• Annemiek van Vleuten wins gold for the Netherlands at the UCI Road World Championships. (Getty)Source: Getty
Katrin Garfoot has finished third in the women's individual time trial at the road world titles behind Dutch duo Annemiek van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen.
Cycling Central

20 Sep 2017 - 5:52 AM  UPDATED 20 Sep 2017 - 10:44 AM

Annemiek van Vleuten has claimed an emotional world road title in the women's individual time trial, beating fellow Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen to the gold medal.

Little more than a year after a horrific accident in the Rio Olympics road race left her with three spinal fractures, the 34-year-old powered round the hilly 21.1km course in Bergen to win by a comfortable margin.

Despite rain making the course slippery, she averaged 43.8km/h for a time of 28 minutes 50.35 seconds.

Van der Breggen, whose road race gold in Rio was overshadowed by the injuries sustained by her teammate who had been leading when she slammed into a deep gutter on a descent, was 12 seconds slower.

Australian Katrin Garfoot was third, 18.93 seconds behind. She also finished third in the event last year.

“I’m happy with my race and I think my pacing was pretty spot on," Garfoot said.

"I don’t think the rain impacted that much on this course. The corners weren’t that hairy, maybe there were a couple of corners that I took a bit easier than I would in the dry, but in the end, I don’t think it played that much of a role.

“I just gave it my all; I couldn’t have given any more.”

Last year's champion Amber Neben of the United States could only manage 11th, while Dutch rider Ellen van Dijk, who was second last year in Doha, was fifth.

Only five riders got within a minute of van Vleuten's time.

Van der Breggen was the second of the 54 riders to start and it looked as though she might take the gold as Van Vleuten was behind on the first two intermediate splits.

However, Van Vleuten put together a superb final 4km to go fastest on the scoreboard.

Eighteen riders followed her, including many of the pre-race favourites, but none of them mastered the conditions as well as Van Vleuten who took the rainbow jersey.

Earlier, the under 19 men's time trial was won by Great Britain's Tom Pidcock ahead of Italian Antonio Puppio and Filip Maciejuk of Poland. Australian's Sebastian Berwick claimed 10th and Mitchell Wright 17th.