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Germany’s Lisa Brennauer wins elite women’s time trial championship

Germany earns its second TT gold medal on the shoulders of Lisa Brennauer, who overcame rainy conditions to win

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Lisa Brennauer won Germany’s second TT gold medal at world championships on Tuesday, matching the performance of her countryman, Lennard Kämna, who won the junior race earlier in the day.

Brennauer, 26, bested Ukraine’s Anna Solovey, who surprised many favorites with a ride that earned her second place, 16.68 seconds behind the German winner.

American Evelyn Stevens was third, 21.25 seconds behind.

“I am so happy to win, I still cannot believe it,” Brennauer said. “The worlds are a special race, because there are girls who prepare only for this race, you never see them all season, so to win here, I am so happy and overwhelmed.”

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Solovey’s ride was unexpected, as she only competed one other time in 2014, at the Trophée Européen TT, where she won. The Ukrainian served a two year ban between 2011 and 2013 after testing positive for Drostanolone.

“That’s three years ago and it stays three years ago,” Solovey said of the ban.

“This is only my second year in elite category, and this is my first medal, so I am very happy,” Solovey said. “To be second, I can be happy with that. We have a lot of problems in my country right now. It is a dangerous place. I do not know if I will be racing next year. There is no money, so I cannot say what my future will hold. I am so sorry for what is happening in my nation.”

Brennauer is the reigning German national time trial and road race champion. She also won the time trials at Auensteiner Radsporttage and Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt in 2014.

This is the German’s second world championship gold medal this year — she was part of the Specialized-lululemon squad that won TTT worlds on Sunday, as was Stevens.

Stevens’ bronze medal was an improvement on her 2013 ride in Florence, where she finished fourth, out of the medals by only a few seconds.

“I tried not to think about the final climb until I got there,” Stevens said. “The finish line for me today was the top of the climb, because it came just two kilometers from the decsent. I gave everything I had. I was in the pain cave. It’s just about whatever you had left. Last year was a good lesson that every pedal stroke counts. Every worlds is a bit different, so I started today’s race prepared as well as I could, and if people are better than you, all you can do is your best.”

Many of the riders who started at the end of the order, including reigning world champion Ellen van Dijk, faced very rainy conditions, giving the earlier starters a distinct advantage. Van Dijk could only manage a seventh-place ride, 1:11.64 behind Brennauer.

American Alison Powers set an early fastest time, but finished eighth, at 1:14.17.

“Honestly, I wanted a medal, but I wasn’t fast enough,” Powers said. “I had a good ride, I had good preparation, so that’s all you can be happy with. I felt strong during the ride, and I had good communication in my ear with [UnitedHealthcare team manager] Mike Tamayo, so it was all good. It was a good course for me, but I would have preferred a little more technical, where you could find speed, and carry speed. It started to sprinkle a little during my ride, and I was secretly hoping it would start to downpour, but that makes it fair for everyone, and everyone had a clean ride. I thought I might have had a podium until [Mieke Kroeger] beat me by 35 seconds. That’s a big margin, and I didn’t feel so good after that.”

American Carmen Small, who took the bronze medal last year in Florence just ahead of Stevens, was a surprise no-show at the start house. Though she was part of the Specialized-lululemon team that won the gold medal in the TTT on Sunday, Small posted to Twitter that she had fallen ill, writing, “I’m pretty devastated to have to say I wont be starting the TT today. I gave it all for the TTT and it put me over the edge, sick in bed.”

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