UCI Road World Championships 2013
Team Time Trial -Specialized Lululemon secure gold again
Pistoia - Florence 42.79 km
Specialized Lululemon secured the world title again with a commanding display of team work. Finishing all six riders at the end of the 42.79km course, in a time of 51 minutes 10.69 seconds. Rabo Women were second 1 minute 11.09 seconds back to jump two places from 2012 to secure the silver ahead of Orica-AIS.
The course was pretty straight forward for the first 37km until it hit the city of Florence. The technical last 5km through Florence was the deciding factor for the medals. Specialized Lululemon were 50 seconds up on Orica-AIS after the second time gap at 28km and were therefore able to take it steady through the city. Rabo Women, were just 3 seconds behind Orica-AIS at the 28kmmark but they made time through the technical streets of Florence. Orica-AIS who had crashed during training on the technical run through Florence lost time and in the end finished 22 seconds behind Rabo Women.
lined up for the start in Pistoia. Rusvelo set the early pace on the
course. Unfortunately they lacked cohesiveness in the latter stages of the
ride. They were aggressive on the flatter roads but lost time in the
technical last 4km. They were in the hot seat right up to when Rabo Women
finished. The time splits indicated that Rusvelo would not hold on for a
medal. They were only the fourth fastest team at the second intermediate
time split, Specialized-Lululemon, Rabo Women and Orica-AIS were much
Specialized-Lululemon, gold medal of last year, are you doubly happy, "We have a double rainbow. This was a huge goal for the team. Specialized have put a huge effort into all of us. We all went to the track to work on our position. I think it is a really special way to end the season for the team."
Was there a lot of pressure on you, given you have been unbeaten for nearly two and a half years, "We knew that the other teams were working so hard. We saw in Sweden , that especially Rabo Women and Orica-AIS were pretty close. We always knew that we would have to work harder and harder to get the title again. I think we did that really well." "We were definitely nervous coming into today's time trial. When you are the ones who are supposed to win, we could definitely feel it. If anyone was in the tent before the start of the TTT you could sense the pressure was palpable."
Despite all of the UCI comments that they are working to promote women's cycling, the women's team time trial was not shown live on television. "That's a disappointment," Steven's said. "We did a 51km/h average speed and showed the beauty of women's cycling. Hopefully this will help get more coverage in the future. Women's cycling is on the up. This is a demonstration of how dedicated, strong and powerful we are."
Rabo Women have been improving all year, "You know it is going to hurt, but we worked for this from the beginning of the season. We knew we had a strong team. We wanted to do as good as we could. Not individually but as a team. We gave the maximum we had and we ended up second. We are really hppywith this result."
Orica-AIS were asked if they enjoyed the course "No," was the initial response from the team, then they added, "It is a really nice course. It was very fast. We did not get to take in too much of it because we were racing as hard as we could, It was beautiful." The team crashed in training yesterday, asked if had played on their minds, "To be honest I think we were cross eyed through effort today, we knew when the corner was coming, we took it with a little more caution than what we did yesterday of course. But at the end of the day, every corner is a risk. When you are racing we did the best with what we had in the day. We did everything we could to get a medal,"
Kristy Scrymgeour (Owner Specialized-Lululemon) was overjoyed with the win but disappoined with the lact of live TV coverage again for the women, "It is a shame and I am surprised by it. With all the talk about Women's cycling and the pressure on the UCI to make changes and the election coming up, it really is quite surprising. It doesn't take a lot once youhave everything set up. It is a one hour event. I really hope that there can be some changes next year," said Scrymgeour.
"I am hugely satisfied with the win today, being here this week and watching everyone at work, the riders and the staff, our sponsors. There is a lot that goes into this medal, it is one of our big goals for the year from when they announced the course. From within the team there is always that goal to make the selection for the final six, so it is really special for them to be able to pull it off again," added Scrymgeour.
"During the race, at the first time check, it was so nerve racking. We were only 2 seconds ahead and anything can happen. It was so exciting but a great result."
Ronny Lauke (Sport Director Specialized Lululemon) was exceptionally happy with his team's performance, "When it was 2 seconds only, I thought 'Oh, that is going to be a tough one, but by the time we had the second split time at 27 km, and we heard 50 seconds, I thought 'yes, that is pretty cool, now we just need to stay calm'. We knew we did not need to take risks in the corners and that gave us confidence which made us even stronger," said Lauke. "We had planned our strategy, our race tactics. I was on the radio, reminding them when the roundabouts were coming. Which ones they could go full andwhich ones they needed to get onto the drops and slow a little. On the bke it is easy to get too excited. You can forget to remember how the circuit looks. It was a perfect race and I could not have asked for any better," added Lauke.
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