Posted by Editor on 09/21/15
Day 2 of the Road World Championships in Richmond, Virginia, was the first of three days of individual time trial competition, beginning with the Junior Women and Under-23 Men. The Canadian junior women were the top performers for the day, with Gillian Ellsay and Emeliah Harvie finishing eighth and tenth, respectively. Pan Am Games bronze medalist Sean MacKinnon was the top man in 20th, with Alex Cataford finishing 33rd.
The 15 kilometre circuit looped through the streets of Richmond, with riders facing strong gusting winds in some sections before the final 7% climb to the finishing straight. Much cooler then during the team time trial, rain was expected for the latter part of the men's race, but never amounted to more then a drizzle, and did not impact the race. the women did one lap and the men two.
Ellsay, the second rider off for the women, set a time that would stand up through six riders before eventual winner Chloe Dygert of the host U.S. team knocked 1:45 off. Dygert remained in the Hot Seat for the remainder of the race, with team mate Emma White taking silver and Australia's Anna-Leeza Hull third. Both were over a minute behind Dygert.
"In the starting gate I was really nervous," commented Ellsay, "but once I took the first pedal stroke down the ramp, I relaxed a bit. The rough roads, wind and multiple turns made for a very fast race. It was pretty windy, the rough road made pedaling smooth more difficult, but I was just trying to focus on the next 500m ahead and to go as fast as possible. I honestly don't really remember much about the race other than trying to put as much pain into my legs as possible in the last 5 kilometres. The last 7km was probably the hardest I've ever gone and I think it payed off with a top 10 finish in the end. I'm very happy and proud of my result, but not yet satisfied and I'm hungry for more. A huge thanks to all the Cycling Canada staff and all the support from back home!"
Harvie said "I was initially disappointed with my performance; I had started out strong and faded in the second half. However, as the results came in and I saw objectively how I had performed I felt increasingly happier. Overall I am very pleased."
National Coach Denise Kelly was pleased with the results, "Our goal was a top 10 finish for the Junior girls, so to have two to attain that is very inspiring for the future. The Junior girls team has a great attitude to add to their solid World's preparation."
Canada's MacKinnon was the first man to start, and held the Hot Seat through 11 riders before he was displaced by American Greg Daniel, who was then immediately bumped by Nathan Van Hooydonck of Belgium. However, the very next rider, Mads Wurtz Schmidt of Denmark, took nearly a minute and a half of the leading time with what would prove to be the winning time over the remaining 38 riders.
Mads Wurtz Schmidt
Three riders later Maximilian Schachmann of Germany came within 12 seconds and would take second, with fellow German Lennard Kamna, the final starter, taking third.
MacKinnon, a member of Canada's Team Pursuit squad, said "I'm super pleased with my result today at my first ITT world championships. It was an amazing experience to go through the motions at an event like this and come out with a top 20."
Cataford was disappointed with his 33rd, stating "It wasn't quite the day I was looking for; I had bigger expectations going into the event. But now all focus is on the road race on Friday, where we will have a strong Canadian team and can hopefully have a big impact on the race."