75th World Championships - CM
Varese, Italy, September 23-28, 2008
Results & report
Race 2 - September 24: Women's time trial, 25.15km
Complete live report
Live commentary by Susan Westemeyer
Hello and welcome back to the Worlds! Today the women are on, to see which of them is fastest in the ride against the clock. We expect a hard fought, fast race today, with such names as Armstrong, Thürig and Soeder on the podium at the end.
The 25.15km long course is a long loop up to the north of Varese and back down. It is more rolling than not, and has its start and finish in the horse track which is now serving as world cycling headquarters.
The first rider off is Kathryn Bertine, 33 years old. She is from Tucson, Arizona, but is riding for St. Kitts and Nevis. She is a former ice skater and triathlete, who, when rejected by the US team, went looking for another country to ride for.
There are two intermediate time checks, at 6 km and 15 km.
Anna Zugno of Italy won the Junior women's time trial at the 2002 Worlds. She now rides for Top Girls Fassa Bortolo Raxy Line.
Heather Wilson rides for Ireland, and just turned 36 years old. This year she finished second in the Irish national TT and third in the road race. She was 9th in the GB national time trial.
The 25.15km long course is a long loop up to the north of Varese and back down. It is more rolling than not, and has its start and finish in the cycling stadium.
Anne Samplonius of Canada is 40 years old and rides for Cheerwine. She has had quite a good year, winning, for example, the Tour de Leelanu, and the national time trial title.
The women are going off at two minute intervals.
Martina Ruzickova comes from the Czech Republic. She rides for Team Elk Haus and this year won the Czech road title, and was runner-up in the time trial.
An Van Rie is Belgian, she is national TT champ, and rides for Vrienden van het Platteland.
Hanna Talkanitsa of Bielorussia is with the team USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo. She was third in her national TT and fifth on the road.
Polona Batagelj of Slovakia was a guest rider for Menikini - Selle Italia - Master Colors this season.
We have our first two riders through the first time check at 6.68km. Bertine was 13:22, and Zugno topped that easily, at 12:45.
Bogumila Matusiak of Poland is 37 years old, and rides for Team Primus. She is national time trial champion.
Our women's cycling expert Ben Atkins says the winner ought to be one of the last five to start. The course doesn't look as hilly as last year. This ought to be good for Karin Thürig of Switzerland, for example.
Bogumila Matusiak of Poland is 37 years old, and rides for Team Primus. She is national time trial champion.
Jarmila Machacova of the Czech Republic, 22, was a guest rider for Team Elk Haus this year. She is national time trial champion and finished 12th in that race in the European Championships.
Sharon Laws of Great Britain is with Team Halfords Bikehut. She has a long list of successes this year, including the national TT title.
Samplonius of Canada holds the best time at the first time check, 11:47.
Bertine is the first through the second time check, with a time of 25:04.
Zugno come through at 24:08.
Three more riders are on the road:
Pascale Schnider, Switzerland, is 23 and rides for Cervélo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team. She was ninth in the national time trial race and second on the road.
Eneritz Iturriagaechevarria, 28, of Spain, is with Safi - Pasta Zara – Manhattan. She won a stage in the Trophée d'Or Féminin this summer.
Mayuko Hagiwara is a 21 year-old Japanese rider. She was third in her national road championships, and sixth in the Asian road championships, third in the Asian time trial.
We won't have a repeat winner this year in the time trial. Germany's Hanka Kupfernagel wasn't nominated for the road race, and she at first threatened to skip the time trial, then agreed to ride it, and finally came down with a stomach virus which stopped her from riding at all.
Zugno goes through the second time check at 22:24.
Olivia Dillon of Ireland, 34, is with Touchstone Climbing. She is Irish national TT champ.
Regina Bruins is a 21 year-old Dutch rider with Team Ton van Bemmelen – Odysis. She has quite a collection of top finishes this year.
20-year old Julie Beveridge of Canada rides for Aaron's Cycling Team. This year she won the Mount Hood Cycling Classic and was third in the Cascade Classic.
It's another sunny day today, nice, but not particularly warm, maybe 18-20°.
Vicki Whitelaw of Australia won the Giro d'Italia Femminile time trial this year. Most recently she finished second in the Memorial Davide Fardelli – Cronometro.
Elena Berlato of Italy, 20, is in her second year with Safi - Pasta Zara – Manhattan.
Bertine is first over the line, in a time of just over 39 minutes. She is closely followed by Zugno, who is faster, but we didn't catch her exact time.
