1. Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (France) 35:16.07 2. Catherine Marsal (France) 36:05.00 3. Alessandra Cappellotto (Italy) 36:10.47 4. Zoulfia Zabirova (Russia) 36:31.44 5. Clara Hughes (Canada) 36:41.81 6. Marion Clignet (France) 36:45.24 7. Linda Jackson (Canada) 37:03.61 8. Gabriella Pregnolato (Italy) 37:04.32 9. Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) 37:09.05 10. Barbara Heeb (Switzerland) 37:19.75 11. Mari Holden (U.S.) 37:36.52 12. Tea Vikstedt (Finland) 37:43.65 13. Natalia Boubenchtchikova (Russia) 37:44.55 14. Rasa Polikeviciute (Lithuania) 37:59.83 15. Lenka Ilavska (Slovakia) 38:00.07 16. Yvonne McGregory (Britain) 38:01.09 17. Diana Rast (Switzerland) 38:03.85 18. Jolanda Polikeviciute (Lithuania) 38:13.95 19. Karen Kurreck (U.S.) 38:21.82 20. Joane Somarriba (Spain) 38:23.13
Longo-Ciprelli, 38, completed the 26.4-kilometer (16.4-mile) course in 35 minutes, 16.07 seconds, edging compatriot Catherine Marsal, who clocked in at 36:05.
Italy's Alessandra Cappellotto prevented a French sweep of the podium, finishing third in 36:10.47.
Longo-Ciprelli's victory makes up for her slip in Atlanta, where she won gold in the road race, but settled for silver in the time-trial.
``It's wonderful,'' said Longo-Ciprelli, whose been suffering from painful lower back problems. ``I started off slowly because I wanted to keep my strength for the uphill, which is almost two kilometers (one mile) long.
``But then I heard I was still about 10 seconds ahead not even pushing too hard and it gave me incredible confidence.''
Longo-Ciprelli said she had been worried by the steep downhill Tuesday and practiced it three times.
``I practiced like a ski-downhill, trying to get the best trajectory, but in the end I had a 40-second lead so I took no risks,'' she said.
Olympic champion Zoulfia Zabirova of Russia finished fourth in 36:31.44 while Clara Hughes, the bronze medalist in Atlanta placed fifth in 36:41.81.
American Mari Holden finished 11th in 37:36.52, while her compatriot, Karen Kurreck, the 1994 world time-trial champion, finished back in 19th in 38:21.82.
Thursday will feature the men's time-trial, while Saturday the women will run the road race where Longo-Ciprelli, the Olympic champions, will attempt to defend her world title.
Longo, 38, covered the 26.4 kms in 35 minutes 16 seconds to successfully defend her title and erase the memory of her Olympic defeat to Russia's Zoulfia Zabirova.
France also took the silver medal with Catherine Marsal finishing nearly 49 seconds behind Longo whose medal-winning career began with a track bronze and road race silver 16 years ago.
Alessandra Cappellotto of Italy took the bronze in 36:10, with Zabirova nearly 21 seconds further back in fourth.
``I did not start too fast, but when I heard that I had a lead of 10 seconds that gave me the confidence to open up,'' Longo said.
At the first time check, 6.5 km, she was already 16 seconds faster than Zabirova, who had beaten her by 20 seconds over a similar distance in Atlanta.
In the end the Russian trailed Longo by 1:15 on a course that broke many competitors including Atlanta bronze medallist Clara Hughes.
The Canadian was second to Longo at the world championship in Tunja, Colombia, last year but on Wednesday she had to fight hard for fifth fastest, 1:25 off the pace.
This was Longo's seventh title in road disciplines. She now has two from time trials and five road racing golds spanning 10 years from 1985.
On current form Longo should claim her 12th world crown when she defends her road race title over 100 km on Saturday.