Thomas and Faulkner Top-10 in Time Trial on Day 1 of 2022 Road Worlds
September 18, 2022
Thomas, Faulkner, Sheffield, and Powless all have strong showings on Day 1 of the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong.
WOLLONGONG, Australia /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – Sunday saw the start of the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong, Australia. Four Americans, Kristen Faulkner (Homer, Alaska; Team BikeExchange-Jayco), Leah Thomas (Santa Clara, Calif.; Trek-Segafredo), Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif.; EF Education-EasyPost), and Magnus Sheffield (Pittsford, N.Y.; Ineos Grenadiers), took to the 32.4-kilometer course north of Sydney. Both Thomas and Faulkner finished within the top-10 of the Elite Women’s championship, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Forty-two riders took the start line for the Elite Women’s Individual Time Trial. Faulkner was the first American to take the course. At the first intermediate time check, she was 21.83 seconds back from the race leader, Grace Brown (AUS). Faulkner maintained her pace, coming through the next time check still sitting second. With a charge towards the finish, she finished at 45:54.05.
Thomas was part of the final wave of Elite Women to start the event, starting sixth from last. While Thomas came through sitting in fifth at the first time split, she battled back and was third on the road by the second split with less than ten kilometers to go. Thomas pushed through and stopped the clock at 45:47.07. Defending World Champion Ellen van Dijk was one of the six riders who started behind Thomas and dominated this course, coming through each time check in the lead position. She would ultimately win the event with her fast time of 44:28.60.
1. Ellen van Dijk (NED) – 44:29.60
2. Grace Brown (AUS) – +12.73
3. Marlen Reusser (SUI) – +41.68
5. Leah Thomas (USA) – +1:18.47
6. Kristen Faulkner (USA) – +1:25.45
Due to visa issues, American Time Trial National Champion Lawson Craddock (Houston; Team BikeExchange-Jayco) could not make it to Wollongong. Stepping into fill his spot with less than a week to prepare, Powless was the first American male to start the Time Trial. His first time split had him slotted into fifth on the road but bettered his position by the second time check, sitting in third. Powless crossed the line at 42:11.58.
Sheffield, the youngest rider in the 48-rider field, was full gas from the gun. As he passed through the first and second time checks, he was on top of the leader board with significant time gaps over the previous leaders. Sheffield pushed himself to carry more speed through the corners, which would be his undoing. As he approached the finish, he took a turn too fast and crashed. Although he was able to get up and finish his race, he lost valuable time to the leaders and ended his race at 41:46.99. The winner of the race, Tobias Foss of Norway, stopped the clock at 40:02.78.
1. Tobias Foss (NOR) – 40:02.78
2. Stefan Kung (SUI) – +2.95
3. Remco Evenepoel (BEL) – +9.16
17. Magnus Sheffield (USA) – +1:44.21
22. Neilson Powless (USA) – +2:08.60
Tomorrow Patrick Welch (Northfield, Minn.; Kelly Benefits Strategies) takes the line at 1:01 a.m. EDT on September 19 to represent the red, white, and blue in the Men’s Under 23 Individual Time Trial World Championships. Watch it live here.
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