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UCI Road World Championships 2014: Women's Team Time Trial

Good morning and welcome to Ponferrada for the World Championships.

You join us for the women's team time trial. And Astana BePink Womens Team have just started their effort over the 36.15km course.

Really perfect conditions for the race itself with bright sunshine and little wind in the opening sectors. Astana out on the course look controlled and motivated at the moment.

Bigla are now the fastest at the first check, coming in at 14:21. Fastest by 37 seconds. Out at the start it's Hitech who are on the start line. A full Scandinavian squad, as they set out on the road.

UnitedHhealthCare will be the next team through the first time check. Can they trouble the time set down by Bigla.

Marijn De Vries leads the Giant Shimano team off the start ramp.

Boels Dolmans are the latest team to line up at the start. They're one of the strongest teams in the race of course with 31 Elizabeth Armitstead (Gre), Jessie Daams (Bel), Romy Kasper (Ger), Christine Majerus (Lux), Katarzyna Pawlowska (Pol). and world individual time trial champion Ellen Van Dijk (Ned)

Orica are off now too as UHC go through the first time check nearly two seconds up on Bigla. Only two squads are through the second check and Tibco are one of them. They still have all their riders but they've struggled so far. Further down the course Hitech have already lost one of their riders and are down to five.

Vos leads her team down the start ramp. They should come into their own during the second half of the course but they need to consolodate a position on the long flat sections in the the opening sectors first.

Bigla, also down to to five riders, are through the second time check and go fastest once more. As the favourites, Specialized lululemon, containing four of the riders who won last year, starting for them. So much strength and depth in the team, it's hard to see any weakness in their line up.

Orica, who are in with a shout of a medal, have all six riders, although it's still early days. They look strong though as Emma Johansson powers them along.

Optum who were fouth at the first check are now second at the second time check, three seconds down on the leaders.

And Orica are fastest at the first time check, Boels Dolmans in second, at 21 seconds.

The Topsport Vlaanderen-Pro-Duo are the first team to finish the TTT. Four riders over the line for them in a time under 50 minutes.

And now the Rabo team are fastest at the first time check but they're only a few seconds up on Orica. The Dutch team are just over three seconds quicker.

Specialized are also through the first time check and it's all on course for the defending champions who are 16 seconds faster than Rabo. Orica third at 20 seconds.

It's a controlled performance from the leaders so far, who will be looking to extend their advantage over the tougher sectors of the race.

At the finish Bigla have now moved into the race leader, setting down a marker of (1)
46:28.89

Boel Dolmans were fourth at the first check and they're fastest at the second check. They were about 20 seconds down on Orica for third and we're about to see if they've cut into the gap, as up the road UHC finish second.

But Orica are nearly 36 seconds faster than Dolmans so the medals are between Orica, Rabo and Specialized.

Orica still have six riders but they're down to five now as they weave through a number of testing turns. The Australian team are close to the Rabo squad - the two teams apart by just a handful of seconds.

Specialized are nearly a minute up on third at the second time check as up road the Rabo have been dealt a blow with Vos dropping out due to a mechanical problem. They were up on Orica at the first and second check so that could really harm the Dutch team's chances. They were 16 seconds ahead at the second check.

Meanwhile it's Astana who are in the hotseat at the finish.  A fine ride from them but they'll be hoping to remain inside the top six.

Specialized were 39 seconds up on Rabo at that second time check so the fight is really between Orica and Rabo for second place. Orica are on one of the final flat sections as we see Boels Dolman on the climb but they're down to three riders, they need to slow.

Hitec and Rusvelo have both finished but neither squad could trouble the leaders - with Astana still in the hotseat. Rabo are down to just four riders though, so they need to measure their approach because Orica are speeding up.

Boels Dolmans are on the descent of the climb and are back up to four riders once more. Giant are about to finish and they slot into fifth.

That means Astana can't finish any lower than fifth today. So they've ridden stronger over the second half of the course and really used the climb to their advantage.

Armitstead is powering to the line but the Boels team can't beat Astana with Boels Dolmans finishing in third.

Alison Tetrick is part of the Astana team and she's all smiles at the finish but the three main teams are still to come over the line.

And Orica come over the line and they're a minute faster than Astana. Now what can Rabo come up with?

They finished with four riders but gave it everything and finish under 45 minutes - the first team to do so.

Rabo Liv Woman Cycling Team are down to four and then there's a huge crash.

Around a right hand corner and the entire team are down. That was a huge fall.

It looked like the lead rider over shot a corner and all but one rider has hit the deck. They were in second position at the time but their race is over.

As Specialized power to the line. They're already smiling so they know they've taken gold. Orica will finish in second and Astana third.

There is time to wave as they come over the line. The only team to go under 44 minutes. +1:17.56 up on second place Orica AIS, with Astana at +2:19.64. Rabo, who were in second, failed to finish after that crash.

Back to that crash scene and it's Anna Van Der Breggen who is being taken away by ambulance. We all hope she's okay.

So a third straight title for the Specialized lululemon team in this event. They were fastest at each of the time checks and never looked tested.

Orica AIS take second, moving up a place from last year, while Astana take third. You can find our report, results and photos (soon) right here.

All three teams are on the podium with the winners about to have their medals. Thanks for joining us this morning. We'll be back later today for the men's event.

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