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28th Olympic Games - JO

Athens, Greece, August 14-28, 2004

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Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Rob Jones

August 18: Women's time trial, 24 km - Complete live report

Live coverage starts: 13:00 EEST
Estimated finish time: 14:30 EEST

12:55 EEST   
Welcome back to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 28th Olympic Games. Today we're heading out to the coast for the women's and men's individual time trials. The course is pretty simple: starting in Vouliagmeni, the riders take a direct route out to the Saronikos Gulf, where they hug the coastline for 12 km before reaching the turnaround point at Agia Marina. The return leg is exactly the same, but in the opposite direction of course. The women, who are first off today, do one lap of the course for a total of 24 km, while the men do two laps for 48 km.

A lot of riders were worried about the wind along the coast, which will be with them going out and against them coming back, with variances caused by a rather sinuous route. However, at the moment it's not too windy, and that should help the earlier riders. The sun is shining strongly again, and temperatures are expected to reach 35 or so.

First cab off the rank in the women's event is Tatiana Guderzo (Italy), who leaves at 13:00 local time. The next 24 riders follow at 1'30 intervals, finishing with Zoulfia Zabirova (Russia). Defending champion Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel (Netherlands) goes off as third last rider, with Judith Arndt (Germany) chasing her.

13:00 EEST   
Guderzo gets the 10 second countdown and sets off as the first rider, cheered on by an estimated crowd of Italians. She is straight away into a nice rhythm, pedalling a small gear as she heads out.

13:02 EEST   
Guderzo is chased by Natalia Kachalka (Ukraine), who gets going in a bigger gear, maintaining a good low aero position.

13:04 EEST   
The first of the Spanish riders is next, Dori Ruano Sanchon. She takes off form the start ramp, and within 100m she's down on her TT bars, checking to see that everything is in order. She has a rear disc and front tri- or four-spoke.

13:04 EEST   
Germany's first rider Trixi Worrack is next off, sprinting hard off the ramp and getting into the position. She looks very focused.

13:08 EEST   
Rasa Polikeviciute (Lithuania) chases Worrack at the allotted 1'30. Worrack is now beside the coast, looking very fast. She has a nice position, fairly forward but a completely flat back.

Next off is World Road Champion Susanne Ljungskog (Sweden). She is not usually too bad against the clock. She does have a very upright position compared to Worrack.

13:10 EEST   
Next off is the veteran Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli. The most successful female cyclist ever, Longo loves the time trial. Her age doesn't seem to affect her too much - she's still the quickest French rider against the clock.

13:12 EEST   
Rasa is fighting the wind and the undulations on the first part of the coast road. Ljungskog looks a bit more comfy.

Christine Thorburn (USA) is next off, sporting a very space-aged silver reflective helmet.

She is chased by Susan Palmer-Komar (Canada).

13:15 EEST   
Palmer-Komar is in a big gear at the start, in contrast to the rest.

Swiss Priska Doppmann is next off, riding two multi-spoked wheels and using a downward pointing hand position on her TT bars, akin to Jan Ullrich.

Longo is flying along at the moment. She is favoured to set the early fast time.

13:16 EEST   
Czech rider Lada Kozlikova is next off, struggling to get everything in order as she rides over the first part of the course. Glasses? Check. Gloves? Check. Heart Rate Monitor? Check.

Thorburn has got her disc wheel spinning along nicely as she hammers along the coastline.

13:17 EEST   
Norwegian Anita Valen, sporting a white red and blue striped skinsuit, is next off the start ramp. She too has opted for a disc and a multispoke.

The first rider off, Guderzo, is nearly at the turn.

13:19 EEST   
Russian Olga Slyusareva crosses herself on the start ramp as she gets the countdown, then powers off.

Natalia Kachalka reaches the turnaround (12 km) in 17'00.

13:20 EEST   
Ruano is much quicker, clocking 16'34. Guderzo did it in 16'41.

