The wet weather couldn’t dampen the spirits on the third day of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships which saw Mikkel Bjerg and Chloé Dygert emerge triumphant in the Under-23 Men’s and Elite Women’s Individual Time Trials.
The rain lashed down in the morning as the men took on the 30.3km route from Ripon to Harrogate, and the damp conditions caused a number of thrills and spills before Bjerg began his ultimately triumphant ride. The Dane was the final rider down the start ramp and produced a time-trialing masterclass as he navigated his way successfully through the tricky parcours.
The 20 year old was fastest at the 14.2km
split and consolidated his advantage to claim victory by a 26.45sec cushion
over USA’s Ian Garrison. It was Bjerg’s third successive triumph in the Men’s
Under-23 Individual Time Trial event and he seemingly has the world at his feet
as he prepares to turn professional in 2020.
In the gap between the men’s and women’s
races, the organisational partners worked tirelessly to remove as much water
from the course as possible, and as they did so the decision was taken by the
UCI to delay the afternoon’s action by 40 minutes, and also see the riders
setting off at 60-second intervals instead of the original 90.
Legendary Dutch duo Anna van der Breggen and Annemiek van Vleuten had gone into the Elite Women’s race as pre-race favourites, but it was USA’s Chloé Dygert who pushed them into second and third places respectively.
Dygert blazed an amazing trail in her first-ever appearance on European soil, and the 22 year old’s time of 42min 11.57sec proved a whole 1min 32.35sec faster than van der Breggen’s, and a further 20.31sec ahead of van Vleuten.
Like Bjerg, that success yielded Dygert her third rainbow jersey on the road, having done the Junior Individual Time Trial and Road Race double at her home Championships in Richmond back in 2015.