Annemiek van Vleuten captures world cycling time trial championship

Annemiek van Vleuten from The Netherlands competes in the UCI Cycling Road World Championships women individual time trial in Bergen, Norway, Tuesday Sept. 19, 2017. (Marit Hommedal/NTB scanpix via AP)

BERGEN, Norway — Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten, whose harrowing crash at the Rio Olympics left her with a broken back, won the women’s time trial at the road cycling world championships on Tuesday.

Van Vleuten covered the 21.1 kilometre course in 28 minutes, 50.35 seconds to edge compatriot and Olympic road race champion Anna van der Breggen by 12 seconds. Katrin Garfoot of Australia was 19 seconds off the pace to take the bronze medal.

American rider Lauren Stephens set the fastest time early, but van der Breggen soon knocked her from the top spot. But it wasn’t until van Vleuten scorched the course that the pecking order changed.

U.S. star Chloe Dygert was fourth and Ellen van Dijk of the Netherlands was fifth.

The world championships resume Wednesday with the men’s elite time trial, where four-time Tour de France champion and newly minted Vuelta de Espana champion Chris Froome is the favourite.