September 23, 2013 (Florence, Italy) – On a 42.79km course from Pistoia to Florence the Tuscan sun was much more gentle on the newly-repaved road than the American team that hit these almost flat roads to dominate the field again becoming the sole team to reach a blazing average speed of + 50kph. The Dutch Rabobank Liv / giant team lead by the legendary Marianne Vos had to settle for second with Orica-Ais (last year’s silver medalists) taking home the bronze.
The American-based team of Trixi Worrack, Eleonora Van Dijk, Evelyn Stevens, Carmen Small, Katie Colclough, and Lisa Brennauer, crossed the finish line at 51:10.59 with the Rabo team – Vos, Ennemiek Van Vleuten, Roxane Knetemann, Pauline Ferrand Prevot, Thalita De Jong and Lucinda Brand – clocking in second at 1:11:09. Australia’s Orica–Ais (Amanda Spratt, Emma Johansson, Melissa Hoskins, Loes Gunnewijk, Shara Gillow and Annette Edmonson) has a time of 1:33:83 for third.
Even though Specialized-Lululemon was in control for the whole day, the Aussie team was ahead of the Vos squad for the first two splits (split one ahead by over 10 seconds and split 2 by just over a few seconds) then faded as the Dutch saved their punch for the final 15km, where they shone in the technical parts inside Florence.
This course was made for speed and it delivered as the only section that slowed the women down was in Florence itself where they had to avoid a few big pot holes coupled with hairpin turns and slick cobbled pavement through the gorgeous quartiere vecchio, right past the packed crowds along the Duomo.
Vos was very happy with her Rabobank team’s efforts, victims of a crash last year in the TTT, pointing out that their youth and inexperience worked better than expected. “For me and for Rabobank it was a very satisfying day as we gave the maximum we had, and we’re really happy with this result,” smiled Vos.
When asked if it was revenge for last year’s huge disappointment, Vos responded that, “No, not revenge! We have new riders on the team and we’re happy with what we achieved.”
American Evelyn Stevens, a veteran who has tasted victory at the Worlds before was direct when asked about the lack of good coverage for women’s cycling. “I haven’t checked my Twitter feed yet, but…we averaged around 50kph I think and that can show the world that we are dedicated, fast, strong – and interesting to watch. So hopefully we will be covered better in the future.”
Indeed, it was a strong showing as well for the three Canadians competing together today on the Optum p/b Kelly Benefit team – Joëlle Numainville (25 from Laval, QC), Denise Ramsden (22 from Yellowknife, NWT) and Leah Kirchmann (23 from Winnipeg, MB). Their TT strengths did them well helping to place their team in 8th out of 16 squads.
Numainville commented, “We came to see how well we could do against more established teams and improve – and we did – especially since most of us haven’t worked together in the TTT.”
When Numainville, the 2013 Road and ITT Canadian champion, was asked how she felt about the upcoming ITT in two days, she smiled and replied, “We’ll see, but I feel good.”
Men’s TTT – Omega Pharma Quickstep Elite Men’s Team wins second world TTT title
Omega Pharma Quickstep won the Elite Men’s Team Time Trial today by the slimmest of margins – just 0.81 seconds over their rivals, Australian Orica GreenEdge, who beat them not long ago at the Tour de France. Omega Pharma crushed the 57.2km course that ran from Montecatini to Campo di Marte in Florence in 1:04:16.81 on a perfect race day.
The seasoned team comprised of Sylvain Chavanel, Tony Martin, Niki Terpstra, Kristof Vandewalle, Peter Velits and Michal Kwiatkowski (the only new addition) echoed the morning edition of the female race, as they also defended their world title with a second consecutive victory.
Orica GreenEdge executed a great battle (Luke Durbridge, Michael Hepburn, Daryl Impey, Brett Lancaster, Jens Mouris and Svein Tuft) looking like they would pull off the victory as they charged from behind after Omega led after the first two splits.
The bronze went to Sky Procycling (Edvald Boasson Hagen, Christopher Froome, Vasil Kyrienka, Kanstansin Sioutsu and Geraint Thomas).
There were a few notable quotes from various Orica GreenEdge teammates including the team manager, who groaned while sitting in the hotseat it went down to the wire as Omega unseated them.
“We didn’t lose – we left it all on the road. We had big objectives after winning the TTT in the TDF – we both (teams) could have done things differently. It just shows the depth of the two squads both here and at the Tour de France – each race finish was within a second of each other. We had the course broken up into three sections. The key is speed – while leaving any egos on the bus – keeping a constant speed. The depth of the group and the mix of the newer ones and the veterans bodes well for the future.”
Canada’s Tuft, trained hard for this TTT with his teammates, who surprised many by winning the TdF TTT a few months back. He was even-handed about losing today by such a slim margin. “We know what its like to be on both sides of the coin. We worked as hard as we could on the turns and power consistency as a team – we have been training really hard for this particular event.”
After the interview as he jumped on his TT bike, and something sounded bad so I kidded him that his tire was flat. Without hesitation, but in good humor, he glanced down and said, “Sounds like a rubbing back brake, hmmm…a 0.8-second sound!”