UCI Road World Championships 2012
Team Time Trial for trade teams
Sittard - 34,2km
Specialized-lululemon are the new World Team Time Trial champions in a time of 46 minutes 31.63 seconds ahead of Orica-AIS and AA Drink winning a bronze medal for the team in their last ride together.
In the much anticipate ride, the teams have been preparing for at every opportunity possible this season. The rolling course suited Specialized-lululemon who set the fastest time at each of the check points. The Specialized-lululemon team, Ellen van dijk, Evelyn Stevene, Trixi Worrack, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Charlotte Becker have been unbeatable all season and this win is the culmination of a huge amount of work from the team to ensure that everything came together for today.
Orica-AIS were fastest to the first check point, that was until Specialized-lululemon arrived. They were the quickest at the first check point one second ahead of Orica-AIS. The Orica-AIS team led by Judith Arndt just could not close the gap on Specialized-lululemon. With Loes Gunnewijk, Alexis Rhodes, Melissa Hosking, Linda Vilumsen and Shara Gillow the team sacrificed riders to drive the pace early. Despite being only 1 second behind Specialized-lululemon at 11.9km, Orica lost time over the mid point of the course and continued to lose time to the finish line.
AA Drink, led by Emma Pooley, included Chantal Blaak, lucinda Brand, Jessie Daams, Sharon Laws and Kirsten Wild. The team did everything they could to set an early pace. They fell short at each time gap, finishing 1 minute 59.32 seconds behind the winners.
Rabo Women, led by Olympic Road Champion Marianne Vos finished 4th 2 minutes 20.40 seconds behind Specialized-lululemon.
Team Specialized-lululemon won the inaugural Women’s Team Time Trial World Championships race in Limburg, Holland on Sunday. “We’re very excited,” said Team Director Ronny Lauke. “This has been a goal for us since it was announced last year. We’d trained over the course several times in the last week and also back in April so the girls knew every corner and we’ve been working closely with our partners to get our equipment perfect. It’s nice for the riders and for the whole staff to be able to finish it off.”
“I knew we were going to be successful when we had a visualization session with the girls before the start,” said Evelyn Stevens. “We visualized the start area like a canon shooting us out, and the top of the Cauberg sucking us in. We finished the session with ‘Namaste Bitches.’”
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg joked “It was all me. I made up those ten seconds with my pull into the Cauberg. Who says this is a team time trial.”
Trixi Worrack finished with a profound statement, “Cheers big ears.”
Orica-AIS 's finished 2nd to Specialized Lululemon as they had ben all season. The team time trial marked the end of an era for two of the team. Alexis Rhodes has ended her professional cycling career on the podium with the Australian registered Orica-AIS team that claimed silver in the inaugural trade teams time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in the Netherlands.
Rhodes and compatriots Shara Gillow and Melissa Hoskins were joined by Loes Gunnewijk (NED), Linda Villumsen (NZL) and Judith Arndt (GER) for the 34 kilometre race against the clock. They posted a time of 46:55.82 to finish 24 seconds off the pace of Specialized-lululemon who clocked 46:31.63 to win the trophy.
"It's good to finish on a silver medal and today is definitely a highlight of my career," said 28-year-old Rhodes after the race. "Of all the races we've done this year we've always come second to Specialized so we figured second was ours to lose and first was ours to win.
"We didn't quite get there on the day but I can honestly say I gave it everything I had. Judith and Linda were awesome today and basically towed me around the course," said Rhodes of her team mates. Arndt is the reigning time trial world champion and was second in the event at the Olympic Games last month in London while Villumsen has been on the podium in the individual time trial at the world titles for the past three years. Today was also a farewell for Arndt from the team although the veteran cyclist will race the time trial and road race this week with the German national team.
Orica-AIS knew Specialized-lululemon would be the team to beat after finished second to them last weekend in the team time trial of the Holland Ladies Tour.
"(After that) we just tried to work on our technique and made sure we looked after each other all the way through the race," explained Rhodes of the work they did between then and now to try and close the gap. "Not surging on turns and trying to have the better people do the climbs rather than myself or Melissa. We worked on our technique for than our fitness."
Asked to reflect on her feelings about today being her last as a professional cyclist Rhodes was typically frank."I'm sort of relieved (it's all over)," she said. "(My career) it's been long, is the best way to describe it."
Rhodes made her international debut a decade ago when she was named in the Australian team for the 2002 junior world championships in Melbourne where she won gold in the individual pursuit. That same year she lined up as a junior at the road world championships staged just 60 kilometres from where today's racing finished in the town of Valkenburg.
In 2005 at the age of 21 Rhodes sustained life-threatening injuries when a young driver lost control of her car and crashed into the Australian Institute of Sport's women's road squad during a training ride in Germany. Her team mate Amy Gillett was killed and Rhodes was on life support and in an induced coma for almost a week. She sustained severe chest injuries, seven broken bones in her back and fractures to her thoracic spine.
Less than six months later she was racing again and in 2006 made her Commonwealth Games debut for Australia. Since then she has claimed Australian and Oceania Championship titles on the road. She also raced for Australia at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and at the 2008 and 2010 World Championships.
Melissa Hosking welcomed the silver medal. Hoskins who left London with a fourth place result in the teams pursuit on the track. "It was very hard," said Hoskins of the course. "I guess coming into it I had my objectives to complete and that was to pretty much get as far as I possibly could into the race and give as much as I could.
"We rode really well, we thought like a team which I think made all the difference (and) it's a nice way to finish off the season and a nice way for Alex and Judith to go out with the team," said Hoskins. "We can't be disappointed with the silver medal and it's nice to come back from the Olympics with something to finish my season with."
The team time trial was last staged at a world championships 18 years ago but as a national team event and has been reintroduced for professional teams.
Martin Barras Director Orica -AIS ."The girls turned themselves inside out riding at the speed required to win, and we were still beaten," said Sports Director Martin Barras. "We were initially and remain a bit deflated but are also very proud of the effort we left on the road. Silver is a mixed bag. We knew what we wanted and what we had to do to get it.
put together the best race possible as a tribute to Alexis Rhodes and Judith
Arndt, our teammates for whom this was their last professional race,"
said Barras. "I would like to take this opportunity to publicly
thank them both for a wonderful first season with ORICA-AIS. It has been a
real privilege to work as a team towards a world championship."
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