September 24, 2013 (Florence, Italy) – On Day 3 at the 2013 UCI Road World Championships the Junior Men and Elite Women hit the streets of Florence for the penultimate time trial races as more rainbow jerseys were on the line.
Junior Men ITT
The 2013 Belgium national TT champion and TT runner up at the European Championships gave Igor Decreaene all the experience and incentive he needed to demonstrate to the talented field in Florence that he was ready for battle besting his nearest rival, silver medalist Mathias Krigbaum (Denmark), by 8.66 seconds.
Decreane was seeded 2nd going into the race throwing down the hammer with a time of 26:56.83, pacing at an average of 48.5 km/h while last year’s European champion Krigbaum managed a respectable 48.2 km/h for the silver while Zeke Mostov (USA), who was in the hot seat for most of the day (ranked 80th), turned in a solid 27:17.80 at 20.97 behind the winner for the bronze.
Mostov, one of the first starters, had many wondering where he came from as he blazed through the first intermediary check at 15:23.86 and it took 71 riders to beat him, as finally Krigbaum bested his first time check by over four seconds.
But Decraene was the master blaster leading at each split, while expanding his lead each time by a few seconds, as he brought home the rainbow jersey to an appreciative fan base.
Canada’s Jack Burke, who took 2nd at the Canadian Junior ITT nationals this year, was completely focused on this race – his last race and goal for 2013 and he didn’t disappoint. In fact, before the first intermediary check he was in the virtual hotseat animating the UCI announcer who sang his praises. Then he gutting it out at the finish line with every stroke to break the top 20 landing in 19th place.
“I left everything out there, I couldn’t have gone harder, though I was a bit cautious at some of the cobblestones thinking I might blow a tire,” (listen to our full interview with Burke here).
Adam Jameson also rode well placing him in the top half of the competitors finishing 37th place at 1:43.91 behind the victor. The seventeen-year-old still has one more year to compete in the Junior Men’s division and was enthusiastic about his ride and future both in the ITT and especially in the road race later this week. “That was the best ITT course I’ve ever raced on though more technical than most at the last part. But I think the RR coming up suits me really well and I’m looking forward to competing. (our full interview with Jameson is here).
Quotes from the podium:
Igor Decraene: “The course was really fast, I like this kind of flat tracks. I really think that I couldn’t’ve raced any faster. I knew Krigbaum was very fast on these kinds of courses and I thought he was the one to beat. I’m good in time trials, I’m also a good climber but in the future I’ll focus mainly on races against the clock.”
Silver medalist Mathias Krigbaum: “It is always better to be first, so I’m disappointed. I wanted to win, but today Decraene was faster than me.”
Bronze medalist Zeke Mostov: “What I learned? Go faster, harder, don’t stop at the finish line and maybe you’ll get a medal. I didn’t expect to get anywhere near the podium today so yes, I’m really happy to have spent so much time in the hotseat – a fun experience.”
Junior Men’s TT results here.
Elite Women – Van Dijk is in Charge
With a long list of laurels as a pro cyclist this is one that Ellen Van Dijk (Hol) hadn’t taken home – until today. Now she has the rainbow jersey ITT title with a time of 27:48.18 – the only pro to crack 28 minutes and at 47.045 km/h, to go faster than 46 km/h. Van Dijk and her Specialized-Team Lululemon squad have been dominating the pro women’s races with the TTT victory on Sunday while today Americans Carmen Small and Evelyn Stevens battled for the final bronze podium spot today with Small earning the medal by a mere 0.04 of a second.
Van Dijk started out of the gates in furious form and a pace that had the crowd and riders gasping for air as she dominated each stage of the 21.8km course and was able to finess the technical turns in the latter part of the course that caused many to lose too much time. In the end the Dutch rider left all in the Tuscan dust with Linda Villumsen (Nzl) a bridesmaid yet again, at 24 seconds off the pace for the silver – her 5th time on the podium – with Small third at 28s behind.
Canada’s Denise Ramsden and Joelle Numainville, who rode the TTT just two days ago for Optum Pro Cycling, gave their best today with Ramsden blazing to a 17:00.27 first split at 12.5km which helped put her in the hotseat early with an excellent ride. She ended up placing 24th with a time of 30:06.46 at 2:18.28 behind the rainbow jersey.
Numainville, the Canadian ITT champion, admitted it wasn’t her best day in the saddle but she still managed a 19th place result with a time of 29:46.77 and a 43.9km/h average speed. They will both be competing this Saturday for Canada in the Elite Women’s RR, as part of a strong team of six. (full interviews with both here)
Quotes from the podium:
Ellen Van Dijk (NED): “I dreamt of this jersey and I felt the pressure a lot in the last few days, so now I’m very happy. I started very fast, I slowed down only in the last kilometres. I’d studied the course carefully, training at 5am in the morning to avoid traffic I practiced the corners a lot, I came in August we went here for two days at 5am – but it almost cost me my life! It’s when the sun is rising AND the street cleaner trucks work and are dangerous!! We made a video of it so I could dream about the course.”
Linda Villumsen (NZL): “Five times on the podium and not a single gold medal. I don’t think it was bad luck, I just believe my opponents were stronger. I’m always missing something, I’ll try to figure out what it is and try again next year. I took a different approach this year, started later, but here I am still on the podium.”
Carmen Small (USA): “Both medals made me happy: the gold medal because I won it with my team and this bronze because I won it representing my country. My teammate Ellen Van Dijk is a very special person, she’s a hard worker and she’s really strong…I knew she would win it today, she put in the work-she makes me want to be more competitive.”
Elite Women’s TT results here.