Anna van der Breggen once again stepped onto the podium of a world championship event. For the sixth time in her career she earned a silver medal, this time in the individual time trial. Karol-Ann Canuel finished eighth.
“I’ve still won a medal, but I can’t really say I’m very happy with it,” said Van der Breggen after the race. “You hope to have a good day on the bike and I really wanted to win. Of course I’m disappointed that I didn’t.”
Van der Breggen was the 35th rider to take to the start. At that point, compatriot Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) was in the hot seat after she had set the fastest time. However, it became clear that Van der Breggen was substantially faster on her ride.
At the intermediate time split, she already had a 28-second advantage. Still, Van der Breggen thinks it’s the first part of the race where she might have lost the race potentially.
“Maybe I could’ve gone a little faster at the beginning,” she said. “But it’s really important to pace yourself as well. The second part of the course was really tough. You have to keep that in mind, so I think that overall I did a good time trial.”
“I heard the time differences during my ride, but you’re still following your own plan,” continued Van der Breggen. “That doesn’t change if you hear intermediate times. You just ride as fast as you can and I executed the plan I had as best I could.”
At the finish line, Van der Breggen had doubled her lead on Van Dijk and set a time of 34:54.35. It was a phenomenal time, but one woman was faster than this. Defending world champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) gained some seconds right from the start and only extended her lead along the way.
Eventually, the podium was orange-filled, with Van Vleuten as the winner, Van der Breggen taking silver and Van Dijk earning bronze. A unique situation that never happened before.
There are new chances for Van der Breggen and Canuel in the Worlds road race this Saturday. The other riders of the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team to take to the start in the race are defending world road champion Chantal Blaak, Amy Pieters, Amalie Dideriksen, Anna Plichta and Megan Guarnier. Christine Majerus has withdrawn due to illness.