Van Dijk clinches second career time trial title

Monday 20 September 2021

Dutch rider Van Dijk again claimed victory in the World Championship battle against the clock after a first world title in 2013. At the European Championships she lost to the Swiss Reusser, but today the roles were reversed. Olympic time trial champion Van Vleuten finished in third place.

A flat 30.3 km circuit between Knokke-Heist and Bruges would decide who is the fastest woman in the world. The battle appeared to be over rather quickly when Dutch former world champion Ellen Van Dijk set the fastest overall time. At the finish line, she improved on the best time by nearly two minutes. The competition strived in vain to beat Van Dijk's time, but when European Champion Marlen Reusser began her time trial an hour later, things became rather tense for the Dutch rider in the hot seat.

Reusser was the only one who managed to better Van Dijk's time at the first intermediate point. The Swiss also maintained a good pace towards the second time measurement and was still faster than her Dutch rival. It was nail-biting right up to ‘t Zand in Bruges, and rightly so. Reusser was 10 seconds slower than Van Dijk at the end of the race.

Finally, all eyes were on Olympic time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten. The time set by her compatriot Van Dijk wasn’t feasible and she was also slower than the Swiss Reusser. She joined them on the podium, having to settle for bronze.

Meanwhile, emotions ran high for Van Dijk, who after a first world title in 2013 can now shine in the rainbow jersey for another year. This victory comes not only at a very special moment, the 100th anniversary of the UCI Road World Championships, but also delivered an incredible record. With an average speed of 50km/h, Van Dijk set a World Championship record for a woman’s fastest ever time.