Impressive performance by Team Virtu Cycling despite bad luck at World Championship TTT
Team Virtu Cycling was a bit unlucky at the World Championship in team time trial, but the team still managed to pull off an excellent performance as they fought their way to 5th place.
Bergen made an amazing atmosphere, as Team Virtu Cycling was the first team in action at the World Championship in cycling. And despite bad luck, the team delivered an impressive performance as they completed huge parts of the course with just four riders and ended in a great 5th place.
The team time trial was 42.5 kilometers in a very hilly terrain, where it was rarely flat for a very long time. The first major challenge was the Askøy bridge where Christina Siggaard was dropped from her five Team Vitu Cycling-teammates after taking enormous responsibility on the first part of the course.
“I wanted to keep Chris a bit longer, but we were using her up first and she did some pretty long pulls before we lost her. I pushed the girls to their max and it’s hard to know where that line is sometimes, she did a really good job, and it was a really good team effort,” DS Carmen Small says.
Shortly after, the team also lost the defending world champion in time trial Amber Neben when she got a mechanical and it was decided that it took too much time to wait for her.
“Losing Amber with the mechanical wasn’t ideal, but that’s a part of bike racing and the girls did a good job of composing themselves. They waited a little but then they just had to go. We couldn’t stop because it was too big of a wait. Even if we had Amber we would probably still end of 5th,” Carmen Small says.
The four remaining Team Virtu Cycling riders fought exceptional well and their time at the finish was best until the biggest teams crossed the finish. It ended with a 5th place, which was also the goal before the TTT, where the team also had to learn from their first appearance ever at the World Championship.
“They did the best they could towards the finish and it was incredible. It was a huge team effort. Linda and Pernille really took some long leads and did a really good job pacing the girls and Sara and Clauida hanged on across the climb. It was a really show of character. They really had a lot of heart,” says a very happy sports director.
In the top, it ended very close when Team Sunweb won just 12 seconds ahead of Boels-Dolmans and 28 ahead of Cervelo-Bigla. Team Virtu Cycling was 2:52 after the winning Dutch team, but was more than 30 seconds faster than 6th place despite the team riding with 4 riders on large parts of the course.
Both Christina Siggaard, Amber Neben, Linda Villumsen, Pernille Mathiesen, Sara Penton, Camilla Møllebro and Shani Bloch Davidov will later in the week once again ride in the World Championship when they represent their national team on either the individual time trial or the road race.