Copenhagen 2011: Germany's Judith Arndt wins ITT, defending champ Emma Pooley 3rd

Earlier, Denmark's Mads Wurtz Schmidt gets victory in junior men's TT to break Aussie monopoly

by Simon_MacMichael   September 20, 2011  

Copenhagen 2011 logo.jpg

Germany's Judith Arndt is the new women's world time trial champion, storming to victory in Copenhagen in 37:07:38 ahead of Linda Villumsen, the Dane who now rides for New Zealand, with defending champion Emma Pooley of Great Britain third. Earlier today, Australia's winning streak came to an end as David Edwards took bronze in the junior time trial behind winner Mads Wurtz Schmidt of Denmark. In that race, New Zealand's James Oram got the first of his country's two siver medals of the day. 

On a flat course that did not suit her, and having to contend, like the other late starters, with roads made slippery by the rain, Pooley's performance exceeded pre-race expectations during a gripping afternoon's racing that saw Canada's two representatives, Tara Whitten and Clara Highes, miss out on the medals late on. Hughes, a comparatively early starter, had completed the 27.8 kilometre course in 37:44:17 to put herself in the lead.

That time stood until her compatriot, Whitten, Commonwealth champion in this discipline and a multiple world champion on the track, put in a time around 11 seconds quicker than her compatriot. Aalmost immediately that time was bettered by the next rider to finish, Villumsen, who in 2009 won a bronze medal in Danish colours in the time trial in Mendrisio, switching to a New Zealand license the following year and taking silver behind Whitten in Delhi.

With all the riders now out on the course, Canadian hopes of a medal were dashed as Arndt, following a slow start that saw her post only the eight fastest time at the first intermediate check, zipped round the course in a time of 37:07:38, with an average speed of 44.931km/h.

That left only Pooley to finish, with the Briton, who had slipped from second to fourth place and out of the medals between the halfway point and the third time check, somehow recovering to clinch bronze.

Great Britain's other competitor, Julia Shaw, who won bronze in Delhi and received a very late call up to the team for Copenhagen, finished 17th of the 51 starters, a great performance given her relative lack of experience at this level of international competition.

Afterwards, Arndt, 2004 road world champion but never in the time trial, although she has come close on several occasions, said: "It's wonderful to have finally won it. It's been a goal of mine for a very long time. I've won silver and bronze medals a few times but now I've finally got the gold too. I can't express how happy I am. I had the best support from a lot of people."

The 35-year-old German, quoted on the UCI website, revealed that she had run risks on the roads and that she chose not to wear a radio earpiece so she could focus on her own race rather than worry about what others were doing.

"I was a bit careful on the first lap but you could almost go full out on the corners and so on the second lap, it went even better," she explained. "I don't like to race with a radio. I like to be alone and concentrate on my race," Arndt added.

For the men's junior world champion Schmidt, a native of Copenhagen, the win was down to a combination of local knowledge and determination honed from hours spent practising on the course.

"I just wanted to do my best and do the best time trial I could and to win is amazing," said the 17-year-old. "This is the biggest moment of my life, it's the greatest day of my life, it's so amazing. It's going to take some time to sink in. I thought I could do a good time but this an amazing feeling, being here in Copenhagen.”

Tomorrow sees the final event against the clock in the champioships, the men's individual time trial, and of course that also marks the return of our Fantasy Cycling Game, with a couple of tweaks to the rules - your not restricted in the number of riders you can pick from individual categories, nor are you limited to two riders from each trade team, so as long as you're within budget, anything goes.

We've updated the game so that only those riding in the time trial are now highlighted - you can choose from around two thirds of the 65 men scheduled to start (ie those who race at ProTeam or Professional Continental Level). You have until 11am tomorrow morning to finalise your team.

As for tactics, that's for you to decide - you can pack your team with the Cancellaras and Martins of this world which should guarantee you some big points but will quickly swallow up your budget, or you could perhaps look for depth and pick up riders perhaps less likely to challenge for the medals, but good bets for a top 20 or even top 10 finish to spread the points around.

If you want to follow the racing live - it's on Eurosport and the BBC Red Button and website - you'll find all the start times here, but do remember to subtract an hour for BST.