TEAM VIRTU CYCLING sixth in Worlds TTT

On the fast route around Innsbruck TEAM VIRTU CYCLING claimed sixth place in the women’s team time trial of this year’s World Championsships.

Team VIRTU Cycling were the second team to start the 54,4 kilometre long course from Ötztal to Innsbruck. And the six riders of Team VIRTU Cycling Mieke Kröger, Trine Schmidt, Louise Norman Hansen, Barbara Guarischi, Sara Penton and Doris Schweizer had no problem of being faster than the Italian team Bepink which was the only team in front of Team VIRTU on the course.

A low starting number and a fast pace meant that Team VIRTU clocked the best time in the intermediate split and VIRTU were also best crossing the finish line in Innsbruck, more than one and a half minut ahead of Bepink.

As more teams entered the course, it became obvious that the team to beat was going to be Wiggle High5 from Great Britain. Wiggle High5 clocked the best time at the intermediate split, beating Team VIRTU with 48 seconds. And even though Team VIRTU managed to up the pace on the last part of the route, Wiggle High5 managed to cross the finish line one minute and nine seconds ahead of VIRTU.

Another team that upped the pace on the last part of the fast route was the German team Canyon SRAM Racing. The Germans were 10 seconds down on Wiggle High5 at the intermediate split, but crossed the finish line almost one minut ahead of the british competitors, and at the same time pushing VIRTU off the second spot and down to a 3rd place two minutes and six seconds behind the new leaders.

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Mitchelton Scott was the ones to push VIRTU off the podium with a little more than a 30 seconds margin. A few minutes later Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam, the World Champions from 2016, clocked the second fastest time, 22 seconds down on Canyon SRAM Racing. And suddently Team VIRTU was fifth. The last team on the course, Team Sunweb, who won last year’s WC team time trial in Bergen, crossed the line in the 3rd fastest time, only six seconds down on Boels Dolmans, and 28 seconds down on the new World Champions, Canyon SRAM Racing.

Despite a strong finish Team VIRTU finished sixth, and sportsdirector Carmen Small admits she had hoped for more.

“We wanted a podium, so we definitely hoped for more. But the girls did their best and tried their hardest, and sixth is not that bad either. All we can ask for is for them to try their hardest, and they did so today,” said Carmen Small.

“The route was mostly downhill, so you needed speed to win, and the girls were doing great in the beginning playing it safe, but in the end we made some mistakes. The girls got tired and it wasn’t to smooth, and each one of them dug in pretty deep, which meant that we lost Doris, and it is hard to lose one rider when you are only five riders left. At one point in the end we also got split into two, and then Barbara as her last effort got back and helped the group to get back together again. Hopefully we learn from these mistakes, and for Louise for an example this was her first World Chamionships, so on multiple  levels this was an investment for the future,” said Small.

Result:

  1. CANYON SRAM RACING, GER: 1:01:46.60
  2. BOELS DOLMANS CYCLINGTEAM, NED: +21.90
  3. TEAM SUNWEB, NED: +28.67
  4. WIGGLE HIGH5, GBR:+57.38
  5. MITCHELTON SCOTT, AUS: +1:29.77
  6. TEAM VIRTU CYCLING, DEN: +2:06.23
  7. BTC CITY LJUBLJANA, SLO: +3:08.44
  8. VALCAR PBM, ITA: +3:35.36
  9. BEPINK, ITA: +3:36.10
  10. ALE CIPOLLINI, ITA: +3:53.54
  11. COGEAS – METTLER PRO CYCLING TEAM, RUS: +3:56.69
  12. PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG, NED: +4:10.83