At the World Championships in Stirling, Scotland, American cyclist Chloé Dygert dominated the women’s elite time trial, claiming the title four years after her previous World Championship victory. Despite battling a cold, her performance was remarkable, finishing the 36.2-kilometre course in 46 minutes, 59.80 seconds.
The Stirling time trial started and ended at the city’s iconic castle. Featuring a challenging route with 242 metres of elevation, the course was punctuated by three intermediate time checks and concluded with a daunting cobbled climb towards Stirling Castle.
Grace Brown from Australia proved a formidable contender. At the first checkpoint, she was only seventeen seconds behind Dygert. By the third checkpoint, the gap had reduced to 24 seconds. Brown’s explosive finish brought her within a mere six seconds of Dygert’s time, securing her the silver medal. Austrian Christina Schweinberger managed to grab the bronze, while notable mentions include Riejanne Markus and Demi Vollering, both securing spots within the top ten.
For Vollering, the time trial proved challenging. After an impressive Tour de France Femmes showing, the World Championship posed a different beast. “It was a really tough time trial,” Vollering revealed. She acknowledged that although she gave it her all, especially during the climbs, it simply wasn’t her day. Reflecting on the course’s toughness, Vollering highlighted the initial straight stretch, stating, “That tarmac didn’t roll smoothly at all.”
Pre-race favourite Marlen Reusser of Switzerland, unfortunately, didn’t finish, she late said it was down to ‘mental exhaustion’. After the race, Dygert praised her competitors, particularly Grace Brown, whose performance she described as “amazing.” Addressing her recent illness, Dygert expressed relief and gratitude. “I was really worried. I spent the last four days praying to God that I could start,” she shared, further praising Brown for her impressive finish and expressing joy over her own achievement.
Meanwhile, the U23 women’s championship occurred concurrently with the elite event. The young German talent, Antonia Niedermaier, seized the gold, defeating France’s Cédrine Kerbaol, and Tour de France Femmes white jersey winner, by eight seconds. Belgium’s Julie De Wilde claimed the bronze, ending the race 39 seconds behind Niedermaier.
For Riejanne Markus, the Dutch time trial champion, the race was a lesson in perseverance. She aimed for a higher place than her ninth-place finish, reflecting on the trial’s demanding nature. She observed, “Ideally, you’d want to start off the first section a bit more conservatively… From the halfway point, it becomes really tough, especially with those climbs.”
In essence, the World Championship time trial in Stirling saw a formidable display of athleticism and determination. While Chloé Dygert’s win, despite her illness, was the highlight, each competitor showed an inspiring level of dedication and skill, promising exciting future competitions in the world of elite cycling.
2023 Women’s World Championships Time Trial result
Results powered by FirstCycling.com
Main photo credit: Getty Images