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RACE PREVIEW: World Mixed Relay Championships

The 2019 Road World Championships begin this weekend in Yorkshire, England. The championships centres around the historic spa town of Harrogate and is aiming to be the most ‘inclusive, innovative and inspirational’ championships ever held. Indeed, the opening weekend will be a history making one as it will play host to the first ever mixed team time trial relay with national teams.

How does the Mixed Relay Work?

The mixed relay team time trial, in which national teams race against each other, replaces the team time trial – which was run between trade teams since 2012. In the mixed relay, teams consist of three male riders and three female riders. The male riders start first, racing in ‘traditional TTT style’ and then hand over to the women once the second male rider has crossed the finish line. The women then take up the virtual baton, ‘TTTing’ to the finish line where the final timings are taken once the second female rider crosses the line. The fastest team will be declared the winners and take home the discipline’s first ever rainbow stripes.

The Course

The 28km course is a two lap circuit starting and finishing in Harrogate with the handover point coming at the end of the first lap. The 14km loop is hard; there is hardly a flat road on the circuit, it features several sharp, punchy climbs as well as technical corners before finishing with a drag up to the finish.

It is taxing course in itself and the added complexities that come with team time trialling will make the event both physically and tactically challenging, so it is likely to be an exciting and unpredictable race.

The Teams

The event was debuted in the European Championships in Alkmaar in August, where the Netherlands clinched victory on home soil with a winning margin of 14 seconds to Germany. This pre-Worlds ‘dress rehearsal’ sets a slight precedence, however with different squads and a tougher course in Yorkshire the result is difficult to predict.

The Dutch contingent will be a massive threat for the title and they are arguably the pre-race favourites. They bring Amy Pieters, Lucinda Brand, Riejanne Markus, Jos van Emden, Koen Bouwman and Bauke Mollema.

Germany are another nation with a very strong squad and will certainly be vying for the top spot. After being led out by their male compatriots, the baton will then be handed to arguably the strongest trio of women in the event: Brennauer, Klein and Kroger. All three women have demonstrated their time trialling prowess in recent weeks and will no doubt be hoping they can power Germany to a win in the second half of the race.

The host nation line up with Katusha Alpecin’s Harry Tanfield, British u23 TT champion Anna Henderson as well as Dan Bigham, John Archibald, Lauren Dolan and Joss Lowden. They’ll be looking to capitalise on the advantage of home roads and with massive crowds expected, they will no doubt be roared round the course.

France, Belgian and Italy all field strong teams and will likely by up there in the mix too.
With national bragging rights at stake the event will no doubt be a hard fought contest and it will certainly be an exciting opening to the 2019 Yorkshire World Championships.

Summary

When: 22nd September, 13:10 – 15:40 (BST)

Where:

Harrogate, England

What:

28km Mixed Relay TTT

Who to watch:

Netherlands *****

Germany ***

Top Outsider:

Italy

TV Coverage:

BBC Red button (UK) Eurosport (Europe) FuboTV (USA) Flobikes (Canada)



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