September 19, 2011 (Copenhagen, Denmark) – After an evening of grey skies and rain the Junior Women’s 13.9km time trial course was clean and dry under mainly sunny skies. But with the sun came wind, which made the first part of the course wickedly fast – and after the turn around at the 6.7km mark it was grueling.
Fourth place went to Dutch rider Thaila de Jong at14:93 seconds back while Italy’s Rossella Patto was fifth (31:07 sec), sixth was Georgia Williams of New Zealand, (43:95) with Canada’s Annie Ewart placing seventh, 45:87 seconds back and teammate Allison Beveridge close behind in 11th at her first world road championships, at 53:07 seconds back. Only Germany, Holland, Italy and Canada had two riders in the top 15.
“I really liked the course, the technical aspect really benefitted me, as I am not really a flat course rider,” said Allen in her rainbow jersey. “It was great to have the race radio with my coach Donna (Rae-Szalinski) in the car behind assisting me through the course, telling me what corners were up ahead, and that really helped me maintain a high speed throughout the TT. I got the time check halfway through the course and knowing that I was ahead really lifted me. Next year I will be moving up to the senior ranks and I can’t wait for that!”
Australia would like to reclaim its dominant position in women’s Olympic cycling from the U.K. but with Barker just 1.84 seconds back, it’s a hard call to make, especially as she is just a first year junior, who wasn’t expecting a podium finish. “I met Jessica (Allen) a while back and I expected her to beat me. I was a bit in shock to be taken to the hot seat area (for top riders) when I came in. I am really happy with my silver medal, as I was hoping for a top-10 placing.”
Ewart placed 20th in the time trial at her first road world championships in 2010. After that she “…sat down and re-evaluated cycling.” She graduated early from Stelly’s Secondary School in West Saanich, just outside of Brentwood Bay where she lives on Vancouver Island. When she returns home she’ll be going to the University of Victoria part-time in science programs.
Ewart thanked her coach Houschang Amiri for helping her become the cyclist she is today, but says it is also her home club, the Sydney Velo Cycling Club, and their 15km Tuesday night time trials. “I can’t say enough good things about the club. They helped me and Erin (Willock) so much. They support us, they help fund-raise, we couldn’t do this without Houschang and them.”
“We all got sick at the Junior Track Worlds in mid-August – everyone who ate food at our hotel in Russia – so I had a big taper into this competition,” she said about her forced time off the bike with a somewhat nonchalant attitude after making the top 15 at her first road worlds. There were 39 starters.
1. Jessica Allen (Australia) 0:19:18
2. Elinor Barker (Great Britain) 0:19:20
3. Mieke Kroger (Germany) 0:19:21
4. Thalita De Jong (Netherlands) 0:19:33
5. Rossella Ratto (Italy)
7. Annie Ewart (Canada) 20:04
11. Allison Beveridge (Canada) 20:11