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Velocio-SRAM rolled to victory in the team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships on Sunday in Richmond, Virginia.
The TTT, reintroduced to the worlds in 2012 for elite men and women, is the only event contested by trade teams. All other events are contested by national teams.
The 38.6km course took riders from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden through Richmond’s historic Northside neighborhoods, then continued east of Richmond down rural Route 5, which parallels the 50-mile Virginia Capital Trail.
The race re-entered the city through Shockoe Bottom, making a hard right turn on Governor Street, where riders faced a 300-meter climb and a sharp left turn to the finishing straight.
Temperatures were in the mid-70s, with teams starting every three minutes. The day began with blustery winds, but those settled down by race time.
- 1. Velocio-SRAM, in 47:35
- 2. Boels Dolmans Cycling Team, at :06
- 3. Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team, at :56
- 4. Wiggle Honda, at 1:10
- 5. Twenty 16-Sho-Air, at 2:05
- 6. UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team, at 2:51
- 7. Orica-AIS, at 2:54
- 8. BTC City Ljubljana, at 3:03
- 9. Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, at 3:21
- 10. Hitec Products, at 3:32
In women’s racing, Pepper Palace-The Happy Tooth, the first team to start, hit the line in 52:58:79. But Twenty16-Sho-Air quickly blew them out of the hot seat with a time of 49:40:60 that seemed destined to stand for a while.
Then ninth-starting Boels Dolmans roared in with a blistering 47:41.94. Wiggle Honda followed in 48:45.87 to bump Twenty16 down into third, and Rabo Liv knocked them off the podium entirely with a 47:21.94.
Velocio-SRAM, which in its earlier incarnation as Specialized-lululemon won three consecutive world TTT titles, was holding steady at just a handful of seconds down on Boels Dolman. But they began taking time back in the final kilometers, shedding a rider going onto the climb to the finish and closing on their three-minute team, Orica-AIS.
They shed another rider heading for the line, but still managed to overhaul Boles Dolmans for the win in 47:35.72.
“I’m so excited that we could win this race,” said Lisa Brennauer. “We knew our opponents were getting stronger and stronger. We knew we had to fight to the finish to win this race.”
Trixi Worrack, the only rider to compete on all four winning teams, said a rare loss to Rabo Liv at the Vargada World Cup provided a bit of extra motivation.
“Losing after so many years, sometimes it’s good to do some mistakes,” Worrack said. “We improved a lot in between this time and now we’re really happy.”