Specialized lululemon repeats, takes dominant world team time trial championship victory
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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Specialized lululemon repeats, takes dominant world team time trial championship victory

by Shane Stokes at 6:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, World Championships
Rabobank Liv/Giant and Orica AIS in silver and bronze medal positions

Specialized lululemonRepeating its victory of twelve months ago, the Specialized lululemon squad sped to victory on day one of the world road race championships in Italy.

Covering the 42.7 kilometre course at almost 52 kilometres per hour, the squad recorded a time of 51 minutes ten seconds. Evelyn Stevens, Trixi Worrack, Lisa Brennauer, Katie Colclough, Carmen Small and Ellen Van Dijk beat Marianne Vos’ Rabobank Liv/Giant team by a considerable one minute eleven seconds, while the Orica AIS squad was a further 22 seconds back in third.

The victory was a dominant one, and showed the work the team had put in, as well as the time trial abilities of the riders on the squad.

“Now we have a double rainbow,” beamed Evelyn Stevens afterwards. “This was a huge goal for the team. Specialized put a lot of effort into all of us. We all went to the track and worked on our positions. I think it is a really special way to end the season with the team.”

Vos is always driven to win, but she seemed to accept the power of her rivals and to see the silver medal as a good result.

“Of course you know it is going to hurt but we worked from the beginning of the season. We knew we had a strong team and we wanted to do as good as we could,” she stated in the post race press conference. “Not individually, but with the team. We did that, we gave the maximum we had and we ended up second. We are really happy with this result.”

Early on, the Rusvelo team was looking good, posting the fastest intermediate times on the flat course. The pace was a very quick one, but the Orica AIS team’s rapid tempo at the first time check made clear that it was in danger.

The Australian squad’s early mark was in turn beaten by Specialized lululemon, which was almost two seconds faster there. Vos’ Rabobank Liv/Giant team was third, twelve seconds off the pace but also up on the Russians.

Rusvelo continued along the course and raced in to beat the previous best time of Faren Kuota by two and a half minutes, with the Optum team then coming in a minute back, moving into provisional second overall.

Neither team was able to count on a medal, though, as the updates from the time checks out on the course made it clear that their provisional podium positions were threatened. Specialized was quickest at the second time check, with Orica AIS and Rabobank Liv/Giant filling the next two slots.

At the finish line, Optum were bumped down two slots in quick succession by MCipollini Girodana, which moved into provisional second, and then by Argos Shimano, which slotted into third.

Rusvelo continued to lead at that point, but was living on borrowed time.

The Wiggle Honda team raced in soon afterwards, bumping Argos out of the bronze medal position. It was then pushed down to fourth when Rabobank Liv/Giant raced into the finish, blasting in 51 seconds faster than longtime leaders Rusvelo.

Orica AIS had been faster at the second intermediate time check but faded between there and the line, finishing 22 seconds behind the Dutch squad. Vos, Lucinda Brand, Thalita De Jong, Pauline Ferrand Prevot, Roxane Knetemann and Annemiek Van Vleuten were sitting in the hot seat but knew it wouldn’t be for long; Specialized lululemon had been quickest at all the time checks and powered in one minute eleven seconds faster, grabbing its second world title.

The world road race championships continue later today with the men’s team time trial. The elite women will be in action again on Tuesday when their individual time trial takes place.

UCI world road race championships:

Elite women’s team time trial:

1, Specialized-Lululemon 51 mins 10 secs
2, Rabo Women 52 mins 21, at 1 mins 11 secs
3, Orica-Ais 52 mins 44, at 1 mins 33 secs
4, Rusvelo 53 mins 13, at 2 mins 2 secs
5, MCipollini Giordana 53 mins 29, at 2 mins 18 secs
6, Wiggle Honda 53 mins 43, at 2 mins 33 secs
7, Team Argos-Shimano 54 mins 1, at 2 mins 50 secs
8, Optum 54 mins 14, at 3 mins 3 secs
9, Sengers Ladies 54 mins 16, at 3 mins 4 secs
10, Boels Dolmans 54 mins 44, at 3 mins 33 secs
11, Be Pink 54 mins 59, at 3 mins 48 secs
12, SC Michela Fanini 55 mins 44, at 4 mins 34 secs
13, Hitec Products 55 mins 49, at 4 mins 38 secs
14, Lotto Belisol Ladies 55 mins 56, at 4 mins 46 secs
15, Faren Kuota 56 mins 38, at 5 mins 27 secs
16, Vaiano Fondriest 56 mins 41, at 5 mins 30 secs


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