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Brändli focused on road race

Can Switzerland's silver medallist go one better on Saturday? Keystone

Following her silver-medal winning performance in the women's world championship time trial, Swiss cyclist Nicole Brändli has told swissinfo that she's setting her sights on another strong performance in Saturday's road race.

The 20-year-old rider from Zurich was the first Swiss woman in five years to win a medal at the championships, after hurtling around Wednesday’s 19.2 kilometre course in a time of 29’08″55. Only one rider, France’s Jeannie Longo, was able to go any faster – beating Brändli’s time by a mere four tenths of a second.

“I feel really good now,” Brändli told swissinfo on the morning after her podium performance. “There’s still a little bit of disappointment (after missing out on the gold medal) but I think that’s normal. I wouldn’t be a true sportswoman otherwise. I’m definitely very proud of my silver medal. It was just a shame to lose out so narrowly on the world championship title.”

Legendary Longo

Brändli said there was no shame though in losing to Longo. Despite being more than 20 years older than the Swiss rider, Longo is a living legend in the sport – Wednesday’s world championship title was the 13th of her staggering career.

“I can take great comfort from the fact that Longo was the only rider to beat me,” Brändli added. “She is a great athlete who has always made a big impression on me. What she has achieved and what she’s still achieving – well, it’s just amazing.”

Brändli herself hopes to amaze a few more people on Saturday when attention turns to the women’s road race. The Swiss rider told swissinfo that her ambitions were high following her silver medal success in the time trial.

“I know that I’m in 100 per cent top form now,” she explained. “I think with a bit of luck and if everything goes right tactically, there could be another strong performance. In any case I’ll be giving it the maximum.”

No joy for Swiss men

In Thursday’s world championship action, the maximum wasn’t enough for Switzerland’s male riders. National time trial champion Jean Nuttli and Bern’s former junior world champion Fabian Cancellara had to settle for 13th and 16th place respectively in the elite men’s time trial.

As was widely expected the men’s gold went to Germany’s Olympic road race champion Jan Ullrich, who is also expected to challenge strongly for Sunday’s road title.

Britain’s David Millar took the time trial silver medal ahead of bronze medal winner Santiago Botero Escheverry of Colombia.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR