• Velocio SRAM will be pushing for its fourth TTT win at the UCI Road World Championships. (Sean Robinson / cyclephotos)Source: Sean Robinson / cyclephotos
The women's teams time trial kicks off a week of racing at the UCI Road World Championships with the Velocio-SRAM team hoping to hold off a host of strong challengers.
Jamie Finch-Penninger

20 Sep 2015 - 7:54 AM 

Six riders start, but only four are required to stop the clock on the finish line after 38.8km over a rolling course around Richmond. While not overly technical, there are a few sections with a number of 90 degree turns in quick succession where it will be important to keep together and stay smooth. There is a testing climb which finishes within the last kilometre, where it will be crucial to keep the final four equired riders together to maintain momentum towards the finish line. The forecast is for hot conditions, with a maximum of 30 degrees expected, and only a slight chance of rain, which should make for fast racing.



The Contenders

 Velocio-SRAM (formerly Specialised-lululemon) have been the only team to win the TTT since it was re-introduced at the Worlds, taking the last three editions by convincing margins - last year winning by a minute and 17 seconds. The team has seen a lot of change this season, with key riders like Evelyn Stevens, Chantal Blaak and Carmen Small leaving. It’s now built around world champion Lisa Brennauer, but also has a number of other top-tier riders against the clock like three time world TTT winner Trixi Worrack, Karol-Ann Canuel, Alena Amialiusik and Tayler Wiles. Their core team for this event was together for a winning run at the Energiewacht Tour in April, but they will be concerned over their recent form after an off the pace finish in the Vargarda TTT in August.

The team that finished first in Vargarda was the powerful Rabo-Liv squad. First on the agenda will be finishing the world championships race after a nasty crash took them out of contention last year. On track for a silver medal before the incident, they will be aiming for at least that on this course. Headlining their team is Anna Van Der Breggen who has proven herself one of the best riding against the clock. Rabo-Liv will have a strong foursome to finish the race together, with quality chrono-specialists like Lucinda Brand, Thalita De Jong and Australian ITT champion Shara Gillow. 

The third chance to win the event is the Boels-Dolmans team, who have assembled a formidable array of talent on their roster. Three time World TTT winner Evelyn Stevens will be looking to remain unbeaten, and will be able to call upon the strength of former ITT world champion Ellen Van Dijk, but the strong Dutchwoman has only won one of her TT outings this season, and will need to take things up a notch to regain her old form. British road champion Elizabeth Armistead isn’t a specific TT rider, but she is very strong and should be one of the final four or five, along with Chantal Blaak and Megan Guarnier.

The rest of the best

Orica-AIS are the squad with the next best history in the race, having medalled in every edition so far, but have lost quite a few key riders from their squad, and may be behind the other teams in terms of depth. Star rider Emma Johanssen will be keen to leave the team on a high. The powerful New Zealander Linda Villumsen leads the line for United Healthcare and Twenty 16 p/b SHO-AIR have produced a number of credible performances throughout the season, but the race for the top step of the podium looks to be between the Velocio-SRAM, Rabo-Liv and Boels-Dolmans.


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