It's a long but largely flat course for the final edition (at least in this format) of the women's team time trial at the World Championships. The twelve teams must tackle a 54.5km route from Otztal to Innsbruck in the maiden event of this year's Worlds.
BePink are the first team down the start ramp at 10.10 local time, with the squads going at three-minute intervals thereafter. The start order is as follows:
1 Bepink 10:10:00
2 Team Virtu Cycling 10:13:00
3 Parkhotel Valkenburg 10:16:00
4 Cogeas-Mettler Pro Cycling Team 10:19:00
5 Btc City Ljubljana 10:22:00
6 Valcar Pbm 10:25:00
7 Wiggle High5 10:28:00
8 Ale Cipollini 10:31:00
9 Canyon-SRAM Racing 10:34:00
10 Mitchelton-Scott 10:37:00
11 Boels Dolmans Cycling 10:40:00
12 Team Sunweb 10:43:00
Sunweb are the defending champions, while Boels Dolmans are looking to regain the title they won in Doha in 2016. These two teams are the obvious favourites for gold today, and Kirsten Frattini spoke with Sunweb's Coryn Rivera about their status ahead of today's race. “All of our TTTs have been pretty close,” Rivera said. “But we have only ever been separated by a handful of seconds. Everything is close, and they are also a strong team. They’ve also won the World Championships before, and I think it will be pretty close again on Sunday. It will come down to the best teamwork at the end of the day.” Read the full story here.
BePink roll down the start ramp to begin their effort. Team Virtu Cycling will be the next team to start.
Parkhotel Valkenburg are next in action. The one official time check on today's course comes after 23km.
Olga Zabelinskaya and Cogeas are out on the road. Next up are BTC City Ljubljana.
Wiggle-High5 have begun what is essentially their final major outing as a team. Their squad today is made up of Annette Edmondson, Emilia Fahlin, Lisa Brennauer, Kirsten Wild, Katie Archibald and Audrey Cordon-Ragot. Wiggle placed second in the team time trial at the Madrid Challenge last week.
Ale Cipollini are out on the road. Elena Cecchini, Hannah Barnes, Lisa Klein, Trixi Worrack, Alice Barnes and Alena Amialiusik are the representatives. The personnel has changed over the years, but this set-up has pedigree in this event. Worrack has four gold medals in the event from the team's previous iterations as Specialized-Lululemon and Velocio-Sram. The team placed fourth a year ago.
Aside from an early climb, this team time trial runs largely downhill, which is going to lead some suitably fast times. BePink have hit the 22.8km mark in 26:53.
Virtu Cycling have gone through the same point some 31 seconds quicker than BePink.
Jolien d’Hoore, Jessica Allen, Gracie Elvin, Lucy Kennedy, Georgia Williams and Sarah Roy set out for Mitchelton-Scott, but the Australian team are without individual time trial world champion Annemiek van Vleuten.
Boels Dolmans have begun their effort, and now Sunweb - Coryn Rivera, Ellen Van Dijk, Leah Kirchmann, Pernille Mathiesen, Lucinda Brand and Liane Lipper - are on the start ramp, the final team to set out.
Parkhotel Valkenburg are off the pace at the time check. They go through 48 seconds down on Virtu.
Chloe Hosking and Ale Cipollini haven't hit the time check yet, but they are already down to five riders as Karlijn Swinkels loses contact.
Cogeas reach the 23km mark 56 seconds down on Virtu. It's slightly better for Parkhotel Valkenburg, who are 48 seconds behind Virtu at the same point.
Second best time at the check for Valcar PBM, albeit some 31 seconds off the flying Virtu Cycling.
Wiggle-High5 are approaching the checkpoint and they look well on course to clock a new best time, though the squad has lost Katie Archibold in the last kilometre or so.
New best time for Wiggle. Their 25:34 is some 47 seconds quicker than Virtu. They have recorded an average speed in excess of 53kph to this point.
Ale Cipollini won't trouble the podium this morning. The team in the fluorescent kit are 1:36 down at the 22.8km point. It's worth noting, mind, that their average speed is still in excess of 50kph - this is a rapid course.
Second best time at the 22.8km mark for Canyon-Sram, who come through 11 seconds down on Wiggle-High5.
Mitchelton-Scott reach the check with the third-best time so far, 28 seconds off the cruising Wiggle-High5 squad.
Only Boels Dolmans and Sunweb are still to come through the time check, and so Wiggle-High5 are well on course for a medal, but what can the two pre-race favourites do?
Boels Dolmans are some 19 seconds down on Wiggle-High5 at the 22.8km mark. They are in third place so far, though Anna van der Breggen warned Eurosport beforehand of the need to save energy for the second half of the course.
Sunweb are also trailing significantly at the 22.8km mark. Fifth best time for Sunweb, who are 35 seconds down on Wiggle-High5...
Wiggle have also lost Emilia Fahlin, and they now have just the bare four riders to see them through to the finish. Boels and Sunweb, meanwhile, both still have a full complement of 6 riders.
This was the situation at the 22.8km check point:
1 Wiggle High5 25:34.20
2 Canyon Sram Racing 00:00:10.98
3 Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 00:00:18.84
4 Mitchelton Scott 00:00:27.84
5 Team Sunweb 00:00:35.62
6 Team Virtu Cycling 00:00:47.69
Canyon-Sram were just 11 seconds down at the time check, and they also still have all six of their riders as they tackle the later stages of this course.
