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U.S. rider Neben claims world TT gold

American Amber Neben won her second world time trial title Tuesday, crushing the race against the clock in Doha, Qatar. “I was so nervous,” said Neben afterward. “It was so hard watching but at the time so exciting to have won.”

Neben, who first won TT gold in 2008 in Varese, Italy, registered a time of 36:37.04. “This one was more special because of everything that has happened between 2008 and now,” she said. Dutchwoman Ellen Van Dijk, 12 years Neben’s junior, was just under six seconds behind. Australia claimed another bronze medal on the heels of Monday’s U23 time trial with Katrin Garfoot third, 8.32 seconds back.

Top-10 results

  • 1. Amber NEBEN, (USA), in 36:37.04
  • 2. Ellen VAN DIJK, (NED), at :5.99
  • 3. Katrin GARFOOT, (AUS), at :8.32
  • 4. Olga ZABELINSKAYA, (RUS), at :11.52
  • 5. Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN, (NED), at :25.79
  • 6. Lisa BRENNAUER, (GER), at :57.59
  • 7. Trixi WORRACK, (GER), at 1:11.14
  • 8. Ann-Sophie DUYCK, (BEL), at 1:27.96
  • 9. Katarzyna PAWLOWSKA, (POL), at 1:36.49
  • 10. Alena AMIALIUSIK, (BLR), at 1:41.59

Neben went out in the middle of the order in a 41-strong field and had an agonizing wait to see if her time would be beaten. She averaged more than 47 kilometers per hour along the 28.9 kilometer course in the Qatari capital, Doha.

Although van Dijk and Garfoot came close, the expected challenges from pre-race favorites Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands and Germany’s Lisa Brennauer never materialized. Van der Breggen finished 13th and Brennauer sixth.

Van Dijk set the fastest intermediate times at the first two checks, but she couldn’t keep her lead. At the third split she was two seconds back. With Neben watching from the hot seat, Van Dijk crossed the finish line 5.99 seconds in arrears. “I was using more energy siting there in the hot seat than out there on the bike. I feel sorry for Ellen van Dijk and at the same time I’m excited for myself,” added Neben.

At one stage it looked as if Annemiek Van Vleuten might complete a fairytale win after her horrific crash in Rio which left her with concussion and three cracked vertebrae. But despite being an early leader the Dutchwoman tailed off to finish fifth and later took to Twitter to say that she had been too “conservative” on her first lap.

It was the second gold medal for an American cyclist in Doha after Brandon McNulty won the junior men’s TT earlier Tuesday. With Neben’s win, the U.S. collected a record six gold medals in the women’s ITT. France and Germany have four, while the Netherlands has three.

At 41, Neben is the second oldest women to win the event after France’s Jeannie Longo won aged 42 in 2001.

Full results

  • 1. Amber NEBEN, (USA), in 36:37.04
  • 2. Ellen VAN DIJK, (NED), at :5.99
  • 3. Katrin GARFOOT, (AUS), at :8.32
  • 4. Olga ZABELINSKAYA, (RUS), at :11.52
  • 5. Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN, (NED), at :25.79
  • 6. Lisa BRENNAUER, (GER), at :57.59
  • 7. Trixi WORRACK, (GER), at 1:11.14
  • 8. Ann-Sophie DUYCK, (BEL), at 1:27.96
  • 9. Katarzyna PAWLOWSKA, (POL), at 1:36.49
  • 10. Alena AMIALIUSIK, (BLR), at 1:41.59
  • 11. Lotta LEPISTÖ, (FIN), at 1:57.00
  • 12. Carmen SMALL, (USA), at 2:02.15
  • 13. Anna VAN DER BREGGEN, (NED), at 2:11.26
  • 14. Hannah BARNES, (GBR), at 2:23.33
  • 15. Elena CECCHINI, (ITA), at 2:30.28
  • 16. Emilia FAHLIN, (SWE), at 2:30.40
  • 17. Julie LETH, (DEN), at 2:31.71
  • 18. Ashleigh MOOLMAN-PASIO, (RSA), at 2:45.92
  • 19. Karol-Ann CANUEL, (CAN), at 2:48.62
  • 20. Cecilie UTTRUP LUDWIG, (DEN), at 2:53.51
  • 21. Eri YONAMINE, (JPN), at 3:01.79
  • 22. Audrey CORDON, (FRA), at 3:14.58
  • 23. Olena PAVLUKHINA, (AZE), at 3:21.20
  • 24. Olga SHEKEL, (UKR), at 3:28.05
  • 25. Hayley SIMMONDS, (GBR), at 3:47.18
  • 26. Valeriya KONONENKO, (UKR), at 3:58.87
  • 27. Anastasiia IAKOVENKO, (RUS), at 4:02.19
  • 28. Anna TURVEY, (IRL), at 4:14.85
  • 29. Nicole HANSELMANN, (SUI), at 4:15.13
  • 30. Sheyla GUTIERREZ RUIZ, (ESP), at 4:55.32
  • 31. Varvara FASOI, (GRE), at 5:09.59
  • 32. Samantha SANDERS, (RSA), at 5:55.31
  • 33. Mossana DEBESAI, (ERI), at 6:53.51
  • 34. Ebtissam Zayed AHMED MOHAMED, (EGY), at 8:15.53
  • 35. Wehazit KIDANE, (ERI), at 8:56.92
  • 36. Hong GUO, (CHN), at 9:42.89
  • 37. Jiajun SUN, (CHN), at 10:13.91
  • 38. Najla Aljuraiwi, (KUW), at 10:19.49
  • 39. Beatha INGABIRE, (RWA), at 13:25.25
  • 40. Nada ALJURAIWI, (KUW), at 15:10.15
  • . Jaruwan SOMRAT, (THA)

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