Germany win team time trial mixed relay title at Flanders World Championships

Germany pipped the Netherlands to victory in the team time trial mixed relay at the UCI Road World Championships in Bruges thanks to a well-balanced display across both legs of the 44.5km race. The win means that Tony Martin signs off on his professional career with a world title.

Martin, Max Walscheid and Nikias Arndt posted the second quickest time in the first leg and Lisa Brennauer, Lisa Klein and Mieke Kroeger maintained that momentum to claim the gold medal.

The Netherland were 23 seconds down on Germany after the first leg, and while the women's trio of Annemiek van Vleuten, Ellen van Dijk and Riejanne Markus delivered a powerful display on the second leg, they were left with too much ground to recoup. In a reverse of the standings from the inaugural event in Yorkshire two years ago, the Netherlands took the silver medal, 12 seconds behind Germany.

Powered by Filippo Ganna, Italy set the quickest time on the first leg, 19 seconds clear of Germany and 32 ahead of Denmark, but their women's trio was unable to defend that advantage on the second leg and they slipped to a final placing of third place at 37 seconds. They fended off Switzerland for the bronze medal by just five hundredths of a second.

The day belonged to Germany, however, and to Martin in particular, although he stressed afterwards that Brennauer, Klein and Kroeger had performed the bulk of the heavy lifting by holding off the highly-favoured Dutch women's trio on the second leg.

Martin had done his part in the first half, too, riding strongly in the company of Walscheid to limit their losses to Italy and allow Brennauer et al set off with a 23-second lead on the Dutch.

"It's the best finish, isn't it? Going from the cycling scene with the gold medal is a dream for me, the best situation I can imagine. I am thankful to the whole team, especially our women, I think they made the difference today. We were hoping for the gold and now the dream has come true and it's time to celebrate," said Martin, who only announced his retirement from professional cycling on Sunday morning. This was the eighth world title of the German's career after his four victories in the individual time trial and three in the team time trial over the years.

"First of all I'll have a nice celebration tonight, and tomorrow I'll go home. I haven't made any plans, I'll just take a holiday with my family and then we'll see. The decision to retire is quite fresh, so we'll see."

How it unfolded

Thirteen teams took part in the second edition of the team time trial mixed relay, with a selection from the World Cycling Centre the first squad to roll down the start ramp. Their time was soon bettered by the Spanish squad but none of the first wave of starters would make a lasting impact on the leaderboard.

The United States were among the second wave of starters but were already out of medal contention by the end of the first leg, where Brandon McNulty, Neilson Powless and Lawson Craddock recorded the 8th best time, 1:20 down on Italy. They would remain in 8th place come the finish, 2:09 behind Germany.

It was perhaps hardly surprising that Italy were the pace-setters in the opening leg, with Ganna, Edoardo Affini and Matteo Sobrero posting a time that was 19 seconds clear of Germany, 32 ahead of Denmark and 33 up on Belgium.

Powered by Stefan Küng and Stefan Bissegger, Switzerland were 5th at 34 seconds at the midway point, but they gained ground on the second leg where Elise Chabbey hung on grimly as Marlen Reusser delivered a sparkling display. Their combined effort saw Switzerland move into the hot seat ahead of Great Britain, and they would remain in the medal placings right to the very end of the afternoon, denied at the very last by Italy.

The Dutch men's trio of Bauke Mollema, Jos van Emden and Koen Bouwman set off with the knowledge that their women's trio was likely to be the strongest in the race and their mission was effectively to limit their losses to Germany and Italy across the first half of the race.

They could only post the 7th best time among the men's trios, but the deficit – 42 seconds down on Italy and 23 seconds behind the Netherlands – was not insurmountable, which made for a gripping second half to the race.

It was soon apparent that Italy's Elisa Longo Borghini, Elena Cecchini and Marta Cavalli would struggle to hold onto the gold medal position, and they duly slipped to third by the intermediate check midway through their effort, 15 seconds down on Germany.

Brennauer, Klein and Kroeger, meanwhile, could take heart from the fact that the Dutch had been unable to make significant inroads into the gap in the opening half, clawing back just 8 seconds. The Germans reached the finish line with a new best time ahead of Switzerland and while it was clear that Italy, the penultimate team down the ramp, would not beat them, they endured an anxious wait for the arrival of the defending champions from the Netherlands.

Van Vleuten, Van Dijk and Markus could only take back another 3 seconds on the final segment of the course, however, and the rainbow jerseys went to Germany to provide a fitting send-off to Tony Martin's career.

"It means a lot. It was a super painful race and I think we all went over our limits," said Lisa Klein. "It's so great to be part of this team. There's a super good atmosphere. And congratulations on Tony's last race – it was a big honour for all of us to fight with him for the win today."

