World Championship Time Trial
Treviso, Italy, September 12, 1999
This year's Time Trial course for the Elite Women was 26km (18miles) and
flat, flat, flat -- as in pancake. There were some turns, mostly to get into
and out of the city of Treviso. At the start and finish we raced over
cobbles. Even so nothing on the course was particularly technical.
My hopes were high because the course was flat, we're in Italy, and I've been
riding well (other than in Switzerland). I knew the competition would be
tough. I've never seen such a large field in the TT. This is a pre-Olympic
Year, which may be the cause.
As usual at Worlds, the areas around the warm-up tents, start/finish, and
team parking were mad houses. (Indurain milled about, talking to all sorts
of people, posed for photos, and signed autographs.) All three US riders
decided to warm-up in the tents rather than in a separate personal area.
There were tons of trainers set up, I guess by the organization. They
certainly weren't any of the trainers I've seen rolling around in our team
My start number was 9, meaning 9 from the last to go. Emily started in the
middle of the field and Mari was 7. VanMorsel was the final rider, as
defending champion. After warming up, Paul the mechanic, Aaron the soigneur,
and I went over to the start house where my bike was measured and approved.
I then sat for a bit and stretched and drank.
In the race, I felt good and nothing stellar. I certainly pushed myself as
hard as I could. In the end, that wasn't fast enough. VanMorsel won again.
Anna Wilson, proving her GP Nations win wasn't a fluke, took second place by
4 seconds. Edita Pucinskaite was third. Then came Zabarova (the Olympic TT
gold medalist), Hanka Kupfenagel, Judith Arndt, and Clara Hughes. I was 12th
1:18 back. Emily 13th. Mari 18th.
In post race analysis, we decided (Juri Mainus, who was in my follow car, and
me) that the course being as flat as it was really wasn't a good course for
me nor for any of the US women. It just wasn't long enough nor tough enough
in terrain or conditions. (The day we raced the temperature was perfect and
there was no wind.) It was much more of a speed demon course than a power
course. (Petra Rosner and I afterwards agreed that she would have done quite
well.) The winning time was 32 minutes and some seconds, making the average
speed very close to 30 miles per hour.
I am happy with my effort, consistency of speed throughout the race, and TT
technique. I am disappointed with the placing.