Mixed relay to debut in European Championships

The UEC European Championships will hold the first official championship Mixed Relay event in Alkmaar, Netherlands on Wednesday. The UCI replaced the trade team time trial with the relay for the Road World Championships, beginning this year when the race will be held in Yorkshire.

With each trio covering one 22.4km lap for a total of 44.8km, the Alkmaar course is significantly longer than the one to be used in Yorkshire, which is a total of 28km. The UCI rules for the discipline set a maximum distance per gender of 25km for a total of 50km.

The men will set off first, with the time for each team taken as the second rider crosses the line at the end of the 22.4km lap, at which point the women, who will be held in a relay zone, will be released and set off for their lap. Riders must take care not to false start, otherwise the team risks being penalized 10 seconds. The final time for the team is taken as the second woman crosses the line.

The teams will set off in reverse order of a nation ranking based on elite men and women's U23 World and European Championship individual time trial results. A provisional roster lists only eight nations competing in the event: Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Slovakia and the host country of the Netherlands.

The Dutch men have Bauke Mollema, Koen Bouwman, Ramon Sinkeldam, Dylan van Baarle and Brian van Goethem to choose from for their line up. Neither world champion Annemiek van Vleuten or road world champion Anna van der Breggen are listed on the Dutch provisional start list, with Amy Pieters, Riejanne Markus and Floortje Mackaij set to represent the country.

Marianne Vos was on the provisional start list, but said in a CCC Team press release, "If I race in the time trial position, I suffer from a slight irritation in the gluteal muscles. I had to make a choice in view of the road race on Saturday. It is better not to provoke the body too much now."

European time trial champion Ellen van Dijk is slated to defend her title in that event, with Lucinda Brand and Markus, while Vos, will lead the Dutch team in the road race in hopes of turning last year's silver to gold.

The only WorldTour man on Germany's provisional start list is Jasha Sütterlin, while the women's team has former world champion Lisa Brennauer, former German champion Mieke Kröger and current German champion Lisa Klein.

Italian champion Filippo Ganna (Ineos) is likely to lead Italy's men off the line, with the two others coming from Davide Martinelli, Manuele Boaro and Eduoardo Affini, with Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) powering the women's trio along with two from Silvia Valsecchi, Elena Pirrone and Vittoria Guazzini.

Belgium have only named six for the provisional roster, with Thomas de Gendt, Lawrence Naesen, Jonas Rickaert, cyclo-cross champion Sanne Cant, Sofie de Vuyst and Lotte Kopecky.


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