New Zealand riders Jason Christie and Georgia Williams have made strong starts to the world road cycling championships in Copenhagen.

Christie (Ashburton) and Williams (Auckland) placed sixth in the time trials of the men's under-23 and junior women's events, respectively, through the streets of downtown Copenhagen, the opening races of this year's world championships.

Christie, 20, was 12th through the first time check and worked his way to ninth fastest after the first lap at the 17.6km mark. He continued to lift his pace to improve to sixth in 44 minutes 47.61 seconds for the 35.2km test won by Luke Durbridge, a member of Australia's world champion team pursuit combination on the track earlier this year, in a stunning 42:47.13.

The Ashburton rider was pleased with his performance in tricky conditions.

''It was pretty good. I think it could have been a little bit better but I am happy with sixth in the world for under-23s. I can't complain with that,'' Christie said.

There was plenty of support for the riders in the opening races of the world championships in the cycle-centric city where 60 per cent of the population ride bikes, most of them as their primary means of daily transport.

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