Georgia Williams has finished a strong 11th place in the elite women’s individual time trial as Mitchelton-Scott teammate Annemiek van Vleuten led a Netherlands 1-2-3 in Innsbruck, winning the UCI world title ahead of Anna van der Breggen and Ellen van Dijk.
Today saw Georgia Williams embark on her first individual time trial outing at a UCI World Road Championships event. The reigning national road and time trial champion was up against a field of 51 other riders with Fernanda Yapura of Argentina getting racing underway. Williams would be the 15th rider to leave the start with Mikayla Harvey also riding and the 8th from last to go.
The course up ahead of them was 27.8km in length and started at Hall-Wattens, finishing in Innsbruck after a rolling course, that took in a couple of gradual climbs around the 15-25km marks. Being one of the earlier strong riders to leave the start ramp it was going to be interesting to see how Williams would fare, and at the 18.1km time check her time of 24.01mins was enough to put her in a provisional 3rd place behind then leader Leah Kirchmann of Canada. Williams’ average speed of 45.2kph was maintained almost throughout the entire ride, dropping just 0.1kph in the latter stages.
Williams pushed the pace towards the end, catching the rider ahead of her and stopping the clock in a provisional fourth fastest time.
The day would belong to the Netherlands, however, with a dominant display by Ellen van Dijk, Anna van der Breggen and finally Annemiek van Vleuten. Van Vleuten took the win in a time of 34.25mins, an average speed of 48.465kph, 30 seconds ahead of van der Breggen and 1.25mins ahead of van Dijk; who just got the better of Leah Kirchmann.
Sadly the day ended prematurely for Mikayla Harvey. Starting late in the day, she was not the only rider to crash out on the course, with Russia’s Mariia Novolodskaia also coming down on the road. For Harvey the crash came at the 9km mark, with the Team Illuminate rider hitting the deck while riding through a chicane. Although Harvey was taken to a nearby clinic for treatment on an injured hand, team manager Jacques Landry expects her to make a full recovery in time for the road race this weekend.
— Cycling New Zealand (@CyclingNZL) September 25, 2018
Williams ‘surprised and pleased with the ride’
This second half of the season has presented its uncertainties for Georgia Williams, with questions to answer regarding fitness all the way up until very close to the championships began. However, her performance in the team time trial and then in today’s individual race against the clock put to bed many questions.
“I didn’t put any expectations on myself because I haven’t been back on the bike for long and I’m not back to full fitness yet, so I was surprised and pleased with the ride today,” said Williams.
“I rode the team time trial a few days ago and thought it might take it out of my legs but I felt quite strong today which was good.
“While I took the pressure off myself because of my build-up, when you get here and it is the world championships, then things ramp up a bit. It was my first worlds in the time trial as an elite so overall I am quite pleased with that effort really.”
Williams is keeping the pressure off regarding the road race, still downplaying her chances over the 156.2km course. “It is hilly so you need to be super-fit to get the best results. I am not quite at that stage but never-the-less I will give it everything,” said Williams. “This is the world championship and it is different when you pull on the New Zealand jersey. It is really special. There won’t be any help from my Mitchelton Scott teammates but at the same time I know how these girls ride and I will look to use that to my advantage.”
Tomorrow sees both Hamish Bond and Patrick Bevin in action in the men’s individual time trial. Commonwealth Games medallist Hamish Bond is the 19th rider off at 2:37pm local time with in-form BMC Racing professional Patrick Bevin the 49th of 61 starters off at 3.22pm local time.
|Rank||Last Name||First Name||Country||Team||Result|
|2||VAN DER BREGGEN||Anna||NED||NETHERLANDS||+28.99|
|5||THOMAS||Leah||USA||UNITED STATES OF AMERICA||+1:32.39|
|7||NEBEN||Amber Leone||USA||UNITED STATES OF AMERICA||+1:47.51|
|10||WILES||Tayler||USA||UNITED STATES OF AMERICA||+2:31.16|
|30||GARCIA CAÑELLAS||Margarita Victo||ESP||SPAIN||+4:09.02|
|49||CAMPBELL||Teniel||TTO||TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO||+7:18.74|
|51||PU||Yixian||CHN||PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA||+7:37.02|