Posted by Editor on 09/20/15
The 2015 Road Worlds opened on Sunday in Richmond, Virginia, with the Team Time Trial, which was contested by trade teams for women and men for the fourth time. Both of the defending champions successfully held onto their titles, with Velocio-SRAM winning for the women and BMC for the men. Canada's Karol Ann Canuel was part of the winning women's squad, while Svein Tuft and his Orica-GreenEdge team was the top Canadian result for the men in fourth.
Both men and women rode the same 38.6 kilometre circuit, starting at the botanical gardens north of Richmond, heading through the downtown core and south for a long loop, and then finishing back in the center of the city. Conditions were hot and sunny with a slight wind.
Twenty 16 p/b Sho-Air (including Canadian Alison Jackson) set the first sub-50 minute time for the women, good enough for fifth overall. It wasn't until the Dutch squad Boels Dolmans rode with five teams remaining that the lead changed, knocking nearly two minutes of the previous leading time.
Twenty 16 p/b Sho-Air
Boels Dolmans would stay in the lead until Velocio-SRAM, the final team as the defending champions, finished. The battle between the two teams continued right to the line, with Boels Dolmans in the lead by six seconds as Velocio-SRAM hit the final climb. Velocio-SRAM pulled out every stop on the final straightaway, with Canuel the fourth rider across the line for the timing. Velocio-SRAM had pulled back 12 seconds in the final straight to win by six seconds.
"It was a tough and close race. I'm super happy with our victory, we worked very hard. It's always nice to be world champion. This year it was even tighter because every team is working hard on this event, "said Karol-Ann Canuel.
Optum, with Canadians Jasmin Glaesser and Leah Kirchmann, finished ninth, despite a bad crash in training that saw them lose Canadian Annie Ewart with a broken collarbone and another rider with a concussion. Canada's Laura Brown, with UnitedHealthcare, finished sixth, Alizee Brien with TIBCO was 11th and Soshauna Routley with BMW p/b Happy Tooth was 13th.
In the men's race, Optum, with Canadians Ryan Anderson and Guillaume Boivin, took the Hot Seat in the early going to eventually finish 17th. Hugo Houle, with AG2R la mondiale, was 14th.
However, the really fast times didn't start until five teams to go, when Movistar became the first to crack 43 minutes, good enough for third. Etixx-QuickStep, anchored by Tom Boonen and Tony Martin, knocked off nearly 19 seconds with three teams to go, leaving only Orica-GreenEdge and BMC to finish.
Orica-GreenEdge, with top Canadian time trialist Svein Tuft, has been in the medals every year in this event, but this year couldn't crack the top-3, finishing just behind Movistar.
Tuft commented: "For Worlds you need 6 guys firing on all cylinders on the day. Unfortunately, we only had 3. Right from the gun we could see we were in trouble. Still trying to sustain a race winning pace is very hard when the numbers go down. Disappointed but this is the sport. The level has gotten very high and every team is taking it seriously."
BMC, with American favourite Taylor Phinney and time trial specialist Rohan Dennis, was fastest at every point, to beat Etixx-QuickStep by over 11 seconds.
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