Live coverage of the opening event of the 2017 UCI Road World Championships - the elite women's team time trial.
Good morning, and welcome to the 2017 World Championships! They've snuck up on us, haven't they?
We're in Bergen, Norway, and it all starts here, with the women's team time trial.
First things first, here's the schedule.
There are nine teams competing, and the first team is off at 12.10 local time - so that's 25 minutes from now. They'll set off in three-minute intervals.
1 Team Virtu Cycling Women 12:10:00
2 BePink Cogeas 12:13:00
3 Hitec Products 12:16:00
4 BTC City Ljubljana 12:19:00
5 FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope 12:22:00
6 Team Sunweb Women 12:25:00
7 Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team 12:28:00
8 Canyon SRAM Racing 12:31:00
9 Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 12:24:00
@sebpiquet Sun, 17th Sep 2017 09:44:09
A bit about the course, which is the same this year for both the men and women. It's 42.5km long and one of the toughest tests you're ever likely to see in a team time trial.
The roads are constantly rolling, with some really sharp inclines and nasty descents. There are some cobbles later on, too. A crucial point on the course is the Birkelundsbakken climb after 30km - 3km long at an average of 6% but with pitches that are well into the double digits. The teams will face a battle to stay together there, and then there are still 10km until the finish line.
@FDJ_NAqui_Fut Sun, 17th Sep 2017 09:37:33
Don't trust me on the course? Here's Orica-Scott DS Matt White with his take, having seen it up close and personal.
Five minutes to go...
Danish team Virtu Cycling are on the ramp now and they're going to get us underway. Boels Dolmans are last off, having won the title last year.
Here's how Virtu line up
Claudia Koster (Ned)
Christina Siggaard (Den)
Pernille Mathiesen (Den)
Amber Leone Neben (USA)
Sara Penton (Swe)
Linda Villumsen (Den)
In Amber Neben and Linda Villumsen, Virtu have the individual time trial world champions from the two previous years.
The Worlds are underway as Virtu roll down the ramp in their dark blue kit.
Villumsen does the first turn as they quickly settle into formation.
Meanwhile the next team, BePink Cogeas, are on the ramp, about to get going. Here's how they line up.
Alison Jackson (Can)
Francesca Pattaro (Ita)
Katia Ragusa (Ita)
Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita)
Silvia Valsecchi (Ita)
Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus)
Zabelinskaya is the powerhouse for this team, the Russian having won the silver medal on a hilly course at last year's Olympic Games - a result that was shrouded in controversy given the fact she has served a doping ban and was nearly prevented (like all Russians) from competing.
Hitec Products are the third team down the ramp.
Charlotte Becker (Ger)
Miriam Bjørnsrud (Nor)
Simona Frapporti (Ita)
Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen (Nor)
Nina Kessler (Ned)
Thea Thorsen (Nor)
Now it's BTC City Ljubljana
Polona Batagelj (Slo)
Maaike Boogaard (Ned)
Eugenia Bujak (Pol)
Corinna Lechner (Ger)
Hanna Nilsson (Swe)
Ursa Pintar (Slo)
French team FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscop are off now.
Aude Biannic (Fra)
Coralie Demay (Fra)
Eugénie Duval (Fra)
Roxane Fournier (Fra)
Shara Gillow (Aus)
Roxane Knetemann (Ned)
Virtu have just gone past the first intermediate checkpoint at 10.3km, and they've clocked 14:00. That's our first benchmark.
Here come Team Sunweb, who have more than enough power to be a threat here.
Lucinda Brand (Ned)
Leah Kirchmann (Can)
Floortje Mackaij (Ned)
Coryn Rivera (USA)
Sabrina Stultiens (Ned)
Ellen Van Dijk (Ned)
14:19 for BePink at the first checkpoint.
@UCIWomenCycling Sun, 17th Sep 2017 10:26:54
Now it's time for last year's podium teams. Cervelo Bigla are down the ramp and away.
Stephanie Gaumnitz (Ger)
Lisa Klein (Ger)
Clara Koppenburg (Ger)
Lotta Lepistö (Fin)
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den)
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA)
Now for Canyon-Sram, who have a wealth of experience - not just in terms of their individual riders but as a team. They won this event from 2012-2015.
Hannah Barnes (GBr)
Lisa Brennauer (Ger)
Elena Cecchini (Ita)
Mieke Kröger (Ger)
Alexis Ryan (USA)
Trixi Worrack (Ger)
And finally, 2016 champions Boels Dolmans. No Lizzie Deignan, but a really strong team nonetheless.
Chantal Blaak (Ned)
Karol-Ann Canuel (Can)
Megan Guarnier (USA)
Christine Majerus (Lux)
Amy Pieters (Ned)
Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned)
Mechanical for Amber Neben. That's a disaster for Virtu cycling. She's back up and away but there's no way she's going to get back on now - unless her teammates come to a halt.
Virtu are already down to four riders - that's the bare minimum. Christina Siggaard was dropped before Neben's mechanical.
Sunweb have set a strong time at the first checkpoint (10.5km), clocking 13:36. That's 24 seconds quicker than Virtu.
