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Two Kiwis TTT to the Worlds podium
Sep 17th, 12. Kiwis Linda Villumsen and Sam Bewley helped their trade teams ride to podium success at the UCI Road World Championships today.
Villumsen was a key part of the Orica-AIS women's team that earned the silver medal in the team time trial, while Bewley's Orica GreenEdge men's combination won the bronze around the Valkenberg circuit.
Both teams had hoped to be on the top step of the podium, but on the day other teams took the glory - Specialized Lululemon in the women's event and Omega Pharma Quickstep in the men's.
Bewley, with limited preparation following his London Olympic track campaign, was used to set much of the pace for Orica GreenEdge over the first 35kms of the 52km race before he dropped off the pace (the finish time is recorded at the fourth rider to cross the line).
"3rd today, of course we wanted the win but beaten by two better teams," said Bewley who was not expecting to be part of the team's line-up let alone be on the podium. "So we are all pretty happy with 3rd in the World TTT champs! Year of the bronze for me. Track worlds, Olympics and TTT Worlds. Could be a lot worse!"
Villumsen, a time trial specialist who is chasing her fourth straight World Championship individual time trial medal later this week, worked hard for her Orica AIS team to win the silver medal in the women's event.
Two other Kiwis were in action today, Jesse Sergent place 8th with his RadioShack Nissan Team and Jack Bauer placed 10th with his Garmin Sharp Barracuda team.
Sergent shares his views
Sergent said it was a brutally tough circuit. He believes the professional teams took this discipline's return to the World Championships seriously.
"For a trade team to say they are World Champions in a team time trial is a pretty big thing for teams and sponsors. For sure it was taken seriously," Sergent said.
"It is awesome that UCI have brought it back into the World Championships. It is good for cycling and a good event for the people to watch."
Sergent said the individual time trials will use much of today's course. He and Bewley are back on their TT bikes, but this time wearing NZ colours, on Thursday (NZ time).
"The course had everything. Some short steep climbs, some long downhills, corners, wind and some real hard sections and finished pretty much on the top of the famous climb of the Cauberg. It is a well rounded course.
"It is one of the most painful, hardest events you can do. If you are going good it is so painful, and if you are going bad it still hurts. It does not matter if you are the strongest or the weakest, it is so hard.
"I want to give it everything and have a good ride. I don't have any thoughts of a time or a placing but just to give it everything and get everything out of myself."
Kiwis in action tomorrow
The action turns to the individual time trial tomorrow with Hayden McCormick (Te Awamutu) and Nick Bain (Auckland) in the junior men and Jason Christie (Ashburton) and James Oram (North Harbour) in the under-23 event.
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