Mirjam Melchers (Netherlands) is now on her way.

13:22 EEST   
British hope (or Welsh if you prefer) Nicole Cooke is now on her way. She's really motoring, and has someone yelling loudly at her in the car behind. She's got a disc and what looks to be a fairly shallow dished front wheel on.

13:23 EEST   
Dede Demet-Barry (USA) is now winding up. She's another favourite, telling Cyclingnews that, "It's a great power rider's course," she said. "It's not technical at all. There's no question that the strongest rider will win."

Rasa passes the 12 km check in 16'50, but Trixi Worrack is fastest to that point in 16'17.

13:26 EEST   
Oenone Wood (Australia) powers off the start ramp, a definite medal chance today. "I'm focusing on going there and giving it 100 per cent and doing what I've trained to do, and I think the gold medal would just be a reward for that," she told The Age yesterday.

Wood is chased by Lithuania's Edita Pucinskaite.

13:27 EEST   
Thorburn has done a great time to the turn, averaging exactly 45 km/h to clock 16'00 at that point.

Lyne Bessette (Canada) is getting ready. She's off! "It's a nice course, with good pavement. It will be hard because of the wind, and the rollers (hills) will crush legs. I think it is harder on the way out, but the wind is coming at you in both directions," she told Cyclingnews.

13:29 EEST   
Palmer-Komar gets to the turn in 16'17, the same time as Worrack but 17 seconds slower than Thorburn, who has the best time still.

Edwige Pitel (France) is next cab off the ramp.

13:30 EEST   
Priska Doppmann (Swi) has ridden very well too, to clock 16'02 at the turn, just 2 seconds slower than Thorburn.

Spain's Joane Somarriba, multiple World Champion, heads off, getting a big cheer from the spartan crowd.

13:32 EEST   
Czech rider Lada Kozlikova has gone even quicker than Thorburn at 12km, coming through in 15.48!

Karin Thürig (Swi) is next off, sporting a black and white skinsuit. No sign of any Swiss insignia there.

13:34 EEST   
Nicole Cooke is being urged on by her following car, bouncing around on the saddle to try and extract that extra bit of power.

Defending champion and sentimental favourite Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel (Netherlands) is next off. "We are going to fight!" she said.

Guderzo is the first rider to finish, in 34'14.

13:35 EEST   
Judith Arndt (Germany) sets off, probably one of the biggest favourites for gold. Question is, if she wins, will she moon the judges?

Melchers reaches the turn in 16'08, fourth fastest.

13:37 EEST   
Zoulfia Zabirova, 1996 Olympic Champion, is the last rider to set off. The Russian is never one to be underestimated in this race.

Dori Ruano has finished in 33'29, passing Kachalka just before the end. Worrack finishes in 33'05, a bit better.

Cook is at the turnaround in a time of 16'19, a fair way off the pace set by Kozlikova.

13:38 EEST   
Dede Demet-Barry has gone even quicker than Kozlikova, riding the first 12 km in 15'32!!

13:40 EEST   
Oenone Wood (Aus) has done the third best time at 12 km, passing in 15'50. Only Demet-Barry and Kozlikova have gone through quicker. But there are some big guns to come.

Rasa Polikeviciute finishes in 34'34, well off the pace.

13:42 EEST   
Edita Pucinskaite, pedalling a big gear, comes to the turnaround in 16'10, which puts her in 8th place at that point.

Longo-Ciprelli finishes her ride in 33'05, about 0.4 seconds faster than Worrack. It won't be quick enough for a medal though.

13:42 EEST   
Thorburn passes the World Champion Ljungskog in the final metres, crossing in 32'14 for the new best time.

13:43 EEST   
Bessette is at the turnaround in a relatively slow time of 16'19. That puts her in 11th place.

13:46 EEST   
Edwige Pitel (France) reaches the turn in 16'44. Somarriba follows in a good time of 15'50, fourth fastest behind Barry, Kozlikova and Wood.