Doesn't matter, Samplonius blasts her time anyway. The Canadian covered the course in 34:59.26.
Trine Schmidt is Danish. In June of this year she changed from Menikini - Selle Italia - Master Colors to Team Flexpoint. She finished second in her national TT championships.
Tatiana Antoshina of Russia is with Team Fenixs. She has a large number of top finishes this season, including second in her national TT.
Diana Ziliute, 32, of Lithuania, rides for Safi - Pasta Zara – Manhattan. She has six wins this season, including two stage wins this month in the Tour Cycliste Feminin International Ardeche.
Grete Treier, is a 31 year-old Estonian. She rides for Gauss RDZ Ormu, and has had a successful year, winning both national titles and finishing third in the International Thüringen Rundfahrt.
Emma Johansson of Sweden is national time trial champion. The AA Drink Cycling Team rider has five wins on the season, including the overall title in the Trophee d'Or Feminin. And her biggest moment had to be coming in second in the Olympics road race in Beijing.
Van Rie just brought in the second best final time, 36:41.52.
Charlotte Becker of Germany rides for Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung. She won the Holland Ladies Tour and finished second overall in the Albstadt-Frauen-Etappenrennen.
Atkins tells us to keep an eye on Becker, she just might pull off a surprise today.
Kirsten Wild is a Dutch rider with AA Drink Cycling Team. She can boast of eight victories this season, including the Omloop Het Volk.
Wild will be riding for Cervélo-Life next season, as will Regina Bruins, also of the Netherlands.
Alexis Rhodes is an Australian who rides for Team Columbia women. She opened the season winning the first stage of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic and added two stages of the San Dimas Stage Race to that.
Edwige Pitel of France is 41 and rides for Team Pro Féminin Les Carroz. She is another one with many top finishes this year, including the overall title in the Tour de Charente-Maritime Feminin.
Laws now has the second best finish time.
Marta Vilajosana Andreu of Spain rides for Team Cmax Dila. She doesn't have any wins this season, but many top finishes. She rode both women's races in the Beijing Olympics.
Amber Neben of the USA, Team Flexpoint, has many top finishes this year. She was second overall in the Giro d'Italia Femminile, and most recently won the Tour Cycliste Feminin International and was third in the Chrono Champenois-Trophee Europeen. Atkins tell us she is very strong, but likes it hillier than this course.
Antoshina has just passed Schmidt, who started 2 minutes ahead of her.
And Antoshina sets a new best time at the intermediate check, 21:59.
Daiva Tuslaite comes from Lithuania and rides for S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox. She is another who has been in many of the big races this year and is national TT champion.
Alexandra Burchenkova of Russia just turned 20. Riding for Petrogradets, she has won two race stages this year and was eighth in the Trophee d'Or Feminin the end of August.
Judith Arndt of Germany is underway now. She has to be a favourite for a medal. She has 11 wins on the season, and took the women's World Cup. This month alone she won the Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt and two stages of the Giro della Toscana Int. Femminile - Memorial Michela Fanini on her way to the overall race win for Team Columbia Women.
Linda Villumsen of Denmark is also with Team Columbia Women. She holds both the road and time trial national titles.
We have a new leading trio: Samplonius is still first, followed by Whitelaw (35:27) and Beveridge (35:44.91).
Emma Pooley rides for Team Specialized Designs for Women. The Briton has eight wins this season, including the overall title in the Tour de Bretagne Feminin. She also took the silver medal in the women's time trial in the Beijing Olympics. This course is a bit flat for her tastes, though.
Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli -- this Frenchwoman needs practically no introduction. At the age of nearly 50, she rides for Team Pro Féminin Les Carroz and has five victories this season, including both her national road and time trial titles. She finished fourth in the time trial in the Olympic games last month. She has already won this title four times, but is still very competitive.
Susanne Ljungskog of Sweden started the season with Menikini - Selle Italia - Master Colors before moving to Team Flexpoint the end of June. Among her successes this season are the Berner Rundfahrt World Cup race and the overall title in the Tour de l'Aude.
Antoshina pushes the Canadian out of first place. Her time is 34:14.74.
Neben has the new best time at the first check. Arndt is now second there, with Antoshina third.
Bridie O'Donnell is the Australian national time trial champion. According to Atkins, she is strong and could be a candidate for an upset.
Karin Thürig of Switzerland is with the Cervélo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team. She has six wins this season, including the national time trial title. She won the last two races she rode this month, the Memorial David Fardelli – Cronometro Individuale and the Chrono Champenoies – Torphee Europeen.
