Story by Benedicte Vabø
Van Vleuten won the Dutch Time Trial Championships in June. Today’s race also turned into a Dutch battle. At the end van Vleuten and runner up, silver medallist, Anna van der Breggen were only 12 seconds apart. Australian Katrin Garfoot repeated her solid performance from last year’s TT championships and took another bronze medal.
Van Vleuten had a dramatic crash descending in the final kilometres during the Olympic road race in Rio de Janeiro last year. However. This seemed to have no effect on her performance in today’s time trial. Going downhill after the climb in Birkelundsbakken she actually closed in on her opponents and finished strong to take her first ever individual time trial gold medal.
- To me, Bergen is the best place on earth right now, the winner said on the Press-conference after the race.
At the first intermediate check, van der Breggen took an early lead with Van Vleuten trailing just behind. Garfoot being further down the field at that point. Van der Breggen stayed in the lead until the third intermediate check. Van Vleuten showed her skills descending, gaining 16 seconds on van der Breggen from the top of Birkelundsbakken. Garfoot trailed the leading pair but was not able to gain the time needed in the end and it came down to the two Dutch contenders. Garfoot was happy about her consecutive bronze medal and the athomspehere in Bergen.
-It’s definitely a high-quality podium, and the atmosphere was amazing, so thanks Bergen for that. You can see it everywhere that we are in Norway, it's an absolutely stunning place to be, I’m really enjoying the atmosphere here, and I'm really enjoying the organisation of the race, it's been really smooth, said Garfoot after the race.
Heading for Festplassen both riders kept the same pace. Van Vleuten ended up 12 seconds ahead of van der Breggen making the 21.1 kilometres at 28:50.35 with an average speed of 43.8 km/h.