After a coordinated effort on the roads outside Innsbruck, Alena Amialiusik, Alice and Hannah Barnes, Elena Cecchini, Lisa Klein and Trixi Worrack crossed the line all together, covering the 54.5km course in an hour one minute and 46.6 seconds at an average speed of 52.544 km/h.
“I think no one was tipping that we could challenge for the win today,” said an elated Worrack after the finish. “But we knew, as we got closer and closer to today, with all of our preparations and training, we knew that we would be close. And today in the race, we had the perfect day.”
After storming through the first time check with the fastest time, Wiggle High5 faded in the last half of the race to finish fourth, while Boels Dolmans were most threatening during the middle of the race. Finishing with the full complement of six riders, Canyon-SRAM team maintained their composure to finish 22 seconds ahead of Boels Dolmans at the finish, and 29 seconds ahead of Team Sunweb.
The team credited a new approach for their victory, in a discipline that has been dominated by Team Sunweb and Boels-Dolmans in recent seasons.
“It’s the best performance that I’ve seen for a long time," said Canyon-SRAM team manager, Ronny Lauke. "We have been busy preparing for this. I’m very satisfied. The riders rode simply great today. I’m also pleased we brought in aerodynamicist Dan Bigham who I believe has also introduced a new way of thinking.
Stalwart Worrack will depart for Trek womens team next season, but rounded off her seven seasons with the team with the gold medal.
“I think people didn’t expect us to win," said Worrack. But we knew if we had a good day, then we were definitely a chance to do really well. We had a perfect day today.
"In no other training day did we have a day like today. We were getting feedback on the split times in the radio, but I could also feel that we were riding well. In the group, it did not feel that fast because we were so smooth and you could recover so well at the back. When I looked down to my speed, it was always so high. It was a great ride from everyone."
The German has now had five team time trial wins to her name, making her the most successful team time trial riders in modern worlds history.
"At the podium, I was crying because I was happy we won but also because I was sad, said Worrack. "It was my last race with CANYON//SRAM Racing. This win means a lot.”
Australian squad Mitchelton-Scott finished fifth on the day, after passing through the midway timecheck in fourth position.
The squad of Jessica Allen, Jolien D’hoore, Gracie Elvin, Luck Kennedy, Sarah Roy and Georgia Williams put in a consistent ride, crossing the line one minute and 29 seconds down on Canyon-SRAM.