Women's World Championships Time Trial 2022 History
The Women’s World Championships Time Trial has gone back and forth in recent years, with only Annemiek van Vleuten able to do consecutive victories in the last 10 years. Ellen van Dijk is the only other multiple winner in that time, winning in 2013 and last year’s 2022 edition. Out of all of the major names, it’s currently only Marlen Reusser who hasn’t worn the rainbow stripes so far. She’s been 2nd in both of the last 2 editions, although that doesn’t quite equal the run Anna van der Breggen had of 4 runner-up medals in 5 years before finally winning in 2021.
The course this year is 2 laps of Wollongong, never really leaving the city limits. That means Mount Ousley has to be conquered twice at around 50m of ascent each time. That will make it a tougher task than last year’s super-flat course in Flanders and we’ve seen on a hilly course at the European Championships this year that Marlen Reusser was just about quicker than Ellen van Dijk on such a course.
Ellen van Dijk
Anna van der Breggen
Women's World Championships Time Trial 2022 Profile
Women's World Championships Time Trial 2022 Contenders
Everyone will be looking at last year’s winner Ellen van Dijk to retain her title but as I pointed out above, that’s been a tough ask in recent years. With a slightly hilly course, it does even things out and makes it not quite her ideal sort of course. That said, she should be 1st or 2nd quite comfortably. Teammate Annemiek van Vleuten hasn’t raced many time trials in 2022, just the opening TT at the Giro Donne where she finished 6th. I suspect she’ll still be good enough for 3rd but I don’t see her getting close to the big 2. The final Dutch entry Shirin van Anrooij has a good shot at the U23 title that’s hidden within this race. She’s the national and European U23 TT champion already and should be confident about completing the set in Wollongong.
There were a couple of doubts about Marlen Reusser going into the European Championships after her concussion. However, she won that title over Ellen van Dijk by 6 seconds. The only other TT she’s done this year was back at Bloeizone Fryslan where she was 3rd on a very flat course. On this hillier parcours, I’m backing Reusser to take her maiden World Championship TT title.
Kristen Faulkner is pretty rare in the women’s peloton in that she’s won 2 time trials this season. The American won both at the Tour de Suisse and the Giro Donne as BikeExchange-Jayco was particularly impressive with their setup against the clock in 2022. The Tour de Suisse time trial was rather climby but didn’t have the likes of Van Dijk/Reusser/Van Vleuten. There’s a strong chance that Faulkner can be ‘best of the rest’ here which unfortunately probably means 4th place.
With Audrey Cordon-Ragot withdrawing due to health issues, France’s hopes lie with Juliette Labous. She was 6th, around 1 minute back at the European Championships and feels like a long shot for a medal compared to the other names on here. Top-5 however feels very much doable, especially with the climb on this course that will suit such a strong climber in regular road races.
The Commonwealth Games TT champion is Australia’s Grace Brown, who won by 33 seconds on a hilly course around Wolverhampton. It’s hard to tell where that puts her against the medal contenders here as the field wasn’t massively strong at the Commonwealths. A similar story when she became the Australian national champion. What we do know is that she’s in good form at the moment, with a win at the Ceratizit Challenge in the last week.
Lotte Kopecky is a 4-time Belgian time trial champion and that national championship is the only TT she’s raced this season. A great rider on the road in a sprint, Kopecky will do well to finish in the top-10 at this year’s World Championships.
Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta 2022 Outsiders
5th at the European Championships was Anna Kiesenhofer and she’s shown that she’s still got all that ability to hurt with solo breaks at the Ceratizit Challenge last week. A long solo break was ultimately caught in the last 2km after getting 10 minutes advantage. Against the clock, lost the Austrian national championships by just 1 second this year. Kiesenhofer was 17th in last year’s flat edition but could make the top-10 in this hillier race.
If you’re a Brit, you can’t help but be hyped by what Joss Lowden has done at non-UCI level here. However, the only major time trial she’s done this year was at the Commonwealth Games where she finished 12th but not with the most ideal preparation thanks to a Covid infection. A top-10 is probably a realistic target here.
Another hoping to make it into the top-10 is the Dane Emma Norsgaard. She was 11th at both the European Championship and the Giro Donne time trial. Similar to Kopecky, we know what a good road race option she is but the time trial here is a chance to get close to the 7th she got in 2020’s race in Imola.
Finally, the American national champion Leah Thomas has often done a decent job at the World Championships. 5th back in 2018 and 7th in 2019, she was a little bit lower in 14th last year thanks to her aerobars coming loose and needing to change bikes mid-race. She made a huge year-on-year improvement on the same course at the American nationals back in June. Thomas is yet another rider who should get some gains from the hills around Wollongong.