2011 UCI Road World Championships
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Event: 19-25 September 2011
The Elite Women's Time Trial took in 2 laps of a 13.9km course and saw Britain's Emma Pooley defending the title she won in Australia last year. On a course that didn't seem to suit her, Pooley produced a strong ride to claim the bronze behind Judith Arndt and Linda Villumsen of New Zealand.
Emma Pooley on her way to time trial bronze (John Giles/PA Wire/Press Association Images)
The early pace setter was Elena Tchalykh of Azerbaijan who was the second rider to start and immediately began at a very high pace and held it well right to the finish to record a time of 38:08.22. That was the fastest time for only a few minutes before Rhae-Christie Shaw of Canada put in a strong final quarter of her ride to go almost 20 seconds faster.
Rain fell heavily for much of the event, making the mixed surfaces of the course tough to read, especially a short cobbled section.
Rhae-Christie Shaw in turn had to give way to her team-mate Clara Hughes, who was 20 seconds up at the mid-point of her ride, but crossed the line only 2.44 seconds to the good. Britain's Julia Shaw, although not threatening the top step of the podium, put in a really solid ride to briefly hold third place with a time of 38:57.26. She eventually finished 17th.
The next rider to threaten the medal positions was Holland's Eleanora Van Dijk, who handled the wet corners expertly to go second, just inside Rhae-Christie Shaw's, two seconds down on Hughes.
Tara Whitten, the Canadian Commonwealth champion then came in with a new fastest time of 37.33.54, only to be pushed down immediately by the next finished Linda Melanie Villumsen of New Zealand with 37.29.11.
The three-times silver medal winner in this event, Judith Arndt of Germany, was off second to last and was clearly the next big threat. Arndt was fastest from the half way point, benefitting from drying conditions timing her effort beautifully to record a new mark of 37.07.38.
Last rider to go, GB's Emma Pooley began her ride very well, coming through the first time check just 4 seconds down in 4th place. She kept the pressure on, going second at the second time check, less than a second down and ahead of Arndt. However, she dropped back a little at the third time-check, going through fourth and one wondered if she had blown.
We needn't have worried, because the defending champion shrugged aside the still difficult conditions and the suggestion that the flat course would not suit her to cross the line with a time of 37.31.51, good enough for a very well deserved bronze medal, behind Arndt took the and Villumsen.
1 Judith Arndt (Germany) 0:37:07.38
2 Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) 0:00:21.73
3 Emma Pooley (Great Britain) 0:00:24.13
4 Tara Whitten (Canada) 0:00:26.16
5 Clara Hughes (Canada) 0:00:36.79
6 Eleonara Van Dijk (Netherlands) 0:00:38.88
7 Rhae-Christie Shaw (Canada) 0:00:39.03
8 Amber Neben (USA) 0:00:41.09
9 Emilia Fahlin (Sweden) 0:00:55.06
10 Marianne Vos (Netherlands) 0:00:55.77
17 Julia Shaw (Great Britain) 38:57.26