Hi everyone, welcome to our live coverage of the second event of the 2007 UCI Road World Championships. After the young guns kicked off the battle in the morning (coverage and results here) It's time for the Elite Women to get in the saddle and go for the medals in this afternoon's Individual TT, running over 25.1 kilometres (two laps of a 12.5-km. circuit).
1430 CEST - We join the race in progress with three top riders currently in the medal spots.
Local favourite Hanka Kupfernagel stole the show by crossing the line in a time of 34'43"79". By far the quickest time, with just less than half of the competitors so far able to finish the race anyway. Amber Neben of the U.S. came several minutes later and set the second best time, a solid 35'46"58, stealing the (current) silver medal spot from Anne Samplonius of Canada, who's currently sitting in third place, 02'02" down on the German TTing sensation. But more and more legs (two of them belonging to another rider in Stars and Stripes, Alison Powers), are underway ...
1434 CEST - Next to be off under Stuggart's clouds was Australia's Oenone Wood. And one more rider is coming ... nobody else but Her Cycling Majesty Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli. 48 (will 49 turn at the end of October) and still kickin' ...
1441 CEST - Sara Carrigan, also from Down Under, covered the first lap in 17'40"18; she has got the sixth best time at the halfway point check (km. 12.6). Much better than her did the Chinese contender named Meifang Li, that scored an excellent 17'15"41 at the intermediate check. Good for her.
1446 CEST - The Czech girl Tereza Hurikova, younger than Jeannie Loongo-Ciprelli by 29 years,
also completed lap number one. The bell is ringing for her, and her time is a decent 17'32"91, putting the maid in spot number five, just two seconds clear of compatriot Martina Rozickova. Allison Powers is coming to the halfway point ...
1447 CEST - A powerful ride by Allison Powers: the U.S. athlete scored 17'33"31 after 12 kilometres. That's time number six - at the intermediate check - so far. But she slipped into seventh as the German Charlotte Becker established 17'16"84 (fifth time for the "home cyclist").
1451 CEST - Li Meifang has got some solid chances to bring some medal into Chinese land. Maybe. The Asian rider has got the third best time at the next (km. 18) checkpoint. Tereza Hurikova comes next, and fourth, by clocking 25'59"31 and throwing Anne Samplonius down to place number fifth in the after-18-kilometres ranking.
1455 CEST - End of lap one for legendary Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli too: her time was 17'28"93, her place was the sixth one. Nobody looks able to match Hanka Kupfernagel's power (thus far).
1457 CEST - And certainly not her fellow countrygirl Charlotte Becker, that barely fit into the top 10 spots at the km. 18 check, her latest time being 26'21"33.
1459 CEST - Sara Carrigan finished her challenge against the clock in 37'13"05. The Australian sits in ninth place now, but is likely getting off the top ten spots prior to the end of the race. The Austrian Christiane Soeder was the latest rider to take the start, by the way.
1505 CEST - But watch out for Jeannie: Mrs. Longo-Ciprelli had the third quickest time (25'41"22) at the last intermediate check, with the end of the challenge just seven kilometres away.
1515 CEST - Jeannie kept her third place all the way to the finish line, her last time being a great 35'05"60. She lost just about half a minute to Hanka. Not bad at all. Whereas the French rider is done with her daily duty, reigning champion Kristin Armstrong is showing up at the startline.
1517 - Austria's Christiane Soeder has got good legs, and a good time at the end of the opening lap: 16'55"17. That was the second best performance at the halfway point. Will she be able to sneak herself into the top three spots, currently featuring Hanka Kupfernagel, Amber Neben and Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli?
1523 CEST - Kristin Armstrong reached the very first intermediate check (5.1 km.). Her time there was 06'38"10", putting her in third place, two seconds clear of Mirjam Melchers, but a solid nine seconds down on Hanka Kupfernagel already. Melchers-Van Poppel of Holland made it to the halfway point already; it took 17'51" for her to cover the first lap. No good news for the girl in orange, down to Kupfernagel by 44 seconds as well as sitting in spot number seven.
1526 CEST - Austria's Soeder enjoyed the second best time at the third and last intermediate check: 25'14"14. Hanka's gold medal is not looking in jeopardy, but who knows ...
1529 CEST - Time for Britain's Emma Pooley to score the sixth time at the km. 18 check. She scored something like 25'50"51, being down to Hanka by about 70 seconds.
1533 CEST - As Kristin Armstrong also covered the opening lap her gap to Hanka Kupfernagel went up to some 14 seconds, but her halfway point time of about 16'47" put the U.S. athlete in the current silver medal spot.
1535 CEST - Priska Doppmann from the Land of the Swiss got to the 18 km. check, clocking 25'42"48; that's the fourth time, she's about one minute behind the current race leader.
1536 CEST - Christiane Soeder finished her race with the second best time: 35'25"32. Is her excellent performance really a surprise to many? Surely not a pleasant surprise to Amber Neben, down to spot number three.
1539 CEST - Sweden's Susanne Ljungskog also crossed the line, but without making the top five either. Her time (36'39"14) was the sixth one. Emma Pooley is coming next ... 36'16"39. Place number fifth for the Brit.
1540 CEST - Hanka is all smiles in front of the cameras as Kristin Armstrong gets to the third and last intermediate check, and the gap has further grown to over 20 seconds, with just about seven kilometres to go for her. The gold is one step closer for the local idol.
1543 CEST - Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel clocked 35'33"51 as she reached the finishing line, a time putting her in place number seven at the moment.
1546 CEST - Time number eight (to the line) for the Kazakh Zulfia Zabirova: 36'31'29". Next to the finish line is Priska Doppmann. The Swiss fell short of the podium spots too. Christine Thornburn of the United States of America is coming ... She missed the top three places, finishing fourth in a time of 35'54"87. Doppmanm consequently went down to fifth.
1549 CEST - Germany's "patriotic" cameras have never enough of showing us Hanka Kupfernagel's smile as both Karin Thürig and Kristin Armstrong get closer to the finishing line.
The Swiss crossed the line, her time being worse than Hanka's by ... plenty of time.
1551 CEST - Also Kristin Armstrong is done with her efforts. But her gap to the German was a good 23'47" (her time 35'07"26) as she crossed the line, such that ...
HANKA KUPFERNAGEL of GERMANY is the brand new World Champion!
KRISTIN ARMSTRONG (USA) took the silver at 23'47".
CHRISTIANE SOEDER of Austria will be climbing the lowest step on the podium as she finished third at 41"53.
Two more Americans, Amber Neben and Christine Thornburn, filled in the other top five spots.
Full race results Here (pdf File).