William Fotheringham’s report from Harrogate …
Chloe Dygert speaks: “I really prepared really well for this,” she tells the BBC. “I spent the past week with [her coach] three-time Olympic gold medallist Kristin Armstrong. It’s always very special to wear the stripes and this is everybody’s goal. I’m really happy with the result and very happy for those people who believed in me. I live in Washington State and the weather’s like that a lot here, so I’m used to riding in the rain. I knew everyone else would be scared so I tried to make the best of it.”
Chloe Dygert wins the women's ITT!!!
Annemiek van Vleuten finishes 1min 52.66sec off the pace. It’s a good ride, but will only get her a bronze medal. The 22-year-old American is world champion.
Germany’s Lisa Klein finishes with the fourth fastest time. USA’s Amber Leone Neben is currently occupying third place. Will she keep it?
Anna van der Breggen finishes 1min 32.35sec off the pace set by Dygert. It looks like she’s going to win another silver medal, but may be able to console herself with a somewhat pyrrhic victory over her compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten.
Great Britain’s Alice Barnes finishes 4min 32sec down, making her ninth fastest so far.
Anna van der Breggen passes Elisa Longo Borghini, who started three minutes before her. It’s a good ride from the Dutch rider, but it’s not going to be good enough. She’s on course to beat reigning champion Annemiek van Vleuten to the silver medal, mind.
Chloe Dygert is your clubhouse leader, with Alena Amialiusick in second place by a ridiculously large margin of 3min 17,56sec.
Annemiek van Vleuten is 1min 10sec behind Dygert out on the road and isn’t looking particularly comfortable on her bike.
Lisa Brenneuar finishes 3min 19sec behind Chloe Dygert. She’s in third place, but is unlikely to stay there.
Chloe Dygert, the 22-year-old American finishes the course 3min 17.56sec quicker than anyone else and collapses off her bike in exhaustion shortly after crossing the line. A mechanic takes her conveyance and she lies in agony on the wet road. She’s left nothing out there and looks a shoo-in for the gold medal here.
Anna van der Breggen passes through the checkpoint 1min 10sec down on Chloe Dygert, who is the leader on the road. Belarus’s Alena Amialiusick leads in the clubhouse, but not for long.
Hayley Simmonds speaks: “I found it a little bit difficult,” says the UK rider in an interview with the BBC. “I heard rumours the UCI might cancel it but carried on my preparations. I had just finished the warm-up when I heard there was a delay.
“It throws you because you time your warm-up, caffeine intake and everything else to your start time. I wish they had postponed it to tomorrow.
“I wasn’t sure what to do. I’ve never been in the situation before where I’ve started my preparations and there’s been a delay.
Anna van der Breggen has passed through the checkpoint 1min 10sec behind Dygert, who is looking good for the win.
Chloe Dygert remains on course to finish 2min 24sec quicker than current leader Alena Amialiusick.
Chloe Dygert has the Swedish rider who started three minutes ahead of her in her sights and is on course to pass her. She’s currently two minutes quicker than clubhouse leader Alena Amialiusick.
The quickest finisher so far: Belarus’s Alena Amialiusick has posted a time of 45min 29.13sec, which ultimately won’t be good enough but is going to take some beating. Hayley Simmonds finishes more than two minutes off the pace set by the Belarusian. Chloe Dygert is looking the likely winner at the moment.
Chloe Dygert hits the intermediate check point at 18min 57.88 sec, a full 1min 30sec ahead of the next quickest rider.
Annemiek van Vleuten, the defending champion from the Netherlands, rolls down the ramp and gets her tilt for three in a row under way.
Leah Thomas, from the United States, sets off hoping to improve on her fifth placed finish last year.
Chloe Dygert passes Irish national champion Kelly Murphy, who started two minutes before her.
Swiss rider Marle Reusser sets off, with just five cyclists left to go after her. We’re still waiting for our first finisher.
Anna van der Breggen, last year’s silver medallist, sets sail and glides serenely through the opening bends.
Scenes! Chloe Dygert has already caught and passed Germany’s Lisa Brennauer, taking a minute out of the German. Behind them, Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini and the USA’s Amber Neben, who is 44, are out on the road.
Just 12 riders left to go. Alice Barnes, double-national British champion (road and ITT) Alice Barnes takes to the road. With all due respect to those competing, this is grim - the weather is horrible, the riders are being forced to proceed with extreme caution and only masochists and diehard cycling fans are out watching.
