Trixi Worrak stood on the podium with a steady stream of tears running down her cheeks after securing a fifth world title in the team time trial at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck on Sunday. Her Canyon-SRAM squad took a surprise victory after covering the 54.5km course in 1:01:46, beating the outright favourites Boels Dolmans and Team Sunweb.
“We were not the favourites, that’s for sure, but we had some very good training sessions here last week. We knew what we could do and that we had a chance to win,” Worrack told Cyclingnews after stepping off the podium.
“We knew that if we had a really good day that we could be on the podium, and maybe even win.”
Canyon-SRAM’s team also included Alena Amialiusik, Elena Cecchini, Lisa Klein and sisters Alice and Hannah Barnes. They started their race just ahead of Sunweb and Boels, and so they had no information about how they were racing at each time check compared to those two teams.
They finished the race with six riders and felt good about their prospects of winning, but Worrack pointed out that the long distance made it difficult to judge their effort.
“It’s always hard to know because this race was 54km, which was the longest team time trial ever,” she said. “This is also a special kind of race, and you never know how these kinds of races work out.”
It was Canyon-SRAM’s fifth world title in the discipline, securing titles under previous sponsors Specialized-lululemon (2012-2014) and Velocio-SRAM (2015), and Worrak has been part of each team’s success in the event.
“I have a special little place for all of my World Championships medals – they're in a little wooden box in my house,” Worrack said.
After winning four consecutive titles, her team lost their winning streak at the 2016 World Championships in Doha, where Boels Dolmans took the title, and then Sunweb won the crown in Bergen last year.
The two Dutch teams have dominated the team time trial events on Women’s WorldTour calendar this year and arrived at Innsbruck as favourites to win the title. However, they only managed to finish with four riders, and Worrack said that made the difference between winning and losing on such a long circuit.
“It made a big difference that we had six riders finishing the team time trial,” she said. “We planned to have as many riders finish as possible. It helped to keep the speed high, and generally makes a big, overall difference.”
The UCI announced this summer that it would no longer host a trade team time trial, and instead replace it with a national team event. Worrack said that she was disappointed that the event won't be around next year, but that it made this victory special, having bookended the trade team event with victories in 2012 and 2018.
“For me, this feels really good,” Worrack said. “I was part of the team that one for the first time in 2012 and now I’m there for probably the last trade team time trial – because there won’t be one next year. This win means everything to me.”