Russian rider Aigul Gareeva wins the Junior Women’s World Time Trial Championships in a winning time of 22 minutes 16.23 seconds from Dutch rider Shirin van Anrooij and Britain’s Elynor Backstedt.
The early markers were set by Megan Jastrab of the USA then Leonie Bos of the Netherlands both of whom stayed within the podium positions for a considerable time, before they eventually finished in 9th and 6th place respectively.
Last year’s bronze medalist, Backstedt was last to start from the field of 50 riders, with Camilla Alessio from Italy and Gareeva expected to be the other major contenders whilst Van Anrooij was the Dutch hope, having shown excellent form as a first year Junior.
Gareeva was the fastest from the first checkpoint, where she led Backstedt by just 0.79 seconds after Backstedt had lost her back wheel on the wet corner just prior to the timing point. Gareeva continued to maintain the lead throughout although it looked like it was all in vain when she took the wrong turn prior to the finish line. But, with a calm head she turned around and was soon back on course, coming home in 22:16.23, knocking the leader at the time, Swedish champion, Wilma Olausson, off the top spot.
Gareeva seemed overwhelmed with the result but she later said that she wanted to get a result that would thank everyone for believing in her.
It was a hilly and technical circuit but I enjoyed every minute of it. I had a little wobble half-way around which lost me some seconds but thankfully I stayed on my bike. The crowds were absolutely incredible. I was the last rider down the start ramp and I could hear the fans cheering my name before I’d even started. That cheering didn’t stop then for my full ride and it certainly pushed me along. I am really happy with my bronze medal and it was an unbelievable experience.
I was on my absolute limit as I approached that last corner and was following the white stripes on the road instead of looking up at where I was going. It was an error on my part and I was so relieved when I was still able to win. It was a very emotional moment for me and am so proud to have my rainbow jersey.
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