The World Championship Team Time Trial is dead, long live the World Championship Team Time Trial. This year will see the final trade teams TTT, to be replaced in 2019 by mixed national teams of men and women.
The UCI announced in May that the trade teams would again ride the TTT this year at the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck, but this will be the last time. The UCI hinted at what might happen by saying it was looking to “ensure excellent visibility for National Federations and riders".
The UCI has come up with a unique plan, According to nieuwsblad.be. National teams would compete in mixed rosters of three men and three women. The men would ride their team time trial first, followed by the women riding their team time trial. The end times would be added together to come up with the final national team time.
No further details were made public.
Tom Van Damme, chairman of the Royal Belgian Cycling Association, likes the idea.
“It provides a new angle and gives women’s cycling a boost," Van Damme said.
It would probably be easier for most nations to put together a team of three top time trialist of each sex than individual teams of six each – most of whom would likely be competing in the individual events as well.
National teams competed in the event from 1962 to 1994, but in teams of four over 100kms. The trade team competition, for both men and women, was first held in 2012. While the winning teams enjoy it, the others do not, mainly due to the expense.
The TTT was at first compulsory for all WorldTour teams, but that requirement was later dropped. Quick-Step have won the men’s race three times and BMC twice. Team Sunweb won in 2017. For the women, Specialized-Lululemon/Velocio-SRAM won four times, followed by Boels-Dolmans and Sunweb.