Ellen Van Dijk struck gold for The Netherlands on Tuesday at the UCI Elite Road World Championships in Florence, Italy. Van Dijk registered a time of 27:48 in the 25.3-kilometer elite women’s time trial to take top honors ahead of Linda Villumsen (New Zealand).
U.S. time trial champion Carmen Small, who considered retirement in 2012 before signing with Specialized-lululemon, earned her first worlds medal, taking bronze. Villumsen, who had twice earned bronze previously, as well as silver in 2011, stopped the clock 24 seconds slower than Van Dijk, with Small a further four seconds back.
American Evelyn Stevens was fourth, missing a medal by just four-hundredths of a second.
“I’m pretty surprised,” said Small. “I didn’t expect to actually podium; I thought top five would be a really good ride for me. Jim Miller (USA Cycling vice president of athletics) and I met before and I really wanted Jim in the car talking to me because he was in the car at Nationals with me when I won. I just buried myself in the last 500 meters. I knew it was going to hurt, but it hurts for everyone. With 100 meters to go I wanted to quit, but I did one more click down on my gears and I just counted the pedal strokes to get me to the finish. This hurt worse than I’ve ever hurt before.”