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World Championships: Specialized-lululemon win women's TTT

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2014 World TTT champions Specialized-lululemon

2014 World TTT champions Specialized-lululemon
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Specialized-lululemon were worthy of the favourites tag as they won the women's TTT

Specialized-lululemon were worthy of the favourites tag as they won the women's TTT
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Specialized-lululemon

Specialized-lululemon
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The TTT prize on the podium for Specialized-lululemon

The TTT prize on the podium for Specialized-lululemon
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The women's podium during the national anthem

The women's podium during the national anthem
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The podium pauses for the national anthem

The podium pauses for the national anthem
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A third straight gold medal for Specialized-lululemon

A third straight gold medal for Specialized-lululemon
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Specialized-lululemon riders pose with their third gold medal in the TTT

Specialized-lululemon riders pose with their third gold medal in the TTT
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Specialized-lululemon legs which powered the team to a third straight TTT win

The Specialized-lululemon legs which powered the team to a third straight TTT win
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Specialized-lululemon let the crowd know its three wins a row

Specialized-lululemon let the crowd know its three wins a row
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Orica-AIS on the podium after finishing second

Orica-AIS on the podium after finishing second
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Specialized-lululemon powered to the gold medal

Specialized-lululemon powered to the gold medal
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Specialized-lululemon easily made it three in a row

Specialized-lululemon easily made it three in a row
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Orica-AIS on the way to the silver medal

Orica-AIS on the way to the silver medal
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Astana-BePink was third

Astana-BePink was third
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Astana-BePink riding to bronze

Astana-BePink riding to bronze
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro - Duo finished 13th

Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro - Duo finished 13th
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro - Duo

Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro - Duo
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Second place for Orica-AIS at the TTT

Second place for Orica-AIS at the TTT
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rabo-Liv had a bad crash during the race

Rabo-Liv had a bad crash during the race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rabo-Liv were going well until a major crash

Rabo-Liv were going well until a major crash
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rabo-Liv before the team crash

Rabo-Liv before the team crash
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rabo-Liv were on track for a podium place until crashing out

Rabo-Liv were on track for a podium place until crashing out
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Orica-AIS, Specialized-lululemon and Astana BePink make up the 2014 TTT Worlds podium

Orica-AIS, Specialized-lululemon and Astana BePink make up the 2014 TTT Worlds podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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World Championships: Specialized-lululemon win women's TTT

World Championships: Specialized-lululemon win women's TTT
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Specialized-lululemon on the podium at Worlds

Specialized-lululemon on the podium at Worlds
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Specialized-lululemon in action at the Worlds

Specialized-lululemon in action at the Worlds
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Specialized-lululemon on their way to gold in the women's TTT

Specialized-lululemon on their way to gold in the women's TTT
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Orica AIS, Specialized-lululemon and Astana on the podium

Orica AIS, Specialized-lululemon and Astana on the podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Specialized-lululemon on the podium

Specialized-lululemon on the podium
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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On top of the world: Specialized-lululemon

On top of the world: Specialized-lululemon
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The final podium for the Worlds women's team time trial

The final podium for the Worlds women's team time trial
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Specialized-lululemon took their third title in as many years at the Worlds

Specialized-lululemon took their third title in as many years at the Worlds
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Astana were a surprise bronze in the women's TTT

Astana were a surprise bronze in the women's TTT
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Specialized-lululemon on their way to gold at Worlds

Specialized-lululemon on their way to gold at Worlds
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Specialized-lululemon on their way to gold at Worlds

Specialized-lululemon on their way to gold at Worlds
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Orica AIS finished second at Worlds

Orica AIS finished second at Worlds
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Astana BePink Womens Team

Astana BePink Womens Team
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Orica AIS out on the course at the Worlds

Orica AIS out on the course at the Worlds
(Image credit: Sirotti)

Specialized-Lululemon has turned to crowdfunding to ensure its survival when its sponsors withdraw at the end of this season, and the American squad was certainly value for its victory in the women’s team time trial at the World Championships in Ponferrada.