But here come last year's podium finishers, and Cervelo Bigla knock 15 seconds out of Sunweb's time.
Canyon-Sram come through now and they're almost six seconds down on Cervelo Bigla.
Boels come through the checkpoint four seconds down on Cervelo, who have made the early statement of intent here.
So, here are the standings at the first checkpoint (10.5km)
Cervelo Bigla 13:20
Boels Dolmans +4
BTC City Ljubljana +57
BePink Coegeas +58
Hitec Products +1:23
Virtu are on the Birkelundsbakken climb, and the double digit gradients are really taking their toll. Koster and Penton are struggling and losing ground on their other two teammates.
Villumsen and Mathiesen just ride steadily as they look over their shoulders and hope their teammates can limit the damage. Onto the downhill and they're back together.
BePink hit the climb now, and cracks are appearing in their ranks, too.
BePink are down to three riders, and they're going to have to slow up and wait for Katia Ragusa, who's really suffering as she tries to stay in contention.
Our second checkpoint is at the top of the climb, and BePink are almost a minute down on Virtu, who clocked 44:52.
Hitec, comfortably the slowest at the first checkpoint, hit the climb with five riders.
Norwegian Thea Thorsen loses the wheel as the gradients ramp up.
Hitec are 1:37 down on Virtu at the second checkpoint. They're down to four and I don't think they're going to wait for Thorsen.
Virtu's nightmare continues as Koster loses contact. They need her with them just to register a finishing time, and she gets onto the back, where she'll probably stay until the line.
Our third and final intermediate checkpoint comes at 38.1km, and Virtu are across it in 52:20. BePink 1:12 in arrears.
FDJ are on the climb and they haul themselves over with five riders together, but they're still well down.
Virtu cross the finish line with four riders and stop the clock on 58:33.15.
Considering the problems they had - not least losing Neben to a mechanical - that's a solid ride, but the aftertaste will be one of disappointment.
Sunweb are over the climb now and looking strong, with a time of 43:02 - nearly a minute quicker than Virtu.
And here are Cervelo Bigla at the top of the climb. Quickest! But only by two seconds, so they've lost time to Sunweb since the first check. Have they lost ground to Boels and Canyon?
BePink hit the cobbles in the final kilometre.
BePink, with four riders, stop the clock on 59:48.92 - 1:15 down on Virtu.
Boels are looking super smooth, still with six riders as they start the climb.
Canyon-SRAm meanwhile are down to four, and in trouble. They're third quickest at the checkpoint at the top of the climb, six seconds down on Cervelo Bigla.
Sunweb catch and pass FDJ. They started three minutes apart...
Hitec Products stop the clock on 1:00:40.47 - that's 2:07 down on Virtu.
Boels Dolmans in command!
They are quickest at the checkpoint at the top of the climb, and comfortably so - 12 seconds quicker than Cervelo Bigla. And they still have six riders...
BTC City Ljubljana stop the clock on 59:28.21. Second place for now, 55 seconds down on Virtu.
Cervelo Bigla are down to the bare four and losing ground, fast. They're now 16 seconds down on Sunweb after 38km.
Here come Sunweb on the approach to the line, and all four riders sprint to stop the clock on 55:41.63 - that's a whopping 2:51 quicker than Virtu.
FDJ, who were passed by Sunweb, stop the clock on 59:04.67 - third for now.
Three teams still to come in - Cervelo, Canyon, Boels.
Neck and neck!
At the third checkpoint after 38km, only tenths of a second separate Sunweb and Boels
Here come Cervelo Bigla, who started so strongly. It's damage limitation now, and they stop the clock on 56:09.66 - that's 28 seconds down on Sunweb.
Boels are down to five now. This is going to go down to the wire.
Canyon have four riders as they come to the end of their ride. They were half a minute down on Sunweb at the 38km checkpoint, and that's going up and up.
Canyon-SRAM come towards the line now, and they stop the clock on 56:46.42 - over a minute down on Sunweb! Third place, but Boels are still to come.
Boels are down to four now on the run to the line. It's so tight!
Boels are five seconds down according to virtual timing! Sunweb's riders are getting excited in the hotseat.
Boels are fading.
55:54.06 for Boels. 12 seconds down on Sunweb. Wow.
Team Sunweb win the World Championships team time trial!
Tears and elation among the Sunweb riders.
@UCIWomenCycling Sun, 17th Sep 2017 11:33:40
"None of us really expected this - we were going for the podium," says Sunweb's Ellen van Dijk.
"We had a really smooth race. When we finished we just thought it was a great ride and were just happy anyway. So when we saw we were so close to Boels, we couldn't believe it. And then we beat them - it's still a little surreal.
"It was so important not to overpace it on the climbs, because then you blow up the whole team. That was our strength today, and we used each other's strengths in a really good way. It was incredible to win like that."
@TourDeJose Sun, 17th Sep 2017 11:38:34
Thanks for following our coverage of the women's TTT. We'll be switching over to the men's event any minute. No need to go anywhere, we'll be right here on live.cyclingnews.com.
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