Britain has new world champion.
Elinor Barker won the junior women’s time trial crown in Limburg, Netherlands, covering the hilly 15.6km course some 35 seconds faster than her closest rival.
Cecile Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark) claimed the silver medal, while bronze went to Demi De Jong (Netherlands).
Barker, silver medalist last year in Copenhagen, fulfilled the promise that had made her pre-race favourite.
She said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic about winning … it’s huge.
“Winning silver last year put a lot of pressure on me and I put a lot of pressure on myself to win this race. I’m just so glad it’s over and its gone well. It was just so hard. This is all I’ve wanted since this day last year. It’s all I’ve thought about.
“I only lost out by about a second and a half last year and you think how many corners there are and how much I could have made up. I didn’t leave anything unturned.
“Looking at the start sheet there were a lot of names on there that I recognised and who I knew were good at time trialling and for whom this would be their kind of event. I spent a lot of time worrying!”
A hilly opening to the course played to the Cardiff girl’s strength, and by the first checkpoint at 4.5km, she had already established a 12-second lead over Ludwig.
“The course here in Limburg really suited me with a few climbs. The rain had eased off by the time I had got on the course, with it being windy in some sections.
“Usually I struggle on the technical side, things like corners and descents, but I’ve really improved on that lately and it just went really well,” she said.
Barker’s advantage remained at the second checkpoint, a little over six kilometres later, and she threw caution to the wind for the final 14 kilometres, adding a further 23 seconds to her margin over the Danish girl.
She said she had begun serious preparation for this year’s world championships as soon as the course had been unveiled, knowing its rolling character suited her strengths.
“I’ve pretty much dedicated the last year to this. I’ve been on my time trial bike at least twice a week, doing hill efforts, watching my diet, going to bed early.
“I have come second so many times so it feels really good to finally get a rainbow jersey.”
Ludwig had been the long-term leader until Barker’s effort, but described her silver medal as a “dream come true”.
British ecstacy turned to agony when Emma Pooley, world time trial champion in 2010, narrowly missed a medal in the elite women’s event after finishgin fourth.
The race was won by Germany’s Judith Arndt. Victory by more than half-a-minute from the USA’s Evelyn Stevnes brought the 36-year-old a fourth world title.
Pooley said afterwards that she hoped to take some time away from the sport next season to concentrate on academic studies. She finished sixth in the Olympic time trial on a largely flat course on the London-Surrey border, but had expected to be more competitive on the hilly terrain of Limburg.
Wendy Houvenaghel, a three-time world track pursuit champion, was fourteenth.
Result – junior women’s ITT
1) Elinor Barker (GBR) – 22.26.29
2) Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (DEN) – 35.87”
3) Demi De Jong (NED) -1.03.13
4) Emily Roper (AUS) – 1.08.18
5) Ramona Forchini (SUI) – 1.10.42
6) Eva Mottet (FRA) – 1.11.59
7) Christina Siggaard (DEN) – 1.13.26
8) Corinna Lechner (GER) – 1.13.35
9) Nicky Zijlaard (NED) – 1.14.84
10) Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (SPA) – 1.15.26
Result – elite women’s ITT
1) Judith Arndt (GER) – 32.26.46
2) Evelyn Stevens (USA) +33.77
3) Linda Villumsen (NZL) +40.57
4) Emma Pooley (GBR) +49.33
5) Eleonora Van Dijk (NED) +54.01
6) Ina Teutenberg (GER) +1.33.74
7) Amber Neben (USA) +1.43.42
8) Trixi Worrack (GER) +1.44.56
9) Martina Sablikova (CZE) +1.59.44
10) Shara Gillow (AUS) +1.59.75