Bronze Medal for ORICA-AIS in Team Time Trial at the Road World ChampionshipsSun 22 Sep 2013
In the final team race for the 2013 season, ORICA-AIS time trialed to the bronze medal in Florence, Italy in the team time trial at the Road World Championships. Amanda Spratt, Emma Johansson, Loes Gunnewijk, Melissa Hoskins, Nettie Edmondson and Shara Gillow left it all on the road in pursuit of gold, and while they ultimately fell short of the top step, the sextet was proud of their effort.
“We have to be happy with the result,” said Sport Director Dave McPartland. “The girls got a bronze medal at the World Championships. The most impressive part is they all gave 100%. I can’t sit here and say: ‘What if we had done this? or What if we had done that?’ They all did everything they could.”
Specialized-lululemon defended their world title, breaking the 50kph mark in the process. The American registered squad set a time of 51’10 over the 42.7km course en route to their second consecutive Team Time Trial World Championships victory. Rabobank Liv/Giant edged out ORICA-AIS for second with the Dutch squad 1’11 behind Specialized-lululemon. ORICA-AIS was 23” further back in 52’43.
The flat course between Pistoia and Florence required collective speed and strength from the six rider squads. Technical skills came into play only in the finale when team hit the city centre of Florence in the final 3km of the race. ORICA-AIS posted the second quickest time at the first of two intermediate time checks, only 1.87” slower than the eventual winners and 11” than Rabobank Liv/Giant.
“We went out there today to try to win this thing,” said McPartland. “We were spot on at the first intermediate time check. The girls worked brilliantly during the first half of the race. We had the pacing right at the beginning.”
By the second time check, 27km into the effort, ORICA-AIS was down 50” on Specialized-lululemon and had only 3” in hand on Rabobank-Liv/Giant. With the win out of reach, the fight was on for the silver medal.
“When we got close to Florence, probably during the last 6-7km or so, we started to back off a bit,” said McPartland. “A few of the girls started skipping their turn in the rotation and that put pressure on the stronger riders. It also broke up our rhythm. By the time we hit the technical part, we were behind and the damage had already been done in terms of our goal to contend for the win.”
“The technical section was where we needed to fight to hang on to second spot,” McPartland added. “In the end, we got passed by Rabo. They went out easier and came out strong. The second half is where we came undone.”
McPartland extended his sincere congratulations to the repeat world champions. He knew it was a big ask for his squad to compete with a team that had won every team time trial they entered this season.
“Lulu deserve the win,” McPartland said. “No questions about that. They were strongest, so full credit to them. We did everything we could, and we were third quickest today. We finished on the podium. We have to be happy with that given the way we rode.”