The Australian Orica-AIS women's team had to settle for the bronze medal at the UCI road world championship team time trial in Florence, Italy on Sunday. The runner-up in last year's inaugural event, Orica was in contention at the first check at kilometer 9.7, just 1.87 seconds down on eventual winners Specialized-lululemon, but over the next 18km they had conceded 50 seconds, and in the technical final kilometers in Florence, they dropped behind the Rabo-LivGiant team.
Did a crash in training during the previous day, on one of the corners in that section impact their race? Sweden's Emma Johansson didn't think it was the main factor.
"We had a small crash in training yesterday in the technical part. Shara [Gillow] went down and took a couple of other girls down. Luckily nobody got hurt since it wasn't at high speed. It can get into your head, but it wasn't because of that that we didn't get first or second today."
Gillow admitted the team took that turn with a bit more caution on race day, "But every corner is a risk. We did the best with what we could on the corner."
Johansson said that the team hasn't put as much focus into the team time trial this year. "We didn't have any specific camps or anything. Literally it's the first time we've had the team put together. We've done some team time trials, but we've never been the six of us that were here today."
"We had the strongest ride today - we opened up really strongly and had a really awesome start, we did blow up a bit but I prefer to do it that way and have a crack for the win, then if you can't manage all the way you had a go. It makes you stronger for next year. I'm sure all the girls did everything they could.
"We just have to congratulate the other two teams who were stronger today. I know Lululemon has been awesome all year, and I knew we had a chance, but they were stronger and faster."
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A swimmer in her younger days, Laura made the change to cycling later in life, but was immediately swept up by a huge passion for the sport. Riding for fitness quickly gave way to the competitive urge, and a decade of racing later she can look back on a number of high profile races and say with confidence, "I started". While her racing days are over for the most part, she continues to dabble in cyclo-cross and competing against fellow pathletes on the greenways of Raleigh, North Carolina.
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