Hayley Simmonds takes a rain-drenched corner very, very gingerly indeed. The riders are being extremely cautious in these treacherous conditions.
American rider Chloe Dygert, another of the favourites, sets off and is followed by Lucinda Brand from the Netherlands. Some of the heavyweights are out on the course.
Germany’s Lisa Brennauer is out on the road. One of the undisputed stars of international cycling, she’s among the favourites for today.
Hayley Simmonds is fourth fastest at the first intermediate time split at 14.2 kilometres.
South Africa’s Tiffany Keep stops the clock at the first intermediate split at 14.2 kilometres - almost halfway - at 22min 41.73 sec. Not far behind her, Belarus’s Alena Amialiusick is over two minutes quicker.
Belgium’s Julie van de Velde is next out. Somewhat strangely, she’s the only Belgian riding in today’s race, despite their pool of talent. Further up the course, Ireland’s Anna Turvey cycles around a massive pool of water on the roadside, that has a big truck parked in the middle of it, to warn riders of its presence.
Danish rider Pernille Mathiesen is the 19th rider out of the hut and may be one of the first to post a time that could be hard to beat.
The first of the Brits are out: Hayley Simmonds sets off, as the riders continue to take to the road. It’s a dirty day in Yorkshire and roads is slick and potentially dangerous. Most of the standing water has been pumped away, however.
We’re off and racing: Noura Alomairi of Kuwait rolls gingerly down the ramp and will be followed by Tiffany Keep of South Africa. The riders are setting off at one-minute intervals.
Today’s favourites: While Annemiek van Vleuten is the hot favourite to win her third consecutive title today, the inclement weather could put the cat among the pigeons. Her compatriot Anna van der Breggen took silver last year and is expected to run Van Vleuten close today.
Last year’s bronze medallist Ellen van Dijk misses out this year through injury, but Chloe Dygart (USA), Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy), Amber Neben (USA) and Lisa Brennaur (Germany) will all be cautiously optimistic of making the podium. Hayley Simmonds and Alice Barnes will hope the -admittedly small - partisan crowd can cheer them into the shake-up.
A curious revelation: Seeking her third consecutive ITT world title today, reigning champion Annemiek van Vleuten doesn’t actually like time trialling.
Racing delayed until 3.30pm (BST)
The UCI have released a statement: “Due to the heavy rains experienced this morning and considering the inclement weather forecast for the rest of the day, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the organising committee of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships have reviewed the conditions for this afternoon’s Women Elite Individual Time Trial race.
“Following the discussions, it’s been decided that the start will be delayed to 15:30 to allow water to be cleared. The organising committee and the county are deploying marshals to yellow flag areas with standing water and staff and vehicles are draining water on the roads to ensure riders’ safety.
“Gaps between riders will be reduced to 1 minute instead of 1min 30sec so that the finish time comes close to the original schedule. The UCI and Yorkshire 2019 will continue to monitor closely the events and take any appropriate decisions.”
UCI slammed by riders. Several of the riders who competed in this morning’s men’s under-23 ITT from Ripon to Harrogate have criticised the UCI for not stopping the race after heavy downpours flooded the roads on which Denmark’s Mikkel Bjerg won his third title. “It is super-dangerous and I think it is irresponsible to let it go ahead,” said Belgian Ilan Van Wilder told Het Laatste Nieuws, per Cycling Weekly. “It was no longer raining, but really pouring. You take the longest route to avoid puddles, against all time trial principles.”
Well, puddles is something of an understatement. From this morning’s Men’s U-23 Individual Time Trial.
Women's Elite individual time trial (32km)
Up north in yonder Yorkshire is the venue for this week’s UCI 2019 Road World Championships and today’s main event is the women’s elite individual time trial. Starting in Ripon and finishing in Harrogate, today’s course is 32 kilometres in length.
It is, according to the UCI, “perfectly suited to time trial specialists who can manage their efforts over this fast and open course. A flat opening 12km will get the riders up to speed before the road undulates gradually on the approach to Harrogate. The concluding Harrogate circuit will favour those who are able to push big power through their pedals before emptying the tank on the uphill drag to the finish”.
Stay tuned for build-up ahead of the first rider rolling down the ramp at 2.50pm (BST). Today’s racing entertainment could be enhanced by the presence of several very large and deep (up to 30 centimetres in places) puddles on the course following torrential rain this morning. Here’s hoping all our competitors come home safely.