By Nathan Engel
SOFIA, Bulgaria – After coming away from Saturday’s road cycling sprint with two bronze medals, the U.S. Cycling Team hoped to ride that momentum into Monday’s individual time trials.
However, they fell short of the podium.
John Klish came closest to medaling in the 38km men’s time trial – in which cyclists individually race against the clock rather than each other in a pack – by coming in fourth in 55:56.76.
Klish took off 30th, but just a few kilometers into the race, his bicycle chain came unhinged. He had to stop momentarily to do a quick repair, and once he had the chain back on his bike, Klish pedaled furiously to complete the race just 6.87 seconds off the medal stand.
“I thought I did really good today, especially with the broken chain situation that I had,” Klish said. “Once I got that fixed up, I knew I had time to make up. So I pushed myself as hard as I could until I crossed the finish line.”
Teammate and coach Paul Wood – who has 10 medals to his name – finished 40th out of 42 with an unofficial time of 1:13:32.56 in one of his least favorite events.
“Today, I was more focused on coaching and supporting my team than the competition itself,” Wood said. “Team trials was never my thing, so I was more focused on completing the race today.”
Russian Dmitry Andreevich Rozanov passed the finish line first with a time of 51:34.51, followed by his teammate, Ivan Vladimirovich Makarov with a time of 53:51.11 and Frenchmen Remi Girardet rounded off the top three.
On the women’s side, in the 30km individual time trials, Americans Raymonda Yeh and Lindsay Lorenz bolted out of the starting gate in the sixth and 10th positions, respectively.
Lorenz finished eighth of 10 riders with an unofficial time of 54:42.96 seconds while Raymonda Yeh was unable to complete the race.
“Time trials are definitely very different from sprints,” Lorenz said. “Sprints are more about explosiveness, while time trials demands constant effort and both physical and mental endurance. I noticed that the top three in the sprints did not do too well in the trials, myself included.”
Long Hoi of Macau redeemed her fourth-place finish in the road sprints with a win in 50:05.30 minutes. Italian Renate Telser and Russian Ksenia Kalibina rounded off the top three.
The cyclists return to the road Wednesday when they tackle the road race just outside the city limits. In the road race, the women will have to pedal 50km, while the men will have to complete 100km.