Chloe Dygert is all the way back.
The prodigious American talent notched her second World Time Trial Championship to complete a long comeback from injury and illness that had hampered her in recent years. Overwhelming pre-race favorite Marlen Reusser was well behind Dygert at the first intermediate time check and ultimately climbed off the bike, for reasons unknown.
- Dygert, who won the World TT title in 2019, had been through a rough few years following her horrific crash in the 2020 World Championships. But her 2023 season has been unquestionably a success, with her first WorldTour win, at June’s RideLondon Classique and an Individual Pursuit World Championship to start “Super Worlds.”
- The shock of the day was undoubtedly Reusser’s DNF. The Swiss time trial phenom crashed during Tuesday’s team relay TT event, but was not known to be seriously hurt. But at the first intermediate time check, 15 km into the 36.1 km course, she was fourth, 32 seconds behind Dygert, and behind Grace Brown and Anna Henderson. She climbed off with around 16 km to go. Another surprise: Demi Vollering finishing in sixth place, after beating everyone but Reusser in the final time trial at the Tour de France Femmes not two weeks ago.
- Brown repeated her silver medal from 2022 Worlds in Wollongong, Australia, while Austria’s Christina Schweinberger overhauled Henderson in the final kilometers of the course to take a surprise bronze.
- Germany’s Antonia Niedermaier took out the U23 women’s ITT world title. The 20-year-old was 11th in the combined elite/U23 field, 2:28 behind Dygert, but her time was fast enough to take gold, eight seconds ahead of Tour de France Femmes best young rider, Cédrine Kerbaol (France). Niedermaier is coming back from injury too – she crashed heavily at the Giro d’Italia Donne in July, a day after her breakthrough stage win.
- It’s hard to overstate Dygert’s comeback. At the 2020 World TT championships, she crashed and suffered severe lacerations to her left leg, the complications of which nearly ended her career. As she was dealing with that, she came down with Epstein-Barr virus and even had a minor heart surgery. Even after signing a four-year contract with Canyon-SRAM in 2021, she raced lightly that year and in 2022 before a full road schedule this season. Dygert still is in obvious pain at times, and can sometimes be seen limping after hard efforts like her win at RideLondon. Her recovery may still be a work in progress in some ways but, competitively, Dygert is back to her best.
- One of the interesting elements of combining various disciplines at Super Worlds is that multi-talented riders have been able to leverage a single peak of form to find success in very different formats. In addition to Dygert’s IP-TT double, Albert Philipsen won both the Junior Men’s road race and XC events. Lotte Kopecky is a strong threat to add a road race title to her Points Race and Elimination Race rainbow jerseys, Filippo Ganna could echo Dygert with a TT win to go with his IP victory, and men’s road race winner Mathieu van der Poel has a chance to join Pauline Ferrand-Prevot as the only riders in history ever to win road, cyclocross, and mountain world titles in a single 12-month period.
- Worlds isn’t a trade team event, but Kopecky has been by far the standout SD Worx rider here. That’s little surprise given her versatility in the Tour de France Femmes, where she won a stage, wore yellow for six days, and finished sixth on the Tourmalet and third in the time trial. But it is a little surprising to see Vollering and Reusser so clearly off their best from just two weeks ago.
- Antonia Niedermaier (GER) 0:49:27
- Cédrine Kerbaol (FRA) +0:08
- Julie De Wilde (BEL) +0:39
- Anniina Ahtosalo (FIN) +2:08
- Petra Zsankó (HUN) +2:14
- Nora Jenčušová (SVK) +2:33
- Eliška Kvasničková (CZE) +2:50
- Ella Wyllie (NZL) +3:19
- Febe Jooris (BEL) +3:26
- Nina Berton (LUX) +3:39
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