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Wednesday, 9 October, 2002, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Zabirova nets world glory
Zoulfia Zabirova
Zabirova overturned the form book on Wednesday

Zoulfia Zabirova overcame cold and windy conditions for a surprise victory in the women's elite time trial at the world road race championships in Belgium.

The Russian's time of 30 minutes 02.62 seconds proved too much for her closest rivals, among them pre-race favourites Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli and Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel.

Longo-Ciprelli's bid for a 14th world title was left in tatters after the 44-year-old only managed seventh place.

Switzerland took silver and bronze as Nicole Brandli finished 14 seconds behind Zabirova, while long-time leader Karin Thurig was third.

Zabirova afterwards revealed she had been "waiting all my life for this".

She added: "I came here determined to win the world championships and I did it.

"I had trouble over the first kilometres. But it was flat, just the way I like it and it turned out to be great."

Russian double

Earlier in the day, fellow Russian Mikhail Ignatiev took victory in the men's junior time trial.

The 17-year-old clocked an impressive time of 28:30.37 to beat Australia's Mark Jamieson into second place by 10 seconds.

Third place went to Vincenzo Nibali, of Italy.

Afterwards Ignatiev said: "I trained really hard for these championships, and the cold weather conditions kind of gave me a hand as well."


Women's elite time trial (23.2km)
1. Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) 30 minutes 02.62 seconds
2. Nicole Brändli (Swi) at 14.70s
3. Karin Thürig (Swi) 15.65
4. Joane Somarriba Arrola (Spa) 15.68
5. Sara Carrigan (Aus) 20.39
6. Olga Slyuussareva (Rus) 32.66
7. Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (Fra) 42.18
8. Rasa Polikeviciute (Ltu) 44.85
9. Judith Arndt (Ger) 48.35
10. Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel (Ned) 51.26

Junior men's time trial (23.2 km)
1. Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) 28 minutes 30.37 seconds
2. Mark Jamieson (Aus) at 10.36
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) 25.98
4. Thomas Dekker (Ned) 30.17
5. Rafael Infantino Abreu (Col) 39.92
6. Thomas Lovkvist (Swe) 44.18
7. Jukka Vastaranta (Fin) 45.03
8. Dmitry Kozontchouk (Rus) 50.92
9. Roberto Traficante (Ita) 57.12
10. Matej Jurco (Slo) 58.20


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