Team Sunweb took the gold by seconds
Team Sunweb took the gold by seconds
A Dutch battle for gold as Team Sunweb took the victory in the Women´s Team Time Trial.
Team Sunweb including Lucinda Brand, Leah Kirchmann, Floortje Mackaij, Coryn Rivera, Sabrina Stultiens and Ellen Van Dijk made their way from the start of the course in Ravanger to the city center of Bergen with an impressive time of 55.41.63. After a nervous wait in the ”hot seat” they could cheer for the most golden medal!
Silver medallists, Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam, passed the finish line only 12 seconds behind the winners and Cervelo – Bigla Pro Cycling Team taking 3rd after a strong race.
Noticable with the winning team, Ellen Van Dijk, took her 4th win in a World Championship Team Time Trial. The difference this time was that Team Sunweb was considered somewhat of an “underdog” while in the past wins Van Dijk was part of top ranked teams.
“This means a lot to me, especially because something we really achieved as a team, we didn’t expect to win here, but just because we are riding so smooth and everyone doing such a good job, that was our key to success, and it is not like someone here was not doing it alone, we really achieved this together and that makes it really special.”
The rest of the riders in Team Sunweb made their way to the TTT podium for the first time. Van Dijk expressed the win as “surrealistic” beating Boels Dolamans, the reigning TTT-champions.
Intermediate time 1
Team Virtu Cycling passed the first intermediate point at 10,5 km with a time of 14.00.37. With two former world champions the Danish team set a high pace. The speed made the 23 year old loose contact with the team at Askøybridge and Team Virtu Cycling continued with five riders. Unfortunately, last year’s individual TT World Champion, Amber Neben soon afterward suffered a mechanical problem and also lost connect with the team.
Team Sunweb passed the intermediate point setting a high standard with 13.36.25, 24 seconds faster then Team Virtu. However both Cervelo – Bigla (13.20.71), Canyon SRAM Racing and Boels Dolmans were seconds faster at this point. In other words the stage was set for a exiting race.
In their first official rendezvous with the climb at Birkelundsbakken Sara Penton and Claudia Koster were struggling. The two remaining riders from Team Virtu had to wait at the top. Setting a time of 44.52.40.
The time was smashed by Team Sunweb (43.02.89). Still at this point Cervelo – Bigla, with four riders left in the battle, Canyon SRAM Racing and Sunweb were just seconds apart. However Boels Dolmans, with all six riders still in the race, passed with a 12 seconds lead.
But the conclusion of the first official race passing Birkelundsbakken shows this could be a deal breaker.
Third intermediate – close call
Team Virtu passed with a time of 52:20.00, still struggling to keep together but passing the finish line together at the end.
Team Sunweb took the lead in front of Cervelo-Bigla (16 seconds behind) and Canyon SRAM Racing (30 seconds behind). But one team still had all 6 riders in the race. Boels Dolmans came in 0.22 seconds behind Sunweb and it was obvious this would be a close call.
At the finish line
The Danish Team Virtu got the honour to be the first to pass the finish line at this year’s UCI World Road Championships. Team Sunweb took an impressive lead, 2 minutes and 51 seconds in front of the runners up. Now they could nervously wait in the “hot seat” at Festplassen overlooking the rest of the contenders passing the finish line.
Cervelo-Bigla made it to Bergen but 28 seconds too late while Canyon SRAM Racing was almost a minute behind also leaving them outside of the top three at the end. When Boels Dolmans top four riders came down the finishing stretch they came too late. Twelve seconds behind the Dutch winners Team Sunweb. Not a lot of time over the 42,5 km long course
Three Norweigans in action
Norweigian team Hitec Products ended in 9th place, including the Miriam Bjørnsrud, Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen and Thea Thorsen. They three Norweigan women were racing together with German Charlotte Becker, Italian Simona Frapporti and Dutch rider Nina Kessler.
Thirty-four-year-old Becker won gold back in the 2012 Team Time Trial while riding for Team Specialized-lululemon.
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