The favourites delivered in the women’s team time trial at the World Championships with Team Specialized - Lululemon taking gold ahead of Orica-AIS and AA Drink - Leontien.NL Cycling.
Trixi Worrack, Ellen van Dijk, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Evelyn Stevens, Amber Neben and Charlotte Becker set the fastest time at each of the intermediate time checks and despite Orica holding them to less than a second after 11.9 kilometres, the advantage stretched out to 24 seconds by the finish. According to Stevens it was a case of practice makes perfect.
“We came out in April to preview the course and it’s been huge focal point of the season. We knew the course inside and out. It was a technical course, you had to go fast on the flats, fast on the climbs but not too fast. A lot of the time Ina and Ellen were powering along on the flats and Charlotte, Trixi, Amber and myself were setting a tempo on the climbs. We practiced it a bunch this week. It’s exciting to target something and then get the win,” she said.
While the majority of the competition lost riders early on, Specialized-lulemon were able to keep all six riders together until the ascent of the Cauberg, with Teutenberg swinging off after one final pull on the front.
“The goal was to win,” Stevens added.
“Ina did an incredible turn leading into the Cauberg and that was the plan to give us all a bit of a breather. We finished with five today but the goal was just to have the fastest time.”
At the recent Ladies Tour in Holland Orica had pushed Specialized-lulemon all the way, finishing within 19 seconds over a similar course.
“We knew that it would be a tight race and for sure,” Teutenberg said.
“After 10 km were weren’t expecting a 30 second lead. That would have been wishful thinking. We knew we had to put the pressure on and then keep it up. We knew it would come down to three or four teams and that it could be really tight.”