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Kirchmann 12th, Canuel 14th in Tokyo Olympic Games time trial

Van Vleuten recovers from road race disappointment with chrono gold

Wednesday’s Tokyo Olympic Games time trial saw a well-deserved triumph for Annemiek van Vleuten, who thought she had won Sunday road race, while Canada’s duo of Leah Kirchmann and Karol-Ann Canuel came 12th and 14th respectively.

The Course

The women would be doing one 22-km lap of the Fuji Motor Speedway, a rolling route with two hills: Shibanta, a 5.4 km climb of 6.2 percent with a difficult final 500 metres, and the pit lane climb, 1.4 km of 5.6 percent.


After three straight gold medals in 2008, 2012 and 2016, American Kristin Armstrong retired, but Chloe Dygart, who suffered a gruesome injury in last year’s Worlds, was hoping to keep up the trend for the U.S.A. The Dutch, thwarted in the road race and seemingly snake bitten in Tokyo’s bicycle events, was looking for revenge via road race silver medalist Annemiek van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen, who was unceremoniously yanked off her bike by course officials on Monday when she was doing recon on the course.

Masomah Ali Zada, an Afghan on the IOC Refugee Team, was the first to roll.

Canada’s Karol-Ann Canuel, 13th at Rio 2016, was fourth out of the start house.

Canuel in the start house.

Leah Kirchmann contested the road race at Rio 2016, but Wednesday was her first Olympic Games time trial.

Kirchmann heads out.

Canuel and Kirchmann were both doing well at the top of the big climb. Canuel claimed the hot seat with a time of 33:07, until Aussie Sarah Gigante stopped the clock at 33:01. Kirchmann missed knocking Gigante off the throne by a few hundreds of a second.

Van Vleuten and van der Breggen were flying on the course but Dygart was having difficulties.

Several riders took the fastest time, but van Vleuten’s 30:13 wasn’t going to be touched. Marlen Reusser gave Switzerland its fifth cycling medal so far with her silver. Van der Breggen rounded out the podium.

After van Vleuten’s terrible crash in the Rio 2016 road race and her crestfallen response to finding out she didn’t win Sunday road race gold, Wednesday was redemption for the Dutch rider.

Van Vleuten mastered the Fuji International Speedway course.

Tokyo 2021 Summer Olympic Games Women’s Time Trial
Gold: Annemiek van Vleuten (The Netherlands) 30:13
Silver: Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) +0:56
Bronze: Anna van der Breggen (The Netherlands) +1:01
12) Leah Kirchmann (Canada) +2:48
14) Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada) +2:54