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

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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 LR Gold medalists Nikias Arndt of Germany Lisa Brennauer of Germany Tony Martin of Germany Lisa Klein of Germany Max Walscheid of Germany and Mieke Kroger of Germany with world champion jerseys celebrate on the podium while holding the flag of they country during the medal ceremony after the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges the day cyclist Tony Martin of Germany withdraws from professional cycling flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Germany takes gold medal in team time trial mixed relay (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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German women celebrate the gold medal ride for Germany in the Mixed Relay TTT (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 LR Tony Martin of Germany Max Walscheid of Germany and Nikias Arndt of Germany celebrates winning during the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Simon Wilkinson PoolGetty Images

The German men celebrate the victory in the Mixed Relay TTT, watching the women cross the line on a TV monitor (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 Tony Martin of Germany celebrates winning the gold medal on the podium ceremony the day withdraws from professional cycling after the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

All smiles for German gold medallists Lisa Klein and Lisa Brennauer with Tony Martin (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Tony Martin after a victory in the Mixed Relay TTT Team Time Trial for Germany (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 Tony Martin of Germany sprints during the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Tony Martin leads the German team in the mixed relay at the 2021 Road World Championships in Flanders (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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2021 UCI World Championships Flanders Mixed Relay Knokke Heist Bruges 443 km 22092021 Marlen Reusser Switzerland Elise Chabbey Switzerland Nicole Koller Switzerland photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

Pair of Swiss riders push to the finish to take the hot seat - Marlen Reusser and Elise Chabbey, as well as Nicole Koller (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 Anna Henderson of Great Britain sprints during the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Anna Henderson of Great Britain among the trio of women for Great Britain (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BRUGES, BELGIUM - SEPTEMBER 22: Coryn Rivera of United States sprints during the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 - Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 44,5km race from Knokke-Heist to Bruges / #flanders2021 / TT / on September 22, 2021 in Bruges, Belgium. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Coryn Rivera works at front of mixed relay team with Ruth Winder in tow for United States (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 LR Lawson Craddock of United States Brandon Mcnulty of United States and Neilson Powless of United States sprint during the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Lawson Craddock, Brandon McNulty and Neilson Powless of United States on the course of the mixed relay (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 LR John Archibald of Great Britain Alex Dowsett of Great Britain and Daniel Bigham of Great Britain sprint during the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

John Archibald, Alex Dowsett and Daniel Bigham of Great Britain on the course of the mixed relay (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 Daniel Bigham of Great Britain sprints during the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Daniel Bigham of Great Britain sets the pace of the trio of men (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 LR Marlen Reusser of Switzerland and Nicole Koller of Switzerland sprint during the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Marlen Reusser and Nicole Koller of Switzerland push toward the finish line (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 Edoardo Affini of Italy sprints during the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Team Italy on course with Edoardo Affini out front for the men (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 Jos Van Emden of Netherlands sprints during the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Jos Van Emden sets the pace for the men's portion of Netherlands' effort in mixed relay (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 Victor Campenaerts of Belgium sprints during the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Victor Campenaerts with the Belgium team during 44.5km Team Time Trial Mixed Relay (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 Magnus Cort Nielsen of Denmark sprints during the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Magnus Cort at the front for Denmark before the handoff to the women's portion of the mixed relay (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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2021 UCI World Championships - Flanders - Mixed Relay - Knokke Heist - Bruges 44,3 km - 22/09/2021 - Koen Bouwman (Netherlands) - Bauke Mollema (Netherlands) - Jos Van Emden (Netherlands) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

Men on the course for the Netherlands: Koen Bouwman, Bauke Mollema, and Jos Van Emden (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2021 UCI World Championships Flanders Mixed Relay Knokke Heist Bruges 443 km 22092021 Mieke Kroger Germany Lisa Klein Germany Lisa Brennauer Germany photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

Women on the 44.5km course for Germany, en route to gold - Mieke Kroger, Lisa Klein, Lisa Brennauer (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 LR Nikias Arndt of Germany Tony Martin of Germany and Max Walscheid of Germany sprint during the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

The German men on the course headed to gold medal (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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2021 UCI World Championships Flanders Mixed Relay Knokke Heist Bruges 443 km 22092021 Marta Cavalli Italy Elisa Longo Borghini Italy Elena Cecchini Italy photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

