am very short but it still wasn't quite right. This was because I was using a different bike to the one I had been racing on all year. It hadn't been measured since September last year for a race, so it was a little bit stressful, but I had plenty of time, so it was okay. It was just a little bit different to the position I had been training on, which was a bit of a shame. But it was okay in the end."
"That's why you go out early to check your bike. When you are my size you always need to check. When you have a morphological exception rule you just leave enough time, so if you need to change something then that's the rules, so you do."
Arndt, after a slightly slower start behind Villumsen, managed to move up in the final kilometres to finish 63-hundredths of a second faster. The silver medal was her fifth medal in the time trial (one less than Jeannie-Longo-Ciprelli).
"It is always nice to win a medal at the World Championships, but I would be happy if it was a gold medal sometime. I am always second. I don't know why! I am pretty happy with my ride. I think I did a good ride technically. I cornered pretty well. But for me it would have been better if it was a few degrees warmer but that is something you can't change. I think I started strong. I always try to start a little faster because that is my weakness."
"I would prefer to win. I think Emma was really strong today and I am not really disappointed [with second]. But if you try again and again and again and you never win, then of course you are a little bit disappointed."
Whitten had a very strong start, only one second slower than Pooley, but couldn't sustain the pace, sliding back to seventh, to finish 1:05.91 back. Until the final riders came through, Whitten spent time in the Hot Seat, with Longo-Ciprelli and Evelyn Stevens (USA).
"I think it was a solid race for me. I used a little bit too much on the climbs and paid for it a little bit on the second half, but I was able to hold it together pretty well for a solid ride. Last year it was a bit more unexpected. This year I came in knowing that I could be a contender so it was a little bit of a different feeling. It was a solid race today but it just wasn't that extra special. It would be nice to have an amazing day everyday, but to put in a solid ride and be in the top ten is still a good performance for me."
"I think I found a good balance for me this year. Track is still my number one focus, but training for the time trial fits in well in terms of where it sits in the season."
Anne Samplonius was disappointed to finish where she did, after her European time trial win at Chrono Champenois earlier in the month.
"This was a course where you had to have good legs, and I could tell right from the start that I certainly didn't feel the same as I felt at the Chrono Champenois, when things felt easy that day. It's a hard course. You can never find a really good rhythm on it, especially with the hills in the early part of it, which breaks things up. I tried to have a better second half but I think the hill, as much as you try to hold back, took much more out of my legs than I wanted it to."
"[The win at Chrono Champenois] gave me a little bit of hope that I could have a really good result today but Worlds is always a different level. You can't hold too much to a one day time trial where you don't have the best riders there, and people raise their game for today. This course was also completely different than the Chrono course and definitely leads to lighter riders, moreso for the women than the men. The men can power over these climbs more than the women. They say it is not a pure climber's course but for the women I think it almost is."