Day three at Doha saw the junior men and the elite women face the race of truth. Both saw superb action, both were exciting in their own way and both ended with The Star Spangled Banner ringing across the podium area. Oh and we got the first Dane on the podium #happyMidge
Men U19 ITT
For a long time it looked as if we would see a repeat of the U23 race yesterday as three early starters took advantage of the slightly cooler conditions and occupy the hotseats. Rider after rider crossed the finish line without troubling the one, two, three of Mikkel Bjerg (Denmark), Ian Garrison (USA) and Belgium’s Ruben Apers. Bjerg’s teammate Julius Johansen ran them close, setting the quickest time at the early checks before fading a little to finish 4th. Not so last man to start and 2015 bronze medallist Brandon McNulty. The pre race favourite blazed around the 30km course to claim the title in a stunning 34:22 mins – a time that would have seen him take bronze in the U23 trial yesterday.
I may have been giddy with excitement seeing Danes place 2nd and 4th, but I was downright thrilled to see Awet Habtrom ride to 7th. The Eritrean was a little rough around the edges, but he’s a diamond in the making – mark that name for the future.
Women Elite ITT
Amber Neben climbed to the top step of the podium in Doha to claim her second world title – eight years after her first one. The American, who finished just outside the medals in the team time trial on Sunday, produced an assured, smooth as silk performance as she turned a huge gear. Ellen van Dijk battled her every metre of the way, with the lead switching between the two at each checkpoint. The Dutch rider fought with everything in the closing metres but it wasn’t enough, she finished at +0:6secs. Karin Garfoot (Australia) rounded out the podium only 8secs behind the leader.
When you realise the rainbows are yours…
Yes, Amber Neben is 41 years old – we like to think of this fact as follows…
Header image: U19 ITT podium © Photo by Tim de Waele/Corbis via Getty Images