Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships. Kicking the event off is the elite women's team time trial across a 38.8 kilometre course in Richmond, Virginia.
Hi there, and welcome to our live coverage of the women's TTT from the World Championships in Richmond. Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth are the first team off the start ramp at 11:30 local time.
Here's the profile of the 38.8km course
Pepper Palace get the team time trial underway. A reminder of the riders in the American team's line-up: Sarah Caravella, Lauren De Crescenzo, Julie Emmerman, Tina Mayolo Pic, Amy Phillips, Amber Pierce.
The teams are heading off at three-minute intervals. BMW P/B Happy Tooth Dental have just rolled off the start ramp.
BMW will be severely hindered by the fact that they've only started with five riders. Robin Farina has had to pull out late on.
Twenty 16 Sho-Air - another American team - are next off. They appear to have new kits for the Worlds, and are clad in black, white and red.
Twenty 16 Sho-Air make a really strong start. They already look much better than Pepper Palace and BMW. They have a very strong team that includes Allie Dragoo, who won a stage in Utah.
The Pepper Palace train is a bit of a mess at the moment, they're not organising themselves well at all at this early stage.
BTC Ljubljana are the next to roll out. Ursa Pintar already seems to be struggling at the back. Not great signs for the Slovak team, but maybe they're saving her for the climbs later on the course.
There is a bit of a breeze today, going out it’s a cross-tailwind, which means coming back to the finish it will be head/crosshead, which will really make the riders suffer.
The first intermediate checkpoint on today's course comes after 10km. Pepper Palace have hit it with a time of 13:12.57.
Team Tibco - SVB roll out and are soon followed by Optum.
Optum only have five riders out there. They had a bad crash yesterday, in which Maura Kinsella and Annie Ewart were injured. They had to sub in Alison Tetrick, who looks really nervous out there, despite being a decent time triallist.
BTC have lost a rider already, while BMW clock 13: 29.95 at the checkpoint.
UnitedHealthcare are the next team off the ramp. “I am excitied - it’s my first worlds and to experience this with my team is amazing," said Laura Brown before the start. (Quote via PodiumInsight’s Stephanie Gutowski)
Twenty16 arrive at the first checkpoint with comfortably the fastest time so far - 12:22.71.
Hitec are off now and immediately they have a gap to close in their formation, with three riders behind. They come back together but they only have in there at the moment.
BTC are past the check in 12:38.
The big favourites are now beginning to roll off the ramp. Boles-Dolmans are off, and here's what Evelyn Stevens had to say at the start: “We are really prepared. We have the best equipment and we are here to race.”
Tibco hit the check in 12:34.17 for the third fastest time so far.
You can tell Armitstead used to be a trackie. She pulled off like a team pursuiter, went way wide then cut back to the back of the Boels formation.
Ellen Van Dijk appears to struggle to hang onto the back after taking an early pull. She should be one of the strongest time triallists.
Wiggle Honda are next to get going and it looks like they've made a blistering start. “We are feeling quite good. We trained really hard this week and now we are focussed to race,“ said Audrey Cordon before the race.
We're hearing that Hitec's Charlotte Becker was in tears at the start line. The team only has five riders together at the moment and it looks like she's been dropped.
UHC reach the checkpoint at 12:35.57, slower than Twenty 16, who are without Kristin Armstrong, who's only doing the ITT.
BTC reach the second checkpoint - after 20km - in 22:27. That's the fastest so far.
Rabo-Liv are underway, and now Orica-AIS roll down the ramp.
Velocio-SRAM are the final team to take to the start. As they get underway we now have all the teams out on the course.
Boels Dolmans lay down an early statement of intent. They reach the first checkpoint in 11:52:54, the fastest so far by a considerable distance.
Wiggle Honda are already 13 seconds down on Boels after 10km. They post 12:05.03 at the first checkpoint.
UHC come to the second check with a time of 22:34, second to BTC, who are still out in front as things stand. And they're doing it with just five riders.
The road that Wiggle Honda are on is pretty bumpy, riders are bouncing around trying to find a fast line.
Boels are coming to check 2 fastest by a lot - 21:07.92 - very quick 50kph!
Orica are heading past check 1, they're much slower than Boels. It will be down to Velocio-SRAM to see if they can top the Dutch team.
The crowds along the route appear to be concentrated more in downtown, and on the southern leg they have open country roads - plenty of time to concentrate.
Velocio is through 11:41.28 - 11 seconds quicker than Boels! Can they keep the pace up?
Velocio teams have won all three of the women's TTT world titles so far, it looks like they're on fine form for a fourth.
Wiggle Honda are coming to the second check, 24 seconds behind Boels in second place.
Boels Dolmans are ticking along at 56kph according to the GPS. They still have all six riders. The road is arrow straight but still bumpy as they head through an area more protected from the corosswind.
RIght now it's Velocio, Boels, Rabo, Wiggle and Orica via the GPS comparison.
Second check coming up for Rabo-Liv, who are down to five riders. 21:30.09 for the Dutch, who are now 2nd with two more teams to come through. Velocio are pulling out their advantage on Boels to 14 seconds now according to GPS.
