Mitchelton-SCOTT ready for team time trial world championshipsSat 22 Sep 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT men and women’s squads will line up in the team time trial events at the world championships in Innsbruck tomorrow.
Despite injuries that have altered the starting the line-ups in recent weeks, both outfits aim for a podium place with good, solid rides on Sunday.
The 54.5km women’s team time trial course runs through the valley and with most the road downhill and untechnical, it will be a course to favour the fast and powerful teams.
The 62.8km men’s team time trial follows the same valley as the women’s course for a fast start, before hitting a challenging five-kilometre climb. Teams will need to muster everything they have left to keep the pace on for the final 15km to the line.
Mitchelton-SCOTT women return to the team time trial championships after a number of years hiatus. Their previous best results were a silver medal in 2012 and 2014 and bronze in 2013.
Mitchelton-SCOTT men have also claimed the silver medal on two occasions, in 2013 and 2014, as well as bronze in 2012 and 2016.
Gene Bates – Women’s Sport Director:
“We have done some good work on the course in the last few days and we know it well now. There’s not too much in the way of technical elements, a few bits and pieces along the way, but it’s really just about how fast we can consistently ride for the 55km.
“On the race this length we can’t afford to give away any seconds. Even if you’re giving away a second a kilometre, it’s 50seconds at the end of the day so everyone has to be really well drilled and focused for 100% of the time, which will be the biggest challenge.
“We’ve got some big engines in the team and all six of the girls are really motivated and committed to each other and that is the key to a good team time trial.
“We believe a good ride can get us a medal. I think Boels and Sunweb are the red-hot favourites, they have super strength and depth, but if we have a really good day we can potentially get on the podium.”
Matt White – Men’s Sport Director:
“The weather forecast is for a tail wind down the valley so the first 40km will be lightning fast and then we hit what is quite a tough climb for a team’s time trial – around a 12minute effort – and then you go over the top, downhill and another 10km to the finish.
“By normal standards it’s a pretty long TTT, not that technical, but I would say it’s the hardest one we’ve had at the world championships.
“Most rosters have a few lighter guys; a team of brutes wouldn’t win here. You have to balance the effort on the climb after 45km of racing, then getting over the top with numbers because it’s still a long way to the finish.
“I think a medal is a realistic goal. I think BMC Racing and Team Sunweb have super teams here, but I would definitely put ourselves in the mix for a medal.”
Photo courtesy of Kristof Ramon.