Italian women on the course - Marta Cavalli, Elisa Longo Borghini and Elena Cecchini (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2021 UCI World Championships Flanders Mixed Relay Knokke Heist Bruges 443 km 22092021 Daumont Paul burkina Faso Habimana Jean Eric Rwanda Wais Ahmad Badreddin Syria photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

Men's trio from UCI World Cycling Centre team - Daumont Paul of burkina Faso, Habimana Jean Eric of Rwanda and Wais Ahmad Badreddin of Syria (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2021 UCI World Championships Flanders Mixed Relay Knokke Heist Bruges 443 km 22092021 Akvile Gedaraytite Lituania Anastasiya Kolesava Belarus Tereza Medvedova Slovakia photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

Two of the women's riders from UCI World Cycling Centre comprised of Akvile Gedaraytite (Lituania), Anastasiya Kolesava (Belarus) and Tereza Medvedova (Slovakia) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2021 UCI World Championships Flanders Mixed Relay Knokke Heist Bruges 443 km 22092021 Karolina Karasiewicz Poland Karolina Kumiega Poland Aurela Nerlo Poland photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

Early leaders in the mixed relay were the team from Poland, including women's trio of Karolina Karasiewicz, Karolina Kumiega and Aurela Nerlo (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2021 UCI World Championships Flanders Mixed Relay Knokke Heist Bruges 443 km 22092021 Amalie Dideriksen Denmark Emma Cecile Noorsgaard Denmark Julie Leth Denmark photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

Women's contingency from Denmark - Amalie Dideriksen, Emma Cecile Noorsgaard and Julie Leth (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2021 UCI World Championships - Flanders - Mixed Relay - Knokke Heist - Bruges 44,3 km - 22/09/2021 - Benjamin Thomas (France) - Thomas Denis (France) - Valentin Tabellion (France) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

Team France on the course for men - Benjamin Thomas, Thomas Denis and Valentin Tabellion (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 LR Silver medalists Koen Bouwman of Netherlands Riejanne Markus of Netherlands Bauke Mollema of Netherlands Ellen Van Dijk of Netherlands Jos Van Emden of Netherlands and Annemiek Van Vleuten of Netherlands gold medalists Tony Martin of Germany Mieke Kroger of Germany Lisa Brennauer of Germany Nikias Arndt of Germany Lisa Klein of Germany and Max Walscheid of Germany with world champion jerseys and bronze medalists Marta Cavalli of Italy Elena Cecchini of Italy Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy Edoardo Affini of Italy Filippo Ganna of Italy and Matteo Sobrero of Italy celebrate on the podium during the medal ceremony after the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges the day cyclist Tony Martin of Germany withdraws from professional cycling flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Final podium ceremony - Netherlands second place, Germany first place, Italy third place (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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2021 UCI World Championships - Flanders - Mixed Relay - Knokke Heist - Bruges 44,3 km - 22/09/2021 - Filippo Ganna (Italy) - Edoardo Affini (Italy) - Matteo Sobrero (Italy) - Marta Cavalli (Italy) - Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) - Elena Cecchini (Italy) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

Team Italy was third in the team time trial mixed relay (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2021 UCI World Championships Flanders Mixed Relay Knokke Heist Bruges 443 km 22092021 Ellen Van Dijk Netherlands Annemiek Van Vleuten Netherlands Riejanne Markus Netherlands Koen Bouwman Netherlands Bauke Mollema Netherlands Jos Van Emden Netherlands photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

Team Netherlands was second in the team time trial mixed relay, and received a photo bomb from Germany (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 His Majesty the King Philippe of Belgium handing over the world champions jerseys to Lisa Brennauer of Germany after the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges the day cyclist Tony Martin of Germany withdraws from professional cycling flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Simon Wilkinson PoolGetty Images

His Majesty the King Philippe of Belgium handing over the world champions jerseys to Lisa Brennauer after Germany won the Team Time Trial Mixed Relay (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 LR Tony Martin is congratulated by David Lappartient of France President of the Union Cycliste Internationale UCI and His Majesty the King Philippe of Belgium after the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges the day cyclist Tony Martin of Germany withdraws from professional cycling flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Simon Wilkinson PoolGetty Images

Tony Martin is congratulated by His Majesty the King Philippe of Belgium, as well as David Lappartient,President of the UCI (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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After winning the Mixed Relay TTT Team Time Trial for Germany, Tony Martin hugs Lisa Brennauer (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

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."

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