Ellen van Dijk takes world time trial title in Belgium to continue Dutch dominance

The 38-year-old Dutch woman edged European champion Marlen Reusser to claim the third gold for the Netherlands in the last four years.

By Alessandro Poggi
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

Ellen van Dijk added a second time trial world title to her list of accolades as she clinched gold at the UCI World Road Championships on Monday (20 September).

The Dutch veteran completed the 30.3km flat course between Knokke-Heist and Bruges in 36:05.28, 10.29 seconds faster than reigning European champion Marlen Reusser of Switzerland.

Fellow Dutch rider and Olympic champion Annemiek van Vleuten took bronze, a further 14 seconds back.

Van Dijk was time trial world champion back in 2013, before finishing third in both 2018 and 2020.

This win marks the Netherlands' third gold in the last four events, with defending champion Anna van der Breggen missing this year's race along with 2019 world champion Chloe Dygert of the USA.

"This has been a dream for so long to get the world title again," van Dijk said after the race.

"I knew it was a good course for me and I put everything into it!"

The newly-crowned European road race champion set the early target and had to wait on the leader's hot seat for almost one hour before the last riders crossed the finish line.

"It was just nerve-racking, just sitting there and have nothing to do," she said.

At the first intermediate time checkpoint, Marlen Reusser was three seconds quicker than van Dijk, but in the last section the Swiss rider failed to keep pace with the Dutch woman who averaged 50.3km per hour.

Emotional win for new U23 Time Trial world champion Price-Pejtersen

Earlier on, Johan Price-Pejtersen of Denmark claimed the men's under-23 time trial title.

Racing on the same course as the Elite women, the 22-year-old - who is also the reigning European champion in the discipline - clocked 34:29, finishing 10 seconds ahead of Australian Luke Plapp.

Florian Vermeersch of Belgium rounded off the podium, 11 seconds behind the winner.

Price-Pejtersen's win came just days after former Danish champion Chris Anker Sorensen tragically lost his life during a ride in Belgium, where he was attending the event as a co-commentator for TV 2 Sport: "I really wanted to win for him. I lost a friend, it's been an emotional ride from the start to the finish," he told DirectVelo.