Christine Thorburn of the USA is reported to be retiring at the end of this season. The Webcor Builders Cycling team rider, who just turned 39, has brought in top finishes all season, and finished fifth in the Olympic time trial.
Only three more riders to go.
Neben has just passed Vilajosana. Then she sets a new best intermediate time of 21:34, which is 25 seconds faster than Antoshina.
Johansson come in with the third best time at the finish.
Ellen Van Dijk of the Netherlands is a 21 year-old who rides for Vrienden van het Platteland. Her three victories this season were all in time trials, including the European U-23 title. Ben Atkins tells us that she is European champ, which is why she's this far up the order. She's a big Dutch girl so she likes it flat. She'll be off a lot of people's radar but could well be up there. Also world scratch champ from Manchester in March.
Christiane Soeder of Austria is a top pick for a medal here. The 33 year-old, who rides for Cervélo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team has seven wins on the year, including the overall wins in the Geelong tour and the Grand Boucle Feminine International. She finished fourth in the Olympic road race and seventh in the time trial. According to Atkins, she is really strong, and has been trading TT wins with Thürig and Armstrong all year. She recently won Austrian TT champs for the umpteenth year. This could be her year.
Becker is now second, behind Antoshina.
The last one is ready to go. Kristin Armstrong, 35, of the US, is the absolute top favourite to win this race. She has six wins this year, including the overall title in the Tour of New Zealand, and of course was 2006 World champ. But who can forget her powerful performance in Beijing, where she won the Olympic time trial? Atkins says, there will be something wrong if she doesn't medal, but the course may not be hilly enough for her.
Wild comes in with the 12th best time, 36:18.19.
Rhodes bumps Wild out of 12th place, with a time of 36:12.46.
Pitel finishes 14th, with a time of 36:28.38.
Neben is coming in and will bring a new best time.
And the American is our new leader. Her time of 33:51.35 is over 23 seconds faster than Antoshina.
Soeder is only fifth at the first intermediate check, it will be hard for her to move up.
And Armstrong is only third at the first time check, with a time of 11:24.23.
Arndt has passed the rider in front of her and will bring in a good time.
The German has now claimed second place, with a time of 34:13.12.
Cyclingnews' Gregor Brown talked to Rhodes, who told him "I felt undergeared. Satisfied? No, I am not satisfied unless I am winning.."
Will Arndt double again this year? In 2004 she got a medal in the TT and then went on to win the road race.
Pooley comes to the finish and will move into third place.
Neben doesn't look real cheery there, how about a smile?
Samplonius told Brown, "I was happy with my ride. My goal was to do better than last year, when I finished 15th. When I was sitting in the hot seat, I didn't expect to stay there very long." She confirmed that this was her last race of the season.
Here comes O'Donnell, and she won't even make the top ten.
Thürig is only fourth, with a final time of 34:21.34. And Neben is still looking unhappy in the "hot seat"!
Brown tried to interview Pooley after the race, but she was too tired to talk.
Thorburn gets up out of the saddle to race into the finish, but she is only 10th, at 35:08.
Come on, Neben, just a little smile?????
Soeder has passed Van Dijk within the final km.
And Soeder comes up with the second best time! She has 33:58.91, bumping Arndt down to third. What will Armstrong do?
Aha, there was the start of a smile from Amber Neben!
Armstrong gives it her all as she approaches the finish.
But she comes over only in fifth place! Her time was 34:16.62.
Neben covers her face for a second in relief, and now she has a big smile!
Well, we expected an American woman to win today, we just expected it to be a different one! Congratulations to Amber Neben for her World title, and to runners-up Christiane Soeder of Austria and Judith Arndt of Germany.
We've now had the "kiddies" and the women, tomorrow the men hit the road for the first time. Be sure to join us then, and thanks for reading along with us today.
1 Amber Neben (United States Of America) 33.51.35 (44.6 km/h)
2 Christiane Soeder (Austria) 33.58.91
3 Judith Arndt (Germany) 34.13.12
4 Tatiana Antoshina (Russian Federation) 34.14.74
5 Kristin Armstrong (United States Of America) 34.16.62
6 Karin Thürig (Switzerland) 34.21.34
7 Susanne Ljungskog (Sweden) 34.48.73
8 Emma Pooley (Great Britain) 34.48.87
9 Charlotte Becker (Germany) 34.54.67
10 Anne Samplonius (Canada) 34.55.26
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