The 35-year-old clocked 44 minutes 28.60 seconds on the 34.2 kilometer course through the streets of the suburban coastal city south of Sydney to win her third world title.
The gold medal made Van Dijk the second most successful rider in women’s world championship history behind France’s Jeannie Longo, who won four titles between 1995 and 2001.
“It was a really tough course and I really didn’t expect to win it, I didn’t think it was the perfect course for me,” said van Dyke, who won his first title in 2013.
“But I just thought I had a great year in the rainbow jersey and I’m going to give it my all today. I had no idea how I was riding. Honestly, I was so surprised when I crossed the finish line.”
🗣 “I didn’t expect to win” @ellenvdijk didn’t think the course was right for her but she was definitely wrong… https://t.co/owztMK2VzP
—UCI (@UCI_cycling) 1663472077000
Brown finished second 12.73 seconds behind van Dijk in 44:41.33 to claim her first world championship medal, while Switzerland’s Marlen Reusser won bronze to add to her silver medals from the past two editions. in 45:10.28.
It was the first time that women and men had competed on the same World Championships time trial course over the same distance on the same day.
Brown, the 10th runner out, started at a brisk pace on a sunny but windy day and crossed the line more than two minutes faster than the second-best early starter.
The 30-year-old looked good for a stunning home triumph until the last two of the 43 runners – van Dijk and Reusser – set off on the city beach.
2013 🥇2021 🥇2022 🥇@ellenvdijk 👏#Wollongong2022 https://t.co/QXgf1Ars37
—UCI (@UCI_cycling) 1663470233000
Both improved Brown’s time at the first intermediate timing point and van Dijk maintained his pace on the only climb and swept through all 24 corners on each of the two laps of the twisty course.
Van Dyk’s compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten, a two-time world champion and reigning Olympic gold medalist in the time trial, had a disappointing day, finishing seventh over a minute and a half off the pace.
Italy’s Vittoria Guazzini finished fourth in 45:20.71 to claim the first women’s under-23 title. The men’s elite time trial will take place later on Sunday, the opening day of the championships.