It was Specialized-Lululemon’s third win in as many years in the event, and they delivered a smooth, assured showing over the 36km course to finish 1:17 clear of Orica-AIS and 2:19 up on Astana-BePink. Powered by Evelyn Stevens, Carmen Small and Trixi Worrack, they led at each of the time checks, and increased their advantage all the way to the finish to seal an emphatic victory.

“There’s nothing more special than getting to win together,” said Stevens, who has been part of the team’s winning sextet each year. “It gives me goose bumps. I said at breakfast this morning that it feels like Christmas – it’s such a special event and it’s the highlight of the year.”

While there was little precious surprise about the gold medallist, there was no shortage of drama out on the road, much of it provided by the unfortunate Rabo-Liv. The Dutch squad was on course for a podium place as they entered the final kilometres, only for Annemiek van Vleuten to crash into the barriers and take her three remaining teammates down with her. Anna van der Breggen was the worst affected, and was unable to remount and complete the race. Early reports suggest that she sustained a fractured pelvis in the incident.

By that point, Rabo-Liv had already lost Marianne Vos, who was surprisingly dropped shortly after the second intermediate check with 10 kilometres still to race. When Roxane Knetemann also was distanced on the final climb, Rabo-Liv’s hopes of holding off Orica-AIS for silver were already rapidly diminishing, perhaps, but the crash ended the debate, and they eventually crossed the line 10:05 down in last place.

“I blew up. Team time trialling is not really my thing, but I was not really that good,” Vos said of her own showing, which will be a concern with Saturday’s road race in mind.

Specialized display

Specialized-Lululemon were the final team down the start ramp, and it was immediately apparent that they bore no ill-effects from their own crash while reconnoitring the course the previous afternoon. “Oh, I felt a million bucks,” Stevens said, and so, it seems, did all of her teammates. By the first time check after 12 kilometres, they were already 16 seconds up on Rabo-Liv and 20 ahead of Orica-GreenEdge.

That margin stretched out still further over the middle section of the course, and by kilometre 23, they had 40 seconds in hand on Vos et al, with Orica-AIS a further 16 second back. More tellingly, while their rivals were beginning to shed riders in the closing kilometres, Specialized-Lululemon retained a full complement of riders all the way over the top of the climb.

As Specialized-Lululemon tackled the technical drop to the line, the Astana-BePink squad were ensconced in the hot seat as the provisional leaders. The Italian-based squad had been sixth-quickest at the second check but produced a remarkable final ten kilometres to move up the standings. Their final elevation to the podium was down in part to Rabo-Liv’s crash, of course, but the bronze medal was a reward for a well-paced effort.

“It’s an incredible experience to get a medal. We might not have been favourites for a medal but we did a very good ride,” Alison Tetrick said. “We’re very proud of the result.”

Orica-AIS, meanwhile, were locked in a battle with Rabo-Liv for the silver medal place through the final kilometres, and despite being down to the minimum four riders in the finale, the efforts of Emma Johansson and Valentina Scandalora suggested that the balance may have been tipping in their favour even before the crash.

“To get everything right is the difference between taking a medal or not and we pulled out a really good ride and got everything right, so it was nice,” Emma Johansson said.

There was simply nothing to be done against the might of Specialized-Lululemon, however, as Stevens, Small, Worrack, Chantal Blaak, Lisa Brennauer and Karol-Ann Canuel’s cohesive display saw them cruise home with over a minute to spare.

It remains to be seen under what banner the team operates next season, and where many of its riders end up, but they’ll always have Ponferrada. “The outcome for next year was going to be what it was going to be – more than anything we were focused on this year and on today,” Small said.

 

 

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Specialized - Lululemon0:43:35.35
2Orica - Ais0:01:17.56
3Astana BePink Womens Team0:02:19.64
4Optum P/B Kelly Benefit Strategies0:02:25.75
5Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:02:26.33
6UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team0:02:43.80
7Bigla Cycling Team0:02:55.54
8Team Giant-Shimano0:03:45.05
9Hitec Products0:04:01.38
10Rusvelo0:04:07.66
11Tibco / To The Top0:04:10.25
12Btc City Ljubljana0:04:19.93
13Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro - Duo0:05:45.82
14Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:10:05.32

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