Anna van der Breggen claims European time trial title with dominant display in France

Van der Breggen was in a class of her own as she claimed the European title
Van der Breggen was in a class of her own as she claimed the European title (SIPA USA/PA Images)
10:07am, Tue 25 Aug 2020
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Anna van der Breggen claimed the European time trial title with an impressive show of strength in Plouay, France.

The 30 year-old posted a time of 34 minutes and three seconds over the 25.6 kilometre course as she set the benchmark for her rivals.

Van der Breggen’s fellow countrywoman Ellen van Dijk was her main challenger for the victory, but the time trial specialist failed to get close to the winning time as she settled for the silver medal, 31 seconds off the pace.

Switzerland’s Marlen Reusser was the only other rider to finish within one minute of Van der Breggen as she picked up the bronze medal, 59 seconds down on the champion.

After the race, Van der Breggen said: "I had [opponents] but in a time trial you do it alone and so you don’t see anybody.

"For me, I focused for a long time on this and I wanted to do a good time trial, and in the last COVID period, so this feels really good that it paid off and I could win here today. It feels very special.

"This area has rolling climbs and it’s quite difficult for time trials because you need to shift well and take your speed into the next climbs. That is something I like. I think the course today was beautiful and when I saw it, I knew I had a good chance to win. I tried everything and it’s good.

"This season, I’m happy we can do a lot of races. We will have to see if there’s a World Championships, but if the season goes like this, I can’t complain. I really enjoy to see what’s next but for now I hope to have a really good week."

Van der Breggen adds the European time trial title to her decorated list of wins which also includes Olympic gold, the world road race title, the Giro Rosa, as well as a host of Classics races.

Elsewhere in the men’s time trial, Switzerland’s Stefan Kung took gold with a time of 30 minutes and 18 seconds across the same course as the women.

Frenchman Remi Cavagna finished 17 seconds off the pace to take silver and Belgium’s Victor Campenaerts rounded off the top three a further four seconds back.

Britain’s Alex Dowsett missed out on the podium by just one place as he came in fourth, more than a minute down on Kung.

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