Judith Arndt of Germany successfully defended her individual time trial title Tuesday at the Road Cycling World Championships.

Arndt, who won silver in the Olympic time trial in London, finished the 24.1-kilometre (15-mile) race in 32 minutes, 26.46 seconds, an average speed of 44.6 kilometres per hour (27.71 mph).

American rider Evelyn Stevens was second, 33.77 seconds behind Arndt. Linda Melanie Villumsen of New Zealand was third, 40.57 seconds back.

The time trial route went from the cobbled streets of Eijsden through the hills of the Limburg province, ending in a brutal climb up the Cauberg hill in Valkenburg.

The 36-year-old Arndt powered up the Cauberg, the most famous hill in Dutch cycling, to seal her second world champion's rainbow jersey in front of thousands of cheering fans.

Villumsen looked capable of catching Stevens' time until she faded on the Cauberg.

Arndt and Villumsen won silver together on Sunday in the team time trial with the Orica-AIS team. Stevens, a former Wall Street banker, won gold in the team time trial.

Olympic time trial champion Kristin Armstrong of the United States retired after her victory in London and won't compete Tuesday.

Czech rider Martina Sablikova, a multiple world and Olympic champion speedskater, finished ninth, nearly two minutes behind Arndt.