Posted by Editoress on 09/23/09
Canada had a strong opening day on Wednesday at the Road Cycling World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, with top-10 results in both the Women's and Under-23 Men's individual time trial events. Tara Whitten finished eighth in the women's 26.8 kilometre competition, one minute and 33.99 seconds behind Kristin Armstrong of the United States, the Olympic champion in the event. Noemi Cantele of Italy took the silver medal and Linda Melanie Villumsen of Denmark the bronze. Canada's second entrant, Julie Beveridge of finished 19th.
Coverage of the 2009 World Championships made possible with the support of Shimano
In the men's 33.2 kilometre race, David Veilleux finished tenth, one minute and 11.93 seconds behind winner Jack Bobridge of Australia, with Nelson Oliveira of Portugal finishing second and Patrick Gretsch of Germany third. Ryan Anderson finished 30th.
American Jessica Phillips was the first to take the Hot Seat for any appreciable length of time, finally yielding it to Whitten only after 15 riders had finished. Whitten, in turn, held the lead until Cantele took over, and then Armstrong demolished Cantele's leading time by a staggering 55 seconds to win her second world time trial title in three years, along with the Olympic title last year. Armstrong plans to retire after the road race this Saturday.
Whitten, who won a silver medal at the Track Cycling World Championships in March, is competing at her first Road World Championships, and did not know what to expect.
"I really wasn't sure how I could do, but my goal was a top-10 finish, so I'm very pleased. I didn't know what to expect here, but I thought that was a good goal. I think I maybe went out on the first lap a little too hard because of nerves and adrenalin, and I paid for it on the second lap. But I learned a lot, and I know that I will be faster and more consistent in the future. Using a radio helped me a lot. There were a lot of corners, so it helped to remind me to pay attention to the [best] line and what w as coming up." (See video interview below)
Dennis Van Winden (Netherlands) was the early leader for the men, only the third man off. He lasted for nearly half the field before Germany's Marcel Kittel knocked 45 seconds off the leading time. David Veilleux moved into second behind Kittel before the final wave of riders began pushing him down the rankings. Oliveira bumped Kittel down to second (and Veilleux to third), before Bobridge came in nearly 19 seconds faster with what would become the winning time.
For Veilleux, his tenth place was a confirmation that he has recovered from injuries earlier in the season.
"I had a bit of a problem getting up to speed on the first lap and couldn't find my rhythm, but I was able to open things up on the second, and it went much better. I think I could have possibly done better, but I am certainly happy with a top-10."
- The UCI announced that the 2012 Road Worlds will be held in the Netherlands, in the Limburg region. They will also be bringing back the juniors to join the U23 and Elite riders, and a team time trial. However, it is unclear whether the latter will be a demonstration sport only, because it will be contested by trade teams, and even the number of riders per team and which teams will be eligible to enter is still to be determined. UCI President Pat McQuaid says that the plan is to create a cycling festival at the Worlds, over two weekends, and to include a cyclo sportif ride for fans.
- The commentators on the speakers dotted around the course seem to be compelled to inject Fabian Cancellara into the conversation every five minutes or so.
Tara Whitten Interview:
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