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Glasgow Worlds preview: Who will win the elite women’s ITT?

Top contenders for the 2023 Time Trial World Championship.

Ellen van Dijk, Grace Brown and Marlen Reusser on the podium of the 2022 ITT World Championships.

Abby Mickey
by Abby Mickey 09.08.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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The elite women will set off on their quest for individual glory on Thursday, August 10th in Stirling, with live coverage of the event starting at 14:55 local Scottish time.

Kit Nicholson already wrote up everything you need to know about the 36.2 km route, which finishes where it starts in the town after a trip west towards the Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve.

A map and profile of the women's ITT route, starting and finishing in Stirling, Scotland with a final climb to Stirling Castle.

If you’re looking for a full analysis of the route check out Kit’s piece, but if you’re after a list of potential contenders you’ve come to the right place.

The top contender

It’s impossible to look past Marlen Reusser for this title. The Swiss woman was outstanding at the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, topping a week of ferocious teamwork with a win in the final stage time trial. She has twice finished second in the Worlds ITT, in 2020 and 2021, both times behind Ellen van Dijk, who is currently out on maternity leave.

Marlen Reusser on her time trial bike at the Tour de France, viewed from the side, in a highly aerodynamic position.
Marlen Reusser pictured during Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. Photo © Cor Vos

Since joining SD Worx in 2022 Reusser has enjoyed a massive jump in performance, becoming the go-to support rider for Demi Vollering at most major races, while taking a few WorldTour wins of her own as well.

Reusser took a little tumble in the team relay on Tuesday, but it didn’t stop the Swiss, who took their second Worlds team relay title in as many years.

Next in line

Behind Reusser there are a few other riders who can put in a good performance – and who knows, maybe they will take the title. It would be a surprise for anyone to upset Reusser, but if anyone is going to do it it’s her trade team teammate Demi Vollering.

Vollering’s overall title at the Tour de France Femmes was nothing short of dominant – and she was just 10 seconds slower than Reusser in the final stage time trial, after demolishing the peloton on the Col du Tourmalet the day before.

Demi Vollering rides the time trial at the Tour de France Femmes. The view is from above, looking down at her clad in the yellow skinsuit of overall leader.
Demi Vollering during the final stage of the Tour de France Femmes.

Riejanne Markus, a teammate of Vollering’s on the national team, is another one to watch out for. The Dutchwoman won her national time trial championships ahead of Vollering and former ITT world champion Annemiek van Vleuten but didn’t perform as expected at the Tour. She had some issues in the team relay on Tuesday but will definitely pull out all the stops come the individual race.

Next, there’s American Chloe Dygert, who won the World Championship ITT title in 2019. The US Champion recently won her first WorldTour race on the road with her Canyon-SRAM team at RideLondon, after some incredible performances at the Spanish early-Summer stage races. She continues to impress on the track, picking up the individual pursuit World Championship last Thursday, and has had her eye on this time trial for some time. She might be the best chance to beat Reusser, but that depends a lot on the weather. Dygert more than others will be impacted by wet roads. She has less experience handling a bike outside the velodrome than Reusser, but if the roads are dry the Swiss woman will need to watch out for pink shoes.

Chloe Dygert racing in the time trial at the Tokyo Olympics. She's wearing bright pink overshoes which stand out against the mostly black and white Team USA skinsuit and her black Canyon bike.
Chloe Dygert pictured during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (which actually happened in 2021). Photo © Cor Vos

Finally, there’s Grace Brown. The Aussie finished second at the Worlds ITT in her home country at the end of last season but hasn’t enjoyed the same form since she won Tour Down Under earlier this year. She finished just two seconds behind Lotte Kopecky at the Tour; not a bad performance for her but not her best. That was at the end of a hard week of racing, and Brown excels in one-day races. So having a stand-alone time trial after sitting out the team relay and focusing purely on Thursday will benefit the Olympian.

Australian Grace Brown, riding to the silver medal at the 2022 World Time Trial Championships in Wollongong, Australia.
Grace Brown on her way to silver in Wollongong. Photo © Cor Vos

Names to keep in mind: Danish ITT champion and Tour de France stage winner Emma Norsgaard, Italian quickwoman Vittoria Guazzini, Cédrine Kerbaol – the best young rider at the Tour de France Femmes and French ITT champion; time-trialling legend Mieke Kröger, British ITT champion Elizabeth Holden, and Aussie newcomer Georgie Howe.

The Escape Collective star ratings

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐: Marlen Reusser
⭐⭐⭐⭐: N/A
⭐⭐⭐: Grace Brown, Riejanne Markus, Demi Vollering, Chloe Dygert
⭐⭐: N/A
⭐: Georgie Howe, Emma Norsgaard, Vittoria Guazzini

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