Road Worlds 2019: Women/U23 TT

Mikkel Bjerg and Chloé Dygert Owen emerge triumphant in the Under-23 Men’s and Elite Women’s Individual Time Trials on a very very wet day in Yorkshire.

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Road Worlds 2019: Women/U23 TT

The wet weather couldn’t dampen the spirits on the third day of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships which saw Mikkel Bjerg and Chloé Dygert Owen emerge triumphant in the Under-23 Men’s and Elite Women’s Individual Time Trials.

Photo: Craig Zadoroznyj

The rain lashed down in the morning as the men took on the 30.3km route from Ripon to Harrogate, and the damp conditions caused a number of thrills and spills before Bjerg began his ultimately triumphant ride. The Dane was the final rider down the start ramp and produced a time-trialling masterclass as he navigated his way successfully through the tricky parcours.

The 20 year old was fastest at the 14.2km split and consolidated his advantage to claim victory by a 26.45sec cushion over USA’s Ian Garrison. It was Bjerg’s third successive triumph in the Men’s Under-23 Individual Time Trial event and he seemingly has the world at his feet as he prepares to turn professional in 2020.

In the gap between the men’s and women’s races, the organisational partners worked tirelessly to remove as much water from the course as possible, and as they did so the decision was taken by the UCI to delay the afternoon’s action by 40 minutes, and also see the riders setting off at 60-second intervals instead of the original 90.
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Legendary Dutch duo Anna van der Breggen and Annemiek van Vleuten had gone into the Elite Women’s race as pre-race favourites, but it was USA’s Chloé Dygert Owen who pushed them into second and third places respectively. Dygert Owen blazed an amazing trail in her first-ever appearance on European soil, and the 22 year old’s time of 42min 11.57sec proved a whole 1min 32.35sec faster than van der Breggen’s, and a further 20.31sec ahead of van Vleuten.

Like Bjerg, that success yielded Dygert Owen her third rainbow jersey on the road, having done the Junior Individual Time Trial and Road Race double at her home Championships in Richmond back in 2015.

Alice Barnes (16th, Gbr): “I am fairly happy with my result. I rode it how I wanted to and gave it my all. There is a lot of work to do to be fighting for top positions in the future, but it is a good step forward. I liked the course. It had a bit of everything. It was tough with the climbs but had some nice technical sections too. The crowds were amazing even with the torrential rain and it really did help to push harder.”

Danish rider Mikkel Bjerg said: “Today was really, really crazy and they were very difficult conditions out there today. I was told to hold my handlebars tight, keep looking ahead of me, and go full gas through the water. I didn’t have any slips or slides so I am over the moon to have pulled off this third victory.”

USA rider Chloé Dygert Owen said: “It’s always special to wear the rainbow stripes and I worked really hard for this. I had a concussion which forced me to miss last year’s Championships so I prepared specifically for this one and to win is really special. Being here in Yorkshire is really cool and it’s a really neat place to be. I’ll enjoy this moment tonight but I’ll be competing in the road race on Saturday so it’ll be back to work tomorrow.”

Ethan Vernon: Photo: Craig Zadoroznyj

Ethan Vernon: “Power was up but I think I lost time on the climbs. I am pretty sure I was going well on the flat but I was struggling with power on the climbs. There were three big climbs and about 45 seconds on each one and that all adds up. I am really pleased I got the opportunity and to come off the start ramp and hear people cheering, it was incredible”.

Hayley Simmonds: Photo: Craig Zadoroznyj

Hayley Simmonds: “Conditions were hard, I had practiced on the course quite a few times but in the dry and everything changes when its wet so it was a difficult one to judge. My power numbers were good, and I was riding to my power plan, but my time was a lot slower than what that power should yield so not entirely sure what to think about that at the moment. The delay for the start really threw me. You’re always going to be anxious going into a world championship and I had my caffeine based on the original start time and just finished the hard efforts of my warm up and then was told there was a delay and I didn’t know what to do. Do I have more caffeine, do I stay on the turbo, do I do more efforts, and I ended up doing one and half amount times what I would do normally on the turbo and twice the amount of caffeine. I just wish they had made the call earlier so everyone knew before they started their warm ups.”

Charlie Quarterman: Photo: Craig Zadoroznyj

Charlie Quarterman: “It was really hard. With all the rain and wind, it was really hard and you had to focus all the time to avoid the puddles and every pedal stroke it got harder so it was a real tough day out. I tried to be cautious on the road as you don’t know where the puddles are coming and the roads can be pretty slippery but I felt fairly safe out there.”

Women’s TT
1. Chloe Dygert, USA

16. Alice Barnes
26. Hayley Simmonds
34. Anna Turvey

Under 23 Men
1. Mikkel Bjerg

14. Charlie Quarterman
15. Ben Healy
21. Ethan Vernon



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