Yorkshire 2019: World Relay Championship

Hot favourites The Netherlands claimed the first ever UCI world title for Team Time Trial Mixed Relay whilst Great Britain were third

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Yorkshire 2019: World Relay Championship

Hot favourites The Netherlands claimed the first ever UCI world title for Team Time Trial Mixed Relay as Lucinda Brand, Riejanne Markus, Amy Pieters, Koen Bouwman, Bauke Mollema and Jos van Emden outclassed Germany and Great Britain while the unlucky Italians missed out on a medal due to a puncture in the last kilometres.

“It’s fantastic to be World Champions,” Mollema reacted. “This was something much harder than what we normally do on a bike. It was a hard course with lots of ups and downs. Technically, we did a great performance. My two team-mates were pulling so hard, they did an amazing job. Then we had to wait for about forty minutes to know if we’d win, it’s something special but it was also great to support our female team-mates and share the win all together.”

Mollema, along with Pieters, Markus and Bouwman were already part of the squad that had become European Champions in the new format last month on home soil in Alkmaar. In Harrogate the Worlds TTT Mixed Relay consisted of two 14km circuits of the town for each of the 11 teams in contention – ten countries, all from Europe, and the UCI World Cycling Centre Team – sending their men’s trio off for the first lap before passing the baton to the three women for the second lap.

Fourth to ride, the representatives of the home nation, Lauren Dolan, Anna Henderson, Joscelin Lowden, John Archibald, Daniel Bigham and Harry Tanfield, took the lead with a time of 39’18’’. Switzerland made a close to challenge Great Britain’s time, fractionally up at the first split, but their performance was hampered by Elise Chabbey’s mechanical on the run to the finish so it was France who set the second best time despite losing Jérôme Cousin before the handover to the women. It was party time on the hot seat as the British men and women were laughing and joking while watching their competitors scoring times that fell short of theirs.

It was a different story when Van Emden and Mollema crossed the line with an advantage of 20 seconds, leaving Brand, Markus and Pieters with the opportunity of a perfect platform on which to demonstrate the strength of Dutch female cycling.

Italy were en route to a medal until Elisa Longo Borghini sustained a flat tyre in the difficult part of the course after they had recorded the best time at the 20.2km mark with four seconds over Germany… that was before The Netherlands passed with an advantage of 28 seconds over the Italians.

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Longo Borghini courageously made it back to her two team-mates, Tatiana Guderzo and Elena Cecchini, who, with hindsight, might have chosen to slow and wait sooner. The final effort by Longo Borghini and Guderzo wasn’t enough to edge out Great Britain as they were five seconds adrift on the line. The British athletes congratulated each other again as their medal was secured.

Harry Tanfield said: “We knew Germany and the Netherlands were going to be super strong but we executed our plan and everybody gave everything they had. Being in the hot seat in front of the supporters was fun. I’ll be watching the rest of the races as a fan now and it’s great to be here in Yorkshire.”

Anna Henderson: “I just focused my nervous energy into my legs and it really paid off. I was so nervous in the hot seat, I never sat in one of those in my life. It was a great day out and a great experience and hopefully there will be more to come.”

Dan Bigham: “It was so close, and I knew for every single corner, how long it would take the men and the women, and when he took that last bend, I knew it was going to be within a second and I thought this is going to be real close. It has been a great expereince full stop, it was a nice challenge, a little bit different and obviously very innovative. I was on the podium last year (trade team TTT) but not as a rider so to be on the podium with a load of mates was great fun. With the UCI taking trade teams out of the World Cups next season, I might have more of a focus on the road and things like this.”

It turned out to be the bronze for Britain as Germany, the second last team on the road, featuring Lisa Brennauer, Lisa Klein, Mieke Kröger, Tony Martin, Nils Politt and Jasha Sütterlin, were 28 seconds up on Great Britain. And it came as no surprise when the Dutch ladies, who held all the best intermediate time checks, maintained a 22-second lead to the end when Markus and Brand crossed the finishing line slightly ahead of Pieters.

1. Netherlands 38mins 27.60secs
2. Germany + 22.75secs
3. Great Britain + 51.27
4. Italy +55.89
5. France + 1:23.04
6. Switzerland +1.26.94



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