BRUGGE, Belgium — Eight years after her first world championship title, Ellen van Dijk got over the disappointment of missing out on the Olympics by winning a second gold medal in the women’s time trial. Taking advantage of a flat course through the Flanders region of Belgium, the Dutch rider kept the pedals of her bike churning in a perfectly paced cadence to beat her closest rival Marlen Reusser of Switzerland by 10.29 seconds at the road cycling world championships.
“For me, time trial is my favorite discipline,” said Van Dijk, who won her first time trial world title in 2013. “It’s something I love with all my heart, and it just feels like it’s my discipline. I knew it was going to be a really good course for me, and I put everything into this. It’s a dream come true.”
Van Dijk, who suffered serious injuries two years ago including a broken arm and broken pelvis, was not selected for the Tokyo Games this summer after she was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier in the season.
“This was always a big goal of me, this time of the year, to be super good here especially after I could not ride the Olympics, which of course was a big disappointment,” she said. “And also my Spring classics did not work out because I got the coronavirus.”
Van Dijk signaled her return to top form this month at the European championships, where she won the road race and finished runner-up in the time trial.
While Van Dijk was able to keep a fast tempo over the 30.3-kilometer course, Reusser ran out of gas near the end and had to be content with a runner-up finish on the day she turned 30. She also claimed silver last year and was runner-up at the Tokyo Olympics.
Reusser led at both intermediate checks but faded over the last 10 kilometers.