Wednesday's turned into Russia's day at the World Road Championships in Zolder. After taking the gold with Alexander Ignatiev in the Junior men's ITT, Russian riders repeated victory a few hours later thanks to race favorite Zoulfia Zabirova.
The 28-year-old, also an Olympic Gold medalist in Atlanta (Time Trial of course !) six years ago, and currently riding for the Chirio Forno d'Asolo trade team, edged out another hot favorite, Switzerland's Nicole Brandli, by some 15 seconds. The Swiss repeated last year's second placing (then behind Jeannie Longo), while her compatriot Karin Thürig surprisingly took the last available podium place by the very narrowest of margins, denying the bronze medal to more famous Spaniard Joanne Sommariba.
French veteran Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli ranked "only" seventh, and Holland's Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel ranked tenth, while the best-placed English-speaker was Sara Carrigan of Australia (fifth).
Canadian sensation Genevieve Jeanson will be a star in years to come, but on Wednesday she proved that one thing is dominating the north-American peloton, and another is dominating the field at the World Championships, something she's seemingly not yet ready for. The 21-year-old from Quebec did slightly better than Americans Amber Neben and Kimberley Bruckner.
Italy's Giovanna Troldi didn't get into the TOP 20 places, and finished just ahead of the other Canadian rider, Lyne Bessette. Not exactly the best performance ever for the TdF winner, Zinaida Stahurskaya (Belarus, and usually a teammate of Zabirova at Chirio Forno d'Asolo), who finished in 26th place.
ELITE WOMEN'S ITT - DETAILED RESULTS :
1. Zoulfia Zabirova (Russia) - 30.02.62 (46.33 km/h)
2. Nicole Brändli (Switzerland) - at 14.70
3. Karin Thürig (Switzerland) - at 15.65
4. Joane Somarriba Arrola (Spain) - at 15.68
5. Sara Carrigan (Australia) - at 20.39
6. Olga Slyuussareva (Russia) - at 32.66
7. Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (France) - at 42.18
8. Rasa Polikeviciute (Lithuania) - at 44.85
9. Judith Arndt (Germany) - at 48.35
10. Leontien Zijlaard - Van Moorsel (Holland) - at 51.26
11. Teodora Ruano Sanchon (Spain) - at 1'06.58
12. Catherine Marsal (France) - at 1'07.11
13. Alison Wright (Australia) - at 1'09.84
14. Geneviève Jeanson (Canada) - at 1'16.13
15. Amber Neben (USA) - at 1'20.62
16. Kimberly Bruckner (USA) - at 1'21.13
17. Melissa Holt (New Zealand) - at 1'25.12
18. Edita Pucinskaite (Lithuania) - at 1'25.65
19. Susanne Ljungskog (Sweden) - at 1'29.43
20. Olga Zabelinskaia (Russia) - at 1'34.59
21. Giovanna Troldi (Italy) - at 1'35.35
22. Lyne Bessette (Canada) - at 1'35.99
23. Jenny Algelid-Bengtsson (Sweden) - at 1'37.41
24. Mirjam Melchers (Holland) - at 1'40.48
25. Bogumila Matusiak (Poland) - at 1'41.69
26. Zinaida Stahurskaya (Belarus) - at 1'44.39
27. Anita Valen (Norway) - at 1'45.23
28. Lada Kozlikova (Czech R.) - at 1'54.76
29. Evy Van Damme (Belgium) - at 2'00.02
30. Tanya Andryuschenko (Ukraine) - at 2'01.52
31. Edwige Pitel (France) - at 2'01.75
32. Frances Newstead (Great Britain) - at 2'12.68
33. Kirsty Nicole Robb (New Zealand) - at 2'14.80
34. Iryna Chuzhynova (Ukraine) - at 2'21.86
35. Maria Luisa Calle (Colombia) - at 2'22.12
36. Tina Liebig (Germany) - at 2'25.29
37. Solrun Flataas (Norway) - at 2'26.99
38. Cindy Pieters (Belgium) - at 3'02.41
39. Doris Posch (Austria) - at 3'05.75
40. Geraldine Gill (Ireland) - at 3'49.31
41. Evelyn Garcia (El Salvador) - at 4'21.45
42. Chalime Giourbouz (Greece) - at 4'44.89.