Do you remember last year’s European Championships? In the women’s junior individual time trial, Lisa Morzenti (Italy) got the gold medal ahead of Alessa Vigilia, also Italian, who made it to the second place. One year later, none of them has been racing the Euro junior ITT, but that didn’t affect Italy’s chances of succeeding…
For the second year in a row, two Italian riders have been unbeateable, as Elena Pirrone became European time trial champion ahead of her teammate and friend Letizia Paternoster, winner of five track Euro champs two weeks ago. Who got the bronze medal? Local idol Emma Norsgaard Jørgensen did, 11 seconds away from the first spot of the podium.
35 cyclists competed in this time trial and it was before the first half of the finishers when Pirrone reached the checkered flag, setting an impressive best time in 25 minutes and 18 seconds. Before Pirrone, Germany’s Hannah Ludwig had been sitting on the central hot seat.
Riders kept on finishing their race and nobody could beat Pirrone. With only six riders to go, Jørgensen reached the finish line just 11 seconds slower than Pirrone, while Luxembourg’s Anne-Sophie Harsch, who was also one of the top favorites for the win, got a provisional podium spot, 41 seconds worse than Pirrone.
By that time there was still one cyclist to go: Letizia Paternoster. The Italian overpassed the rider who started one minute before she did, Dorline Granade, but in spite of her fast pace she could not improve Pirrone’s time, who became the new European junior ITT champion.
Elena Pirrone’s statements: “I believed in my chances and I really hoped I could get this place. I’m proud of myself and very satisfied. We wanted to get again a 1-2 and we did it. During the last weeks Letizia and I were together in the national team’s training camp and we were focused on the road race, but I made some trainings to prepare this time trial. I came here very motivated. We were expecting the rain because I know it rains a lot here, but I like racing under the rain. My next goals are the World Championships both on the track and on the road. I hope to race the time trial in Norway!”
The best Spanish rider was Sara Martín, who couldn’t make it to the top-10 (she was 12th), but got a great time at only 1 minute and 10 seconds from Pirrone. Maialen Aramendia ended up in 27th place at 2:26 from the winner.