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Ellen van Dijk claims 2nd time trial title at cycling worlds

BRUGGE, Belgium — Eight years after her first world championship title, Ellen van Dijk overcame the disappointment of missing out on the Olympics by winning a second gold medal in the women’s time trial. Taking advantage of a flat course through the Flanders region of Belgium, the Dutch rider kept the pedals of her bike churning in a perfectly paced cadence to beat her closest rival, Marlen Reusser of Switzerland, 10.29 seconds at the road cycling world championships.

“For me, the time trial is my favorite discipline,” said Van Dijk, who won her first-time trial world title in 2013. “It’s something I love with all my heart and feels like my discipline. I knew it would be an excellent course, and I put everything into it. It’s a dream come true.” Van Dijk, who suffered severe injuries two years ago, including a broken arm and broken pelvis, was not selected for the Tokyo Games this summer after being diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier in the season. “This was always a big goal of mine, this time of the year, to be super good here, especially after I could not ride the Olympics, which was a big disappointment,” she said. “My Spring classics did not work out because I got the coronavirus.”

Van Dijk signaled her return to top form this month at the European Championships, where she won the road race and finished runner-up in the time trial. She also claimed silver last year and was runner-up at the Tokyo Olympics. While Van Dijk could keep a fast tempo over the 30.3-kilometer course, Reusser ran out of gas near the end and had to be content with a runner-up finish on the day she turned 30. Reusser led at both intermediate checks but faded over the last 10 kilometers. “In the last couple of weeks, she beat me in every trial, so I knew it would become super, super difficult, and I would have to ride the best, best time trial,” Van Dijk said. “When I saw she lost seconds in the end, I could not quite believe it. It has been a dream for so long.”

The Swiss athlete beat Van Dijk to win the European championship. “It was also a big dream of mine to win today,” Reusser said. “It was my season’s biggest goal; I must say I’m disappointed.” Van Dijk was so fast that she caught Lisa Klein with 9.5 kilometers left before the finish line in the historic center of Brugge, the city known as the Venice of the North, for its picturesque canals and bridges. The German rider rolled off the starting ramp for 1 minute, and 30 seonds before Van Dijk.

Olympic champion Annemiek van Vleuten, another Dutch rider, was third, more than 24 seconds off the pace. She said the flat course did not suit her but was graceful in defeat, saying the rainbow jersey would look good on her teammate next year. Aged 46, two-time world champion Amber Neben of the United States finished fourth, weeks after suffering fractures in her pelvis during a training ride. Ellen van Dijk claims 2nd-time trial title at cycling worlds originally appeared on NBCSports.com.

Katie Axon

After leaving the corporate world to pursue my dreams, I started writing because it helped me organize and express myself. It also allowed me to connect with people who share my passion for art, travel, fashion, technology, health, and food. I currently write on vexsh, a site focused on sharing and discovering what it means to be a creative, passionate person living in today's digital age.

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