Silver for Brown on first day of world cycling championships in Wollongong



Australian Grace Brown has won silver in the women’s time trial, the first event at the world road cycling championships.

Dutch ace Ellen van Dijk won her third world title in the discipline and Swiss Marlen Reusser took the bronze.
Brown is one of the host nation’s top medal hopes at the Wollongong worlds and she set a blistering time on Sunday morning over the technical 34.2km course in and around the town centre.

The 30-year-old was one of the early starters and clocked 44 minutes 41.33 seconds. No one could touch her until van Dijk and Reusser, the last two starters in the field of 45. The Dutch star and Reusser were quicker than Brown at the first time check, but the Swiss rider faded.

Reusser finished 41.68 seconds off Brown’s time, but van Dijk finished 12.79 seconds under it to claim the gold again with 44:28.60. The 35-year-old Dutch star, who won the title last year and in 2013, was stunned to win again.

“It was the perfect course for me. (But) I never thought I would win today, actually,” she said.

“I had no idea how I was riding … I paced my effort really well.

“It was nice to see Reusser a little bit ahead of me near the end, so I knew it wasn’t a bad day for sure.

“But I was so surprised at the finish.”

Grace Brown of Australia (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

It is Australia’s second silver medal in the women’s time trial at the world championships, following Anna Wilson in 1999.

Georgia Baker took eighth at her first elite world championships, 1:46.44 behind van Dijk. Significantly, leading Dutch contender Annemiek van Vleuten finished a whopping 1:34.29 for seventh earlier in the event, confirming Brown had set a medal-contending time.

The Dutch ace won the time trial at last year’s Olympics and is a two-time world champion. Brown finished fourth last year at the Olympics and won the time trial at the Commonwealth Games.

Compatriot Luke Plapp will also ride on Sunday, with the men’s time trial to follow in the afternoon. Vuelta a Espana winner Remco Evenepoel from Belgium, Italian two-time defending world champion Filippo Ganna and two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar from Slovenia headline the men’s event.

Australian Rohan Dennis, a two-time world champion, is not racing at Wollongong because it clashes with his brother’s wedding.

Australia previously hosted the road worlds at Geelong in 2010.

© AAP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *