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"Today was no surprise for me. I planned this with the help of my team, and it's great that I've beaten so many talented riders. I want to thank Team Sky - they have done an amazing job for me."

Photo: Sirotti

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23.09.2015 @ 23:14 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Vasil Kiryienka produced the ride of his life to become 2015 World Time Trial champion in Richmond, Virginia.

 

The Team Sky rider - representing Belarus - was the third-to-last rider down the start ramp and didn't put a pedal-stroke wrong as he maintained an average speed of 51.4km/h over the 53.5km course.

 

Kiryienka powered around the route in a time of 1 hour 2 minutes and 29 seconds and wrapped up his victory with a nine-second advantage over Italy's Adriano Malori.

 

The duo had been toe-to-toe for much of the race, but Kiryienka dug deepest on the final climb of Governor Street and then emptied the tank on the long drag to the finish line. Frenchman Jerome Coppel rounded out the podium a further 18 seconds adrift on what proved to be a day of surprises.

 

Tony Martin had been the pre-race favourite but the German could only manage seventh place in the standings. Australian Rohan Dennis finished one place ahead of Martin despite suffering a puncture, while Tom Dumoulin took fifth position behind Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain).

 

Team Sky's only other representative - Kanstantsin Siutsou - ended the day in 27th as his team-mate and Belarusian compatriot stole the show.

 

After the race, Kiryienka was full of praise for Team Sky's performance staff and support staff, and felt the triumph was just reward for the dedication everyone had put in in the lead up to the race.

 

"Today was no surprise for me. I planned this with the help of my team, and it's great that I've beaten so many talented riders. I want to thank Team Sky - they have done an amazing job for me and I couldn't have done this without their support. I dedicate this win to them,” he told.

 

"I can't say how many days I've waited for this, and how many hours I've put in on the bike. There's so many things to consider in time trialling, so much work to do with the bike and the aerodynamics. Today it was a matter of finding my balance and setting a tempo, and I am happy I could get this win.

 

“In 2012 I realised I could be a good rider in the time trial and I started training for that discipline. I took my first podium with the bronze medal that year, and I realised this was really something that I could do well in. So from that time I kept a time trial bike at home, and I trained specifically for that discipline.

 

“For sure Tony Martin and Tom Dumoulin were the favourites, but I had a very good day today. But Adriano was also very close to me, in fact, so it was also a very good day for him. But today was really my day, and I was feeling very well.”

 

“Now with Team Sky it’s great and good for me, because for them the time trial is something that is very important. They helped me in my preparation, and they support me for that.

 

“This year at the Vuelta they gave me the opportunity not to work a lot for my leaders but to think about myself, thinking about today’s World Championships because they told me this year could be my year, and there was a feeling that I had the opportunity to win. I’m very happy to be here this year at this table, the same place where Bradley Wiggins was last year.”

 

“Today I knew it was a good race for me because it was a course I liked and that suited me. Of course Cancellara was not here and Wiggins already stopped with that, but all the other great time trial riders were here today, so I think that the level was very high. So of course it’s great to win.

 

“I podiumed for the first time in the World Championships when I was 31. Now I’m 34 and I have the gold medal. I remember Viatcheslav Ekimov, he had his first medal in the Olympic Games when he was 35 years old and another medal when he was 39 years. So I don’t know how long I can be at the top level, but we will see.”

 

The result caps a stellar year for Kiryienka, who won the sole individual time trial at the Giro d'Italia earlier in the season before being crowned the first-ever European Games champion in Azerbaijan.

 

Kiryienka is the second successive Team Sky rider to claim the time trial rainbow jersey, following in the footsteps of Bradley Wiggins last season.

 

The 34 year old will now take a few days to rest and recover before competing again in the road race on Sunday.

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