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Germany 0:50:49
Row 1 - Cell 0 Lisa Brennauer (Ger)
Row 2 - Cell 0 Lisa Klein (Ger)
Row 3 - Cell 0 Mieke Kroeger (Ger)
Row 4 - Cell 0 Nikias Arndt (Ger)
Row 5 - Cell 0 Tony Martin (Ger)
Row 6 - Cell 0 Max Walscheid (Ger)
2Netherlands 0:51:02
Row 8 - Cell 0 Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned)
Row 9 - Cell 0 Ellen van Dijk (Ned)
Row 10 - Cell 0 Riejanne Markus (Ned)
Row 11 - Cell 0 Koen Bouwman (Ned)
Row 12 - Cell 0 Bauke Mollema (Ned)
Row 13 - Cell 0 Jos van Emden (Ned)
3Italy 0:51:27
Row 15 - Cell 0 Marta Cavalli (Ita)
Row 16 - Cell 0 Elena Cecchini (Ita)
Row 17 - Cell 0 Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita)
Row 18 - Cell 0 Edoardo Affini (Ita)
Row 19 - Cell 0 Filippo Ganna (Ita)
Row 20 - Cell 0 Matteo Sobrero (Ita)
4Switzerland 0:51:27
Row 22 - Cell 0 Elise Chabbey (Swi)
Row 23 - Cell 0 Nicole Koller (Swi)
Row 24 - Cell 0 Marlen Reusser (Swi)
Row 25 - Cell 0 Stefan Bissegger (Swi)
Row 26 - Cell 0 Stefan Kueng (Swi)
Row 27 - Cell 0 Mauro Schmid (Swi)
5Great Britain 0:51:44
Row 29 - Cell 0 John Archibald (GBr)
Row 30 - Cell 0 Alice Barnes (GBr)
Row 31 - Cell 0 Anna Henderson (GBr)
Row 32 - Cell 0 Daniel Bigham (GBr)
Row 33 - Cell 0 Alex Dowsett (GBr)
Row 34 - Cell 0 Joscelin Lowden (GBr)
6Denmark 0:52:05
Row 36 - Cell 0 Amalie Dideriksen (Den)
Row 37 - Cell 0 Emma Cecilie Joergensen (Den)
Row 38 - Cell 0 Julie Leth (Den)
Row 39 - Cell 0 Mikkel Bjerg (Den)
Row 40 - Cell 0 Mathias Joergensen (Den)
Row 41 - Cell 0 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den)
7Belgium 0:52:10
Row 43 - Cell 0 Shari Bossuyt (Bel)
Row 44 - Cell 0 Jolien D'Hoore (Bel)
Row 45 - Cell 0 Lotte Kopecky (Bel)
Row 46 - Cell 0 Victor Campenaerts (Bel)
Row 47 - Cell 0 Ben Hermans (Bel)
Row 48 - Cell 0 Yves Lampaert (Bel)
Row 49 - Cell 0 United States of America 0:52:59
8Coryn Rivera (USA)
Row 51 - Cell 0 Leah Thomas (USA)
Row 52 - Cell 0 Ruth Winder (USA)
Row 53 - Cell 0 Lawson Craddock (USA)
Row 54 - Cell 0 Brandon McNulty (USA)
Row 55 - Cell 0 Neilson Powless (USA)
9France 0:53:41
Row 57 - Cell 0 Marion Borras (Fra)
Row 58 - Cell 0 Clara Copponi (Fra)
Row 59 - Cell 0 Coralie Demay (Fra)
Row 60 - Cell 0 Thomas Denis (Fra)
Row 61 - Cell 0 Valentin Tabellion (Fra)
Row 62 - Cell 0 Benjamin Thomas (Fra)
10Poland 0:54:12
Row 64 - Cell 0 Karolina Karasiewicz (Pol)
Row 65 - Cell 0 Karolina Kumiega (Pol)
Row 66 - Cell 0 Aurela Nerlo (Pol)
Row 67 - Cell 0 Filip Maciejuk (Pol)
Row 68 - Cell 0 Damian Papierski (Pol)
Row 69 - Cell 0 Bartosz Rudyk (Pol)
11Spain 0:54:55
Row 71 - Cell 0 Ziortza Isasi Cristobal (Spa)
Row 72 - Cell 0 Sara Martin Martin (Spa)
Row 73 - Cell 0 Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spa)
Row 74 - Cell 0 Xabier Mikel Azparren Irurzun (Spa)
Row 75 - Cell 0 Diego Lopez Fuentes (Spa)
Row 76 - Cell 0 Luis Guillermo mas Bonet (Spa)
12Austria 0:55:22
Row 78 - Cell 0 Sarah Rijkes (Aut)
Row 79 - Cell 0 Christina Schweinberger (Aut)
Row 80 - Cell 0 Kathrin Schweinberger (Aut)
Row 81 - Cell 0 Tobias Bayer (Aut)
Row 82 - Cell 0 Felix Ritzinger (Aut)
Row 83 - Cell 0 Maximilian Schmidbauer (Aut)
13UCI World Cycling Centre 0:57:18
Row 85 - Cell 0 Akvile Gedraityte (Ltu)
Row 86 - Cell 0 Anastasiya Kolesava (Blr)
Row 87 - Cell 0 Tereza Medvedova (Svk)
Row 88 - Cell 0 Paul Daumont (Bur)
Row 89 - Cell 0 Jean Eric Habimana (Rwa)
Row 90 - Cell 0 Ahmad Badreddin Wais (Syr)

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1