Pepper palace are coming to the finish, really ragged. One rider has a big lead and the other three struggle to get up to her. Finally they come together for the first finish - 52:58.79. They'll be the fastest team for a few minutes as BMW are lagging.
Orica-AIS are haeding up one of the hills along the course toward check 2. Single file, Katrin Garfoot leading the way.
Second check for ORical, they're coming through strong. 22:15.30, good for fourth place at the moment.
At the finish Twenty16 have passed BMW, speeding in at 49:40.60 - that's a quick time. That will last for a while.
BMW comes in, they were always at a disadvantage with five on the start line. 54:13.74.
Velocio are powering to the check 2, 21:01.84, the GPS was off a bit, they only have 6 seconds now, down from 11 over Boels at check 1.
According to the GPS, Velocio have 1:20 on Orica and a possibility of catching the Aussies.
If they win, Trixi Worrack will be the only rider to have been on all four winning teams.
BTC CIty come to the line with all five remaining riders, 50:38.65 good for second.
Hitec come through check 3 in fourth place. UHC is quickest at the third check with five more teams to come through that one.
Tibco come in for 51.34.82, good for third. Twenty 16 are still enjoying their time in the hot seat.
Wiggle Honda have kept all six together, but are lagging behind Rabo, Boels and Velocio. Rabo has caught and passed Orica for three minutes, but are down to just four riders.
Correction, that's Boels catching Hitec? It's hard to tell via outer space cam.
50:56.33 for Optum at the finish, good for third.
Velocio still have five riders as they battle the cross-headwind. Boels Dolmans is down to four, and that's going to hurt when it comes to the difficult finale. Not only do they have wind but a painful climb to the finish. Time is taken on rider four so Boels can't lose anyone.
UHC is dropping their fourth, she digs eep to get back on . 50:26.38 for UHC - they lost a second or two because of that fourth rider.
They weren't able to get over Twenty16, who high-five each other on the hot seat/podium.
Or is it a hot bench? Hot cubes?
Rabo-Liv are five, so it was Boels Dolmans who caught Hitec. Boels up ahead are coming apart, rider four is being dropped. This is bad news.
That rider from Boels had a couple bike lengths to close on the climb up Governor street. IT was a big risk to drop a rider and this will cost them.
It's Ellen Van Dijk struggling, but she powers back on. They're coming into the finish. They'll be fastest but will it be good enough?
47:41.94, they beat Twenty16, but a podium is still possible for the American team.
Velocio-SRAM still have five together, which allows them more recovery. Orica are fourth in the third check and no threat to the leaders.
Velocio are catching a dropped Orica rider as they head to the check. Third check for Velocio, they're three seconds slower than Boels at the check!
However, Boels Dolmans had to slow down for Van Dijk on that final climb, this could be a chance for Velocio to get the three seconds back.
It's going to be down to the wire...
Rabo-Liv are down to four as they head to the finish, they're about a minute slower than Boels by GPS measure.
Mieke Kroeger, the young German who beat Worrack for the German ITT title is struggling a bit on the Velocio train.
Wiggle Honda come in 48:45.87 which pushes them into second place now behind Boels Dolmans.
Velocio are keeping a tight formation as they power back into Richmond.
Up ahead, Rabo-Liv are on the final climb, Thalita De Jong hanging on for dear life at the back.
Anna Van der BReggen leads the team to the line ...
A Wiggle rider is high-fiving fans as Rabo comes in for second place now - 48:31.84. Boels is eagerly anticipating the arrival of Velocio now.
Twenty16 have been pushed down into fourth , so no podium for the Americans. Wiggle is currently third, but it will be Boels, Rabo-Liv and Velocio likely on the podium. But what order for the top 2?
Velocio could see the downtown skyline if they looked up. They're heading straight into town on this wide open road, still managing 57kph. The final climb will be the key.
Kroeger finally lets go after her pull, says good bye to her teammates. Now they see the final left turn. It's game on!
Unlike Boels, they are all together, Amialiusik at the back but looking solid. They're going to catch Orica if they keep this up.
We hope Orica knows and doesn't get in the way of Velocio, who have the gold medal in their sights.
Luckily there are four lanes to play with but Orica won't get in the way. Velocio are coming in now!
Orica fell apart completely, broken into two groups.
Velocio are going to get this, they're sprinting as hard as they can. THey get it!!! 47:35.72! Four in a row and a fine farewell for the Velocio organisation which ends this year.
What a great going away present for Kristy Scrymgeour who has led this team to four fine titles.
The Boels Dolmans rider are devastated, but Lizzie Armitstead consoles them.
Velocio, Boels, Rabo are your podium finishers.
Stay tuned for the elite men's coverage, coming soon.
Top 8 from today's stage:
1 Velocio-SRAM 0:47:35
2 Boels Dolmans 0:06:22
3 Rabo Liv 0:56:12
4 Wiggle Honda 0:01:10
5 Twenty 16 p/b Sho-Air 0:02:04
6 UnitedHealthcare 0:02:51
7 Orica-AIS 0:02:54
8 BTC City LjubIjana 0:03:02
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