Guazzini becomes the first women’s U23 world champion with an elite-level time trial

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Vittoria Guazzini presented Italy with its first rainbow jersey from the 2022 UCI Road World Championships on Saturday in Wollongong, Australia. The 21-year-old won the women’s Under-23 world time trial title in a new combined elite-U23 category event.

“I was very nervous because time trials always make me nervous. It’s a discipline that I love, and it’s a race inside me. So in the end, it didn’t matter to think under 23s or elites, I just went full throttle from start to finish,” Guazzini said at the post-race press conference while wearing his new rainbow jersey.

“From the radio, I heard that I was having a good time among the elites. I was trying to be on the [elite] podium too, but the other riders were strong. I am satisfied with my performance. I can now wear this jersey. It’s always a dream to wear the rainbow stripes and so I’m happy and proud of myself.”

Guazzini finished fourth in the 34.2km combined elite-U23 time trial which took place over two laps of a circuit that included a climb above Dumfries. She finished 52 seconds behind elite world time trial champion Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands), 40 seconds behind silver medalist Grace Brown (Australia) and just 11 seconds behind silver medalist bronze Marlen Reusser (Switzerland).

“For me, the climbing is really difficult. So, I have to say that today I had very good legs so I had a good feeling from the start and I didn’t feel the climb too much” , Guazzini said.

“I was really motivated to wear this jersey and when I was on the course I thought I was going as fast as possible, not focusing on anything else, and just remembering the corners, pushing hard until the end. end.”

This is the first year that the UCI has awarded world titles to women under 23 in the time trial and road race which took place on September 24. Rather than offering standalone events for the women under 23, as they have offered the men under 23 category since 1996, the governing body made the controversial decision to integrate the women’s under 23 competition. 23 years in elite women’s events, but aims to offer stand-alone races in 2025.

Vittoria Guazzini wears Italy's first rainbow jersey in the Women's U23 Time Trial at the World Championships in Wollongong

Vittoria Guazzini wears Italy’s first rainbow jersey in the Women’s U23 Time Trial at the World Championships in Wollongong (Image credit: Getty Images)

“I think it’s good that there is now an under 23 category for women because it’s a really big leap from junior to elite and now if you know you can compete and win something for yourself it’s a big motivation,” Guazzini said.

“Now until 2025, it will be in the middle [combined] of the elite race, so for now we have to be content with that, but with two separate races, of course, it will be even better. Right now I’m going to enjoy my title and we’ll see what happens in the future.”

Guazzini won the Under-23 title at the stand-alone event held at the European Championships last year and now adds the Under-23 World title to his tally. When asked if she hopes to one day add an elite world time trial title to her collection, she replied: “Of course it gives me a lot of motivation.

“The time trial is a discipline where you race against yourself, so I’m very happy with my performance. I think I had a very good race and it gives me hope that I’m going in the good direction for the future. I hope, I will also wear this jersey in the elite category too. Who knows?”

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