The Time Trial at this Olympics is tough to say the least and will prove very testing for every member of the cycling community. This very much favours racers who can climb, not necessarily pure climbers, however to have a chance the riders can’t lose time on the climbs during this race. With the Road Race considerably changing the landscape of the Women’s Time Trial, here are the favourites still standing ready to take the title.
Anna Van Der Breggen (NED) – The current Dutch National Time Trial champion, and the 2012 European Time Trial champion has one other key honour to her name, she just won the 2016 Olympic Road Race Gold medal. Van Der Breggen was on a roll in 2016, with Silver medals in both the Time Trial and the Road Race at the World Championships, a Bronze medal in the European Road Race and a Bronze in the Team Time Trial at the World Championships. She has the fear factor on her side, and form says you would be hard pushed to find a better bet for Champion.
Chance of Winning – 9/10
Linda Villumsen (NZL) – The Danish born New Zealander has represented both countries, however from 2009 New Zealand is where she calls home. The Current World champion in the Time Trial has had quite the career. Medalling at every World Championships since 2009, excluding 2014, she has shown her class when it comes to this discipline. She also has a Team Time Trial Silver, a Gold and a Silver for the last two Commonwealth Games. She is a specialist, so may struggle on the climbs, however she will have more than enough to push this race right to the wire when given flat terrain to work with.
Chance of Winning – 7/10
Lisa Brennauer (GER) – Another Time Trialist with quite the illustrious record, Brennauer is very much a specialist, however significantly she has medalled elsewhere. She won the World Championship Time Trial in 2014, and also got a Silver in the Road Race, this year she could only manage a Bronze in the Time Trial. She has had better luck in the Team Time Trial as a three time World Champion, and even has a European Championship Silver Medal from the Track for the Team Pursuit. More suited to working as a team, she still has a chance of a medal here, however the climbs may relegate her to the minor medals.
Chances of Winning – 5/10
Kristin Armstrong (USA) – Success seems to follow Armstrong around, and it seems if it’s a Time Trial on the world stage, she has won it. She is the Reigning and defending Olympic Time Trial Champion, collecting Gold medals in London and Beijing. She is also a 2 time World Time Trial Champion, 4 time medallist, a National Road Race Champion and a 4 time National Time Trial Champion. With a Time Trial career like that, it is questionable why she isn’t favourite. What that doesn’t show though is before London 2012, she hadn’t won a major Time Trial Championship since 2009. While she is the current National Champion, and seems to have resurged in form. She is a true specialist and it is highly likely she will struggle on the hills. Add to that she has recently turned 42, and defending her title might be too much work.
Chances of Winning – 4/10
Ellen Van Dijk (NED) – The outsider of this group is probably the most recognised of all of them on the world stage in terms of wins. She is a 3 time National Time Trial Champion, the World Time Trial Champion in 2013, the current European Time Trial Champion, 3 Time World Team Time Trial medallist, not to mention countless other medals. She has medalled on both the track and road, and her success only seems to be growing. A true specialist, Van Dijk is likely to struggle in the hills, however she has proven that she is a magnet for medals, and at only 29, it is remarkable what she has already achieved.
Chances of Winning – 1/10
The Rio Time Trial event could end up coming right down to the wire for the women, with a field filled with medallists. This race is a showcase for the best riders in the world, and it could go anywhere. While Van Der Breggen is the hot favourite after her success earlier this week, she can’t afford to overlook the field that is filled with specialists desperate to prove themselves the best in the world.