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Gold and Silver TTT Medals for Canada on Day 1 of the 2017 Road Worlds

by pedalmag.com

September 17, 2017 (Bergen, Norway) – Canada’s Leah Kirchmann from Manitoba celebrated her first Road Worlds gold medal as Team Sunweb won the 42.5km women’s TTT at the 2017 UCI Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway.

Team Time Trial 2017 WC vrouwen in Bergen
The defending champs, Boels Dolmans Cycling Team with fellow Canuck, Karol-Ann Canuel, settled for silver giving Canada two medals on the opening day of the championships. Alison Jackson finished eighth with her BePink squad.

Boels Dolmans with Canuel (3rd from left)  ©  Cor Vos
Cervelo-Bigla set an early best time that only Boels Dolmans could challenge and beat until Sunweb put the hammer down and won gold at a dozen seconds faster, with Cervelo-Bigla taking the bronze.

“For sure, coming into this Boels was the favourite,” said Kirchmann. “We knew we could fight for a podium spot if we rode a really good race, but we didn’t expect to win. It’s pretty cool to be a world champion. Our strategy was just to pace the whole race; not go too crazy right off the start and end up losing time at the end. We knew that the times were close from communications we were getting, but in the end you just have to ride your own race.”

“An incredible feeling to win and stand on the podium as a team,” tweeted Kirchmann post-race. Her teammate Ellen van Dijk added, “None of us really expected this – we were going for the podium.”

Team Sunweb  ©  Cor Vos
Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans commented, “It was an amazing race today. It really was ultimate teamwork to win a TTT in this way, especially looking how we paced it perfectly, giving some time in the beginning but bringing it back at the end. We’ve trained and prepared a lot for this, the commitment was there and I think everybody believed in it. You could feel already in the last few days that everybody was confident and in the end getting this reward shows what we’ve done the whole year, that we’re the best team with a capital T.”

In the men’s TTT race Team Sunweb triumphed yet again over powerhouses like defending champs, BMC Racing Team, who finished second with Team Sky 3rd on the final podium. Canada’s Svein Tuft was fifth with Orica-Scott.

Team Sunweb  ©  Cor Vos
Team Sky had made a very strong start, clocking the fastest early time ahead of defending champions Quick Step Floors. However, the three kilometre Birkelundsbakken climb proved critical, as one of their Team Sky’s strongest time triallists, Geraint Thomas, lost contact. Despite four times Tour de France winner Chris Froome’s best efforts to keep the pace high, eventually Team Sky were forced to settle for a repeat of their bronze medal in the 2013 UCI Road World Championships.

BMC Racing Team showed their strength in depth, too but on the descent back to the Festplassen they began to struggle. The chinks at the end of their line of riders became wider and wider and finally, Team Sunweb celebrated a narrow but well-deserved victory.

Team Sunweb  ©  Cor Vos
“It’s crazy. First the women, and now us. It’s crazy,” said Team Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin. “The team was so homogenous. It was absolutely amazing.”

“We had a very good pace and kept it all the way to the line. We tried to keep together especially on the long climb, and that just about worked out – barely. It’s the team event of the year, and we pulled it off.”

Men’s results here.
Women’s results here.


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