BePink have finished their team time trial in 1:05:22. That won't trouble the podium but puts them provisionally in the hot seat as they await the other finishers.
Virtu Cycling duly come in 1:29 clear of BePink. The Danish squad were, by some distance, the best of the early starters at the midway point.
Wiggle-High5 are down to just four riders, with Annette Edmondson displaying signs of struggling. The on-screen graphic suggests they are extending their lead over Virtu, but the gaps to Canyon, Sunweb, Mitchelton-Scott and Boels Dolmans will be crucial.
Indeed, it seems that Canyon are in the process of pulling ahead of Wiggle-High5 with 10km to go. They still have all six of their riders and are piling on the pressure.
Cogeas and Parkhotel have both finished in times in excess of 1:05:00, and neither team will be in the medal shake-up this morning. Boels-Dolmans also appear to be gaining ground on Wiggle, but it appears that Canyon-Sram are positioning themselves as the team to beat in these closing kilometres.
Second best time at the finish for BTC City Ljubljana, whose 1:04:55 is a little over a minute down on Team Virtu Cycling.
Wiggle are running 1:05 or so quicker than Virtu as they reach the final kilometre of their effort, but word from further out the course suggests that they are in turn being bettered by Canyon-Sram.
Valcar PBM come in 1:30 down on Virtu, but Wiggle-High5 are in the finishing straight behind them...
Best time for Wiggle-High 5. Their 1:02:43 is 1:08 quicker than Virtu. Their average speed over the course is a very brisk 51.7kph.
Canyon-Sram still have all six riders with 2km to go. They have caught and passed Ale Cipollini, and the on-screen graphic suggests that they are 50 seconds up on Wiggle-High5's best time to this point.
Into the final kilometre for Canyon-SRAM, whose virtual lead over Wiggle is 56 seconds as they cross the flamme rouge.
Best time at the finish for Canyon-SRAM. They stop the clock in 1:01:46, some 58 seconds quicker than Wiggle-High5. They made up more than a minute in the second part of the course, a fine performance and perfectly-paced - but what have Sunweb and Boels Dolmans done over the same terrain?
After 48km, Sunweb are some 38 seconds down on Canyon-SRAM. We're waiting on a time check on Boels Dolmans, but this is looking like a world title winning effort from Canyon-SRAM.
Mitchelton-Scott cross the line 1:30 down on Canyon-SRAM for the third best time so far.
Canyon-SRAM are going to win the world title... Boels Dolmans are 22 seconds down as they enter the final kilometre, which they won't make up.
Boels Dolmans were down to four riders in the finale. They reach the finish with the second best time so far, 22 seconds down on Canyon-SRAM, who must know they are world champions even though Sunweb have still to finish.
Sunweb are just 7 seconds down on Boels Dolmans as they enter the final kilometre. They might squeeze into the silver medal position, but they won't overhaul Canyon-SRAM.
Canyon-SRAM are world team time trial champions.
Sunweb will take the bronze medal, 30 seconds or so down on Canyon-SRAM. Silver will go to Boels Dolmans.
1 Canyon-SRAM 1:01:46.60
2 Boels Dolmans 1:02:08.50
3 Team Sunweb 1:02:15.27
4 Wiggle-High5 1:02:43.98
5 Mitchelton-Scott 1:03:16.37
6 Team Virtu Cycling 1:03:52.83
7 BTC City Ljubljana 1:04:55.04
8 Valcar PBM 1:05:21.96
9 BePink 1:05:22.70
10 Ale Cipollini 1:05:40.14
11 Cogeas-Mettler Pro Cycling 1:05:43.29
12 Parkhotel Valkenburg 1:05:57.43
Hannah Barnes on Canyon-SRAM's victory: “We’ve trained really hard, and every day we were getting smoother on the course. We’ve all performed really well. We’re just really happy.”
This is the seventh edition of the trade team trial at the Worlds, and Trix Worrack has won the gold medal on five of those occasions. To Valkenburg 2012, Florence 2013, Ponferrada 2014 and Richmond 2015, she can add Innsbruck 2018. “For sure it’s really nice," Worrack says. "We did not win one single team time trial this year so it’s also a bit of a surprise, but for the others more than for us, because we knew what we could do if we had the perfect day. This was pretty difficult. It was a very long course, we had to time it very well.”
A full report, results and pictures from today's team time trial are available here.
1 Canyon-SRAM 1:01:46.60
2 Boels Dolmans 0:00:21.90
3 Team Sunweb 0:00:28.67
4 Wiggle-High5 0:00:57.38
5 Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:29.77
6 Team Virtu Cycling 0:02:06.23
7 BTC City Ljubljana 0:03:08.44
8 Valcar PBM 0:03:35.36
9 BePink 0:03:36.10
10 Ale Cipollini 0:03:53.54
11 Cogeas-Mettler Pro Cycling 0:03:56.69
12 Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:04:10.83
Thanks for joining our live coverage of the women's team time trial. We'll be back with more this afternoon from the men's event. In the meantime, Stephen Farrand and Kirsten Frattini will have all the news and reaction from this morning's race.
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