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UCI Road World Championships 2012: Elite Women team time trial

Hello and welcome to the Elite Women team time trial at the 2012 Worlds in Valkenburg.

The Sengers Ladies Cycling Team have started the tea time trial, they're the first of 12 squads to race over the 32.4 kilometre course.

The 34.2km course starts in Sittard and finishes a kilometre beyond the Cauberg rather than at the top of it as is the case with Amstel Gold.

Teams of six compete and Lotto are the next team to leave the start house.

At the recent Holland Ladies Tour, Specialized Lululemon won the team time trial , and they'll be the last team off today. They won, ahead of ORICA AIS, who will start second last on the course.

The course itself has two climbs, the Lange Raarberf at just over 20km in and then the Cauberg just before the finish. The first climb has an average gradient of 4.5 %, with the Cauberg averaging 5.8 %.

The key to the team event over a course like this is to pace yourself, especially on the climbs. Teams are timed as the fourth rider crosses the line so they can only afford to drop two riders before the finish.

Be Pink, with Noemi Cantelle in their ranks, are next to start.

The first time check at 11.9km and Sengers, the first team, come through in 17.13

Argos, the first Dutch team to start the race, are now in the start house. A decent enough team with Visser, Markus and De Geode, Pieters, Tromp and Van de Ree in their ranks.

The Fanini team come through the first time check fastest, in 17:02.

Dolmans-Boels CT, with Emma Trott, are next to start.

The Dolmans-Boels CT team are out on the road now, all six still together at this early stage in the race. The big test will be on the first climb, after 20km.

The Rusvelo team are now at the start house, looking a lot more nervous than Dolmans-Boels CT did a few minutes ago.

Hitec are about to come through the first time check... and they're faster than Sengers by .42 of a second. The Norwegian team are the fastest team on the road at present.

Rusvelo are on the opening sections of the course now and looking well organised at this stage.

AA Drink are about to start their TTT. Wild, Pooley, Laws, Daams, Brand and Blaak, they're  one of the strongest teams on show today, as up ahead the Sengers team tackle the first climb of the day.

 

Be Pink are now the fastest team, coming through the first time check in 16:41.82, 21 seconds faster than the Fanini  Rox team.

Rabobank the third last team to start today are in the start house. Can they get the Dutch off to a winning start? Vos, Van Vleuten, Slappendel, Ferrand, deJong and Antoshina, make up their 6-strong team.

There's a problem for Ferrand who was off the back of the Rabobank train. She's made it back in double quick time though after a bike change.

Orica AIS are next to start. Be Pink still lead at the first time check at 11.9 km.  Argos could only come through with the 5th best time so far.

Specialized Lululemon, the last team to start are now under way. Trixi Worrack is in their team and she won gold in the women's junior TT in Valkenburg last time the Worlds were here in 1998.

And Rusvelo have gone fastest at the first time check, 23.78 faster than the Be Pink team.

Kasper drops her chain and she's been dropped by her Rusvelo teammates. She's back on chasing now but they're not going to wait for her.

Be Pink, meanwhile go fastest at the second time check by 42.82.

AA Drink have lost a rider too but at the first time check they're fastest by 12 seconds.

Lululemon are chasing them down, with Becker on the front taking a huge turn. Neben takes over duties on the front.

Rusvelo are starting to look a little stretched and they could be dropping down to four riders pretty soon. At the finish and the Sengers team cross the line in 52:17. Rabobank were third at the first time check.

Fanini over a minute faster at the finish with a time of 51:08.91

Orica are approaching the first time check now and they're fastest by 14 seconds.

AA Drink lost a rider very early on so they'll have to be very careful for the rest of the race. Daams takes a turn and then slips to the back of the train as Rusvelo, despite the loss of a rider early on, go fastest at the second time check.

Specialized Lululemon have gone 0.88 faster than Orica at the first time check. AA Drink were third at the first time check.
 

At the moment it looks like the medals will come from AA Drink, Lululemon, Orica and Rusvelo.

Pooley leads AA Drink over the second time check in a time of 30:05:43, 22 seconds faster than Rusvelo.

Less than a second between Orica and Lululemon though. The Orica team will be motivated by that, after losing by nearly 20 seconds to Specialized at the recent Holland Ladies Tour.

Argos are on the Cauberg and it's all falling apart for them as they spread out over the road. They're down to five riders but two of the riders are in major difficulty.

As AA Drink go fastest at the second time check, +22.03 quicker than Rusvelo.

Be Pink lead at the finish with a time of 49:46.43

Orica look set for either gold or silver as they ride through the second time check 48.50 seconds faster than AA Drink.

Skil Argos finish 5th in a time of 52:04.85.

An important moment as Lululemon close in on the second time check. They're 13 seconds faster than Orica with Stevens on the front as they crest the top of the first climb.

Rusvelo are on the Cauberg and they've lost another rider, and they're down to four. They can't afford to make another mistake if they're going to challenge for bronze.

The Russians have been 4th at both time checks so far.

Specialized are now racing towards the Cauberg, with all six riders still together. Orica are down to five though.

Dolmans finish provisional fourth in 51:31.80 but here come Rusvelo in a time of 49:02.10 to take the lead.

AA Drink are on the final climb with Wild and Daams holding on for dear life as Pooley sets the pace. Laws is the other rider still there.

Orica  are down to four!

AA Drink come up to the line and take the lead with a time of 48:30.8. That will be enough for bronze but can they take silver? Rabobank are out of the medals but Orica and Specialized are still to come.

Orica start the final climb with four riders left as Arndt leads them up.

Rabobank pull it together at the end and move into second spot at the finish. They could be in with a chance of a medal. It all depends on whether Orica started too fast and have blown. They're now on the lower slopes of the final climb. Rabobank finished in a time of 48:52.03, 21 seconds down on AA Drink.

No chance as Orica power to the line and take top spot in a time of 46:55.82, 1:35 faster than AA Drink.

Specialized are down to five riders as they tackle the Cauberg. They were 13 seconds faster at the last time check but we've seen teams crack badly on the final climb.

1km to go for the Specialized Lululemon team.

300 meters to go.

It's going to be close.

They've done it by 24 seconds. Specialized Lululemon take gold,  with Orica in second and AA Drink settling for bronze.

1 Team Specialized - Lululemon 0:46:31
2 Orica - AIS 0:00:24
3 AA Drink - Leontien.NL Cycling 0:01:59
4 Rabobank Women Cycling Team 0:02:20
5 Rusvelo 0:02:30
6 Be Pink 0:03:15
7 S.C. Michela Fanini Rox 0:04:37
8 Hitec Products - Mistral Home Cycling Team 0:04:38
9 Dolmans - Boels Cycling Team 0:05:00
10 Lotto Belisol Ladies 0:05:32
11 Skil - Argos 0:05:33
12 Sengers Ladies Cycling Team 0:05:45

Thanks for joining us. You can find results, photos and a report, right here. Stay tuned, in 45 minutes the men's team time trial.

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