MILAN - American cyclist Amber Neben won an emphatic victory in the women's time trial at the world road championships in Varese on Wednesday as the favourites fell away.
Neben surged round the course in the northern Italian town in 33 minutes 51 seconds with silver medallist Christiane Soeder of Austria seven seconds behind and Germany's Judith Arndt taking bronze.
Beijing Olympic time trial champion Kristin Armstrong of the United States went out last and was well behind the leaders at the first time check. She soon sped up but could finish only fifth.
France's 49-year-old rider Jeannie Longo, fourth in the Olympic race in Beijing last month, was never in the running.
Italian Adriano Malori delighted the home crowd by winning the men's under-23 time trial on Tuesday, the first race in this year's championships.
The men's time trial takes place on Thursday with the field wide open after world and Olympic champion Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland pulled out because of tiredness.
The event ends with the men's elite road race on Sunday when local hope Paolo Bettini bids for his third world title in a row.