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World Championships - CM

Stuttgart, Germany, September 26-30, 2007

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Race 2 - September 26: Women's time trial - 2 laps, 25.1km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Susan Westemeyer

Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 16:00 CEST

And welcome back after brief break. Cyclingnews will now bring you live coverage of the second race of the day, which is the women's time trial. Can American Kristin Armstrong defend her title? We will get the answer to you soon.

14:34 CEST   
We are back on the road again. After the exciting U23 race this morning we took a little break and now we're ready to follow the ladies as they take on this challenging time trial course.

14:36 CEST   
Oenone Wood of Australia leaves the starting ramp.

It's only 25.14 km for the women, two laps of the round course, with all of those same ups and downs the youngsters had this morning. The weather held up this morning, with sunshine instead of rain, so let's hope that luck continues.

14:37 CEST   
And the next rider to go is Jeannie Long, who is 48 years old. We admit that we are closer to her age than to those youngsters this morning -- you go, girlfriend!

14:40 CEST   
Right now we gave Hanka Kupfernagel of Germany in first place with a time of 34'43". Amber Neben of the US is second with 35'46". Canadian Anne Samölonius is third at 36'13".

It has warmed up this afternoon, all the way up to 13°. (We won't yet turn on the air conditioning in our nifty little Mercedes SLK 55 AMG.) There are more clouds that earlier, but there are great hopes that it will stay dry.

14:43 CEST   
The Chinese rider Meifang Li is having a hard time of it out there -- just looking at her we can feel her pain!

14:45 CEST   
Kupfernagel is leading at all of the intermediate time checks, of which there are three: at kms 5, 12 and 18.

Her name, by the way, translates to English as "copper nail".

14:49 CEST   
Germany's Charlotte Becker comes through the 12 km time check in fourth place, at 17.16. Her teammate Kupfernagel sits in the leader's chair at the finish and checks out a text message on her mobile phone.

14:52 CEST   
Our Chinese rider isn't doing so badly at all. She crosses the finish line for the first time with the third fastest time. Will she be able to keep it up in the second lap?

14:54 CEST   
At the 12 km time mark Longo comes in with the sixth best time.

14:56 CEST   
Alison Powers of the US is approaching the finish line. The US kit have a rather Spider-Man look to them.....

14:57 CEST   
Becker has dropped significantly. At the 18 km checkpoint she is only 10th.

14:58 CEST   
Will the winner today be named Armstrong? No, no, not that one! He's retired and besides, he's a man!

How about Kristin Armstrong -- the one that was never married to him. She has to be one of the favourites because she was the winner last year. No American has ever won consecutive titles in the Worlds, and she sure would like to be the first.

14:59 CEST   
Sara Carrigan grimaces as she crosses the finish line in 7th place, at 37.13, which is 2.30 down.

15:00 CEST   
Christiane Soeder of Austria takes to the course. She is the first rider in the last group, which means there are only 10 more to go.

15:02 CEST   
Li crosses the line in third place, at 36.21. By the way, she is wearing a borrowed T-Mobile helmet, with all the names taped over, of course, but we still recognise those magenta stripes!

And Longo is now in third place at the 18 km checkpoint.

15:04 CEST   
The last ten women are starting a minute and a half apart. We are rushing around trying to cover all aspects, so we don't always get to see each one on the starting ramp.

15:06 CEST   
Emma Pooley of Great Britain is on the course. She rides for the small Swiss team Specialized. She recently placed fourth in the Chrono Champenois in France. Her goal is a top ten finish, so that GB will qualify for an Olympic spot. Check our out interview with her today on the CN homepage.

15:09 CEST   
Germany's Becker's long blonde ponytail slaps her back as she crosses the finish line in 8th place, 2'14" down with a time of 36'58".

15:10 CEST   
Priska Doppmann of Switzerland takes the start. She is not as heavily favoured as her teammate Karin Thürig, who starts in a few minutes.

15:10 CEST   
Another Spider Woman, we mean American, is on the course: Christine Thorburn.

15:11 CEST   
Her teammate Kristin Armstrong takes a final drink and relaxes for a minute before she climbs on her bike and makes her way to the start.

15:13 CEST   
Edita Pucinskaite of Lithuania is on her way. She recently crashed out of a race with a crash coming out of the time trial starting house -- you can be sure she was extra careful today!

15:14 CEST   
Thürig is on the way. She was 2005 World Champion. Next comes Armstrong who was 2006 World Champion. And Thorburn was 2006 third place finisher -- this is a talented bunch of ladies!

15:16 CEST   
Armstrong takes off, so the end is in sight -- so to speak.

The clouds seem to have gotten the upper hand and it is clearly cool. Not only are the onlookers all bundled up but Thürig is wearing leg warmers.

15:17 CEST   
Soeder approaches the 12 km time check and crosses through it in second place.

15:18 CEST   
Austria didn't win any medals in its World Championships last year, and they would love to get one in the races here by their neighbour to the north.

15:20 CEST   
Our heroine Longo has finished in second place! Now she, Kupfernagel and Neben are having a nice chat in the winners' circle -- and they are all bundled up in long pants and jackets.

15:20 CEST   
Whoops, lets change that to third place for Longo!

15:22 CEST   
Well, well -- Armstrong is only third at the 5 km time check. At 6'38", she is 9 seconds down.

15:24 CEST   
Mirjam Melcher of the Netherlands would love to imitate her younger countryman, but it looks unlikely. At the halfway point she is only in sixth place, with a time of 17:17.

15:25 CEST   
Soeder is at the 18 km mark, and is second there, about a half a minute slower than Kupfernagel.

15:30 CEST   
the 33 year old Kupfernagel looks like she will win a medal here. It wouldn't be her first title this year. She is currently German champion in Cross, in time trial and in Cross-Mountain biking.

And did we mention that she is first in he UCI's world rankings for Cross for he 06-07 season?

15:31 CEST   
Are the leg warmers slowing Thürig down? She came through the 12 km mark all the way down in 5th place, nearly 40 whole seconds behind Kupfernagel.

15:32 CEST   
Armstrong can't catch the German at the halfway point either. She is second with a time of 16.42.

Kupfernagel can hardly believe it -- she looks at the times and shakes her head in disbelief.

15:36 CEST   
Soeder comes to the end line and its ...... second place for her!

She is still nearly 42 seconds slower than Kupfernagel, at 35.25.

The German still can't believe it.

15:37 CEST   
Armstrong is the only one on the course now and the only one who could knock Kupfernagel off the top position. But even that seems unlikely now.

15:38 CEST   
Of course, there are still 10 women on the course, but most of them don't have a chance at the top spot.

Make that 9 women -- Susanne Ljungskog just finished, in sixth place.

15:40 CEST   
Emma Pooley, with the Union Jack on her back, comes in fifth, at 36'16". Will she be able to hold on to a top ten spot?

15:41 CEST   
It looks like Armstrong won't repeat. She hits the 18 km mark in second place, but she is now 21 seconds down.

15:42 CEST   
Thorburn's short blonde ponytail is lying flat. Will the American win an other medal this year?

15:42 CEST   
The orange-clad Melchers finishes seventh, about 1.49 behind Kupfernagel.

15:43 CEST   
Still five riders to come in. We wouldn't like to measure Kupfernagel's blood pressure at this point.

15:45 CEST   
Zabirova of Kazakhstan looks tired as she crosses the finish line in 7th place.

Doppman is the next to come in and she is fourth, with a time just ahead of Longo's.

15:46 CEST   
Doppmann struggles to catch her breath and cope with her disappointment at not finishing higher.

15:47 CEST   
Thorburn won't repeat as a medal winner, either. She finishes fourth 1'11" behind Kupfernagel.

15:47 CEST   
The German stares at a TV screen. Is she sending mental waves to Armstrong to go slowler?

15:48 CEST   
Kupfernagel is so nervous and excited, she doesn't know what to do.

15:49 CEST   
Kupfernagel's fingernails have now been sacrificed.... nibbled away anxiously.

15:50 CEST   
Thürig will also be very disappointed as she comes in 8th.

15:51 CEST   
Kupfernagel springs to her feet and hugs her boyfriend with mixed tears and joy as Armstrong crosses the finish line 23 seconds slower than her.

15:52 CEST   
The Americans finished with three in the top five, but it was the German Hanka Kupfernagel who took the top prize. That's the first medal for the home team and it will only have whetted their appetite.

15:53 CEST   
Thanks for joining us again. We hope you will be with us again tomorrow when the men take to this course. Will they be able to deliver a race fill with so much suspense and so many upsets?

Provisional standings - Finish at km 25.1
1 Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany)                     34.43 (43.380 km/h)
2 Kristin Armstrong (United States Of America)    35.07
3 Christiane Soeder (Austria)                     35.25
4 Amber Neben (United States Of America)          35.46
5 Christine Thorburn (United States Of America)   35.57
6 Priska Doppmann (Switzerland)                   36.00
7 Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (France)                 36.05
8 Emma Pooley (Great Britain)                     36.15
9 Karin Thürig (Switzerland)                      36.18
10 Meifang Li (People's Republic of China)        36.21
11 Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel (Netherlands)
12 Zulfiya Zabirova (Kazakhstan)          
13 Susanne Ljungskog (Sweden)


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