Susan Palmer-Komar (Canada) finishes in 33'26.

Doppmann is home in 32'40, second best behind Thorburn.

13:48 EEST   
Kozlikova finishes 1 second slower than Thorburn in 32'15. The American rode well over the second half and still holds the best time.

Van Moorsel is at the turnaround, and she is flying!!! 15'09!!

13:50 EEST   
Only Judith Arndt and Zoulfia Zabirova can threaten a very motivated Van Moorsel, it looks like. The Dutchwoman looks on track for a medal, and very likely a gold one.

13:51 EEST   
Here comes Arndt - she is well off the pace at 12 km, passing in 16'07. Van Moorsel has already put a minute into her!

Slyusareva finishes in 32'51 for fourth. Anita Valen follows a few seconds after.

13:53 EEST   
Zabirova is at 12 km in 15'54, so she's no threat to Van Moorsel either. The Dutch queen of cycling looks to have at least one Olympic gold in the bag.

Karin Thürig (Swi) is powering along, having done the third fastest at the 12 km check (15'43).

The top five at that point:

1 Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel (Ned) 15.09 2 Dede Demet-Barry (USA) 0.23 3 Karin Thürig (Switzerland) 0.34 4 Lada Kozlikova (Czech) 0.38 5 Oenone Wood (Australia) 0.40

13:54 EEST   
Dede Demet-Barry (USA) finishes her ride in 31'36, or thereabouts. Definitely the best time to date, and looking very good for a medal.

13:55 EEST   
Nicole Cooke, who was caught by Demet-Barry, finishes in 33'45. She'll be disappointed with that.

13:57 EEST   
Oenone Wood (Aus) finishes in 32'16, which won't be good enough for a medal. That puts her in fourth place behind Barry, Thorburn and Kozlikova.

Van Moorsel is suffering, giving it everything as she hits one of the last undulations.

13:58 EEST   
Pucinskaite finishes in 32'42, just a couple of seconds slower than Slyusareva for 6th so far.

Arndt is looking extremely smooth, but she'll have to ride incredibly well to get a medal today.

14:00 EEST   
The last rider on the road, Zabirova is well into her rhythm as she nears the final part of the course. But she's got a bit of work to do for a medal as well.

Lyne Bessette comes home in a fairly disappointing time of 33'24, 11th best to date.

14:03 EEST   
Van Moorsel nears the end of her ride as Somarriba powers home in a decent time of 32'25, which puts her in 5th place. She is followed by Pitel, who she caught.

14:03 EEST   
Karin Thürig (Swi) is better, finishing in 31'55 for the second quickest time behind Dede Demet-Barry.

14:04 EEST   
But Van Moorsel is coming home strongly, motoring across the line in 31'11 - she is the new Olympic time trial champion!!!

14:07 EEST   
Only Arndt and Zabirova are left on the course, and neither of them looks like getting into medal contention. Thus the top three will be 1. Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel, 2. Dede Demet-Barry, 3. Karin Thürig.

Arndt finishes her ride in 32'46, for 10th.

14:09 EEST   
It's all over, as Zoulfia Zabirova crosses the line in 32'30 for 8th place in the women's time trial. The winner is Van Moorsel, for the second time in a row, demonstrating that a little bit of pain never hurt anyone. Great ride.

Check out our tech section for a description of the bike she used and a pic of Leontien with her bike.

Demet-Barry is delighted with her silver medal, and Karin Thürig will be pretty happy with her bronze, no doubt.

Provisional results

12 km

1 Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel (Ned)         15.09
2 Dede Demet-Barry (USA)                       0.23
3 Karin Thuerig (Switzerland)                  0.34
4 Lada Kozlikova (Czech)                       0.38

24 km

1 Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel (Netherlands) 31.11
2 Deirdre Demet-Barry (USA)                    0.25
3 Karin Thuerig (Switzerland)                  0.44
4 Christine Thorburn (USA)                     1.04       
5 Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic)              

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