Judith Arndt of Germany successfully defended her individual time trial title on Tuesday at the Road Cycling World Championships.
Arndt, who won silver in the Olympic time trial in London and plans to retire at the end of the season, finished the 24.1km race in 32 minutes, 26.46 seconds, an average speed of 44.6kph.
“I’m very proud I was able to defend my title, but that won’t change my mind. After this year, I’m done,” she said. “I’m relieved that my career is over, I’ve had enough.”
US rider Evelyn Stevens was second, 33.77 seconds behind Arndt. Linda Melanie Villumsen of New Zealand was third, 40.57 seconds back. Stevens said she was content to settle for silver on the tough course.
“I gave everything I had. I made no mistakes, this is what I was able to do. So I’m happy taking the silver medal,” she said. “Judith earns the gold. She’s been top class her whole career.”
The time trial route went from the cobbled streets of Eijsden through the hills of Limburg Province, ending in a brutal climb up Cauberg Hill in Valkenburg.
The 36-year-old Arndt powered up the Cauberg, the most famous hill in Dutch cycling, to seal her second world champion’s rainbow jersey in front of thousands of cheering fans.
Villumsen looked capable of catching Stevens’ time until she faded on the Cauberg.
Arndt and Villumsen won silver together on Sunday in the team time trial with the Orica-AIS team. Stevens, a former Wall Street banker, won gold in the team time trial.
Olympic time trial champion Kristin Armstrong of the US retired after her victory in London and did not compete on Tuesday.
Czech rider Martina Sablikova, a multiple world and Olympic champion speedskater, finished ninth, nearly two minutes behind Arndt.