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2002 Road World Championships - CM

Hasselt-Zolder, Belgium, October 8-13, 2002

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Day 2 - October 9: Elite Women's Time Trial, 23 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 15:00 CEST
Estimated finish time: 16:38 CEST

15:00 CEST    
Welome to Hasselt for the fourth event of the World Road Championships, the elite women's time trial. Conditions are sunny and a little warmer than yesterday after a chilly start to the day. The wind has picked up a little since yesterday, but will mostly be helping the riders.

The women's elite course is 23.2 km, the same course used this morning for the junior men. There are two intermediate checkpoints after 10.8 and 20.8 km. From the 42 riders scheduled to start, the first to start is Chalime Giourbouz from Greece, last to start will be defending champion Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli from France.

15:01 CEST    
They're underway, as Chalime Giourbouz begins the charge. Next off is Karin Thürig of Switzerland, who comes with a triathalon background. Thürig claimed her national title in the time trial, and despite her early start, might be one to watch.

15:08 CEST    
Six riders have left the line now, including Ireland's Geraldine Gill. Next off is Amber Neben, first American rider to start. Neben finished in the top ten of this year's Grande Boucle Feminine.

15:12 CEST    
Thürig is showing her stuff early, and has already caught Chalime Giourbouz out on the course. New Zealand's Melissa Holt has just begun her ride.

15:17 CEST    
Thürig goes through the first time check in 13:45, and will likely set the time to beat before the big favorites begin. At the start, Australian Alison Wright is on her way.

A spare bike from Olga Slyuussareva's follow car has fallen off the car. No problem for her (unless she needs it, perhaps), but her team staff had a bit of scrambling to do.

15:19 CEST    
Thürig's first intermediate check is holding up well. In fact, she was 44 seconds faster than provisional second place Jenny Algelid-Bengtsson (Sweden). Ireland's Gill is in third for the moment, but well over a minute back.

15:24 CEST    
Several riders from the Saturn pro ranks are competing today, including Catherine Marsal of France, Kimberly Bruckner of the U.S., and Germany's Judith Arndt.

15:27 CEST    
It's still Karin Thürig leading the way at the first time check, ahead of Jenny Algelid-Bengtsson and Amber Neben (47 seconds back). Next to start is Kirsty Robb of New Zealand.

15:32 CEST    
Two time Grande Boucle winner (and third place this year) Joane Somarriba has just begun, and is considered one of the favorites for the day. Meanwhile, the first finisher is Karin Thürig, with a time of 30:18.28. Next off is Cindy Pieters from Belgium.

15:36 CEST    
The provisional top three at the first time check is as follows:

1. Karin Thürig (Switzerland) 13:48.86
2. Olga Slyuussareva (Russia) 14:04.24
3. Alison Wright (Australia)  14:14.03

Thürig's time is also holding up at the finish. France's Catherine Marsal has just left the start house.

15:41 CEST    
Last year's world champion in the road race, Rasa Polikeviciute of Lithuania, has started her ride. She is followed out of the start house by American Kimberly Bruckner.

15:43 CEST    
The provisional top three at the finish:

1. Karin Thürig (Switzerland)       30:18.28
2. Olga Slyuussareva (Russia)       30:35.29
3. Amber Neben (USA)                31:23.25

15:48 CEST    

Australia's Alison Wright has just come into the finish, pushing Neben out of third place. Zinaida Stahurskaya, winner of this year's Grande Boucle, is out on the course. Joane Somarriba has come through the first time check in second place, less than 5" behind Thürig.

15:53 CEST    

Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel, always one to watch, has just started her ride for the Netherlands. Starting behind her is the second Russian, Zoulfia Zabirova.

15:57 CEST    

Lyne Bessette has just come in for 7th place for the moment. Meanwhile, the provisional top three at the first time check is as follows:

1. Karin Thürig (Switzerland) 13:48.86
2. Joane Somarriba (Spain)    13:50.05
3. Sara Carrigan (Australia)  14:03.23

16:00 CEST    
Nicole Brandli (Switzerland), second last year by several hundreths of a second, is starting her ride now. For the moment, the top three at the finish: Thürig, Somarriba, Slyuussareva.

Jeannie Longo is the last to start, looking to defend her title.

16:07 CEST    
Things are holding relatively stable among the fast finishers, though Sara Carrigan has just nipped Olga Slyuussareva at the finish, and now sits in third place.

Catherine Marsal of France has just come in for 5th place.

16:12 CEST    
Rasa Polikeviciute has just bumped Marsal out of 5th place. Meanwhile on the course, pre-race favorites Susanne Ljungskog (Sweden) and Judith Arndt (Germany) are not turning times as fast as expected.

16:15 CEST    
Nicole Brandli has just passed the first intermediate check in 14: 07, only good enough for 6th place. Finally, defending champ Longo has set a time of 14:21 at the first check, further back in 11th place.

16:19 CEST    
It's looking more and more possible that the first woman to finish, Switzerland's Karin Thürig, holds a time that will not be beaten. The favorites are not tearing up the course behind, and Zoulfia Zabirova of Russia might be the only contender remaining.

16:22 CEST    
Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel has crossed the finish line with a time of 30:53.89, sixth best.

At the second time check, a challenge is finally shaping up as Zoulfia Zabirova has set the fastest time.

16:24 CEST    
She's done it- Zoulfia Zabirova has eclipsed Karin Thürig's time, setting the new marker at 30:02.62. It looks pretty safe that she will take the title.

16:27 CEST    
Susanne Ljunskog has come across the line in a disappointing 16th place, almost a minute and a half behind Zabirova.

Germany's Judith Arndt has just come in 7th place. Behind, Brandli is powering her way up the slight rise, and Longo also looks to be picking up the pace.

16:29 CEST    
Brandli is catching Mirjam Melchers as they near the finish. Brandli will not beat Zabirova, but she has taken second place. The podium is shaping up as Zabirova, Brandli, Thürig.

16:33 CEST    
Jeannie Longo has not managed to make the podium, as she comes in with a time of 30:44.81 for 6th place.

Final podium:

1. Zoulfia Zabirova (Russia)      30:02.62
2. Nicole Brandli (Switzerland)   30:17.33
3. Karin Thürig (Switzerland)     30:18.28


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