World time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten has powered her way to her fourth national time trial in dominant fashion in Ede, Netherlands.
The 36-year-old was fastest at the first time check and never looked back as she increased her lead over the 31.8-kilometre to course to take the win by 1’35”.
Armed with a special livery on her new SCOTT Plasma machine to commemorate her 2018 world title triumph in Innsbruck, Van Vleuten started amongst the favourites for the 2019 national crown. And she showed why at the first intermediate check point when she stormed through 20-seconds up on her nearest rival and 2018 champion Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo).
After starting strongly, attention then turned to the next time split to see if Van Vleuten could maintain her advantage, but instead the Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner increased it, taking another than 34-seconds out of her competition.
Despite holding a 54-second advantage, Van Vleuten showed no signs of slowing down as she continued to put more distance between herself and her rivals over the flat course.
The 2018 Giro Rosa champion crossed the finish line fastest, in a time of 39:14, with just three riders left to finish. But it was a short wait for confirmation as Van Dijk crossed the line 1’35” down, giving Van Vleuten her fourth national TT title in emphatic style.
Annemiek van Vleuten: “I’m always nervous before the start of a time trial, also today, but I think that’s necessary because that shows that you care and that you’re eager to win, because the only way to win a time trial is to suffer to the maximum.”
“You have to suffer to the max to win, especially in the Netherlands where the top three from the world championships were on the start line today. But I was still quite confident because I’ve had a good preparation heading into the Giro, but it wasn’t a course that suited me perfectly and my last time trial was at the World Championships in Innsbruck.”
“Last year I went out to slow but this year I went out super-fast and I could maintain my speed and at every intermediate I took seconds. I was fastest all the way. It’s always special to be on the podium and take the red, white and blue, I was disappointed last year but it was nice to take it this year riding in the rainbow bands.”
“It’s nice to win but it’s even better to win by more than 1’30” ahead of Van Dijk, she was second at the World Championships, so I take confidence out of this. I’m going to enjoy this one and bring on the Giro!”
Dutch National Time Trial Championship Results:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 39:14
2. Ellen va Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) +1:35
3. Anna van der Breggen (Boels – Dolmans) +1:49