Switzerland added its first gold at the Wollongong Road Cycling World Championships in a mixed team and relay time trial that left us excited until the last moment. The powerful Swiss team managed to open a gap with the men’s relay formed by Mauro Schmid, Stefan Küng and Stefan Bissegger the first round so that later the women’s relay made up of Elise Chabbey, Marlen Reusser and Nicole Koller secured the victory against a very brave Italy that was only three seconds away from gold. The cross came from the Netherlands, that he said goodbye to the medals after a mechanical problem with Bauke Mollema and that he lost one of his great references, Annemiek Van Vleuten, at the beginning of the second part of the route. The Australian team, which set the fastest time at the finish line until the start of the favorites, closed the podium with the bronze medal.
The Australian team, which featured Michael Matthews, Lucas Plapp and Luke Durbridge in the men’s relay, and Georgia Baker, Alexandra Manly and Sarah Roy in the women’s relay, was the first team to set the benchmarks in the first intermediate points and also the first time to take into account in the fight for medals with a record of 34:25. The French team, with Bruno Armirail, Remi Cavagna or Aude Biannic among others, was the first to threaten Australia’s time, improving their records at the first intermediate point although giving up on the second lap to finish 20 seconds behind the Aussie team at the finish line. Something similar happened to Denmark led by Magnus Cort, Mikkel Honoré, Mikkel Bjerg and Emma Norsgaard, who after a great start to the time trial took the lead in the first lap but, like what happened to France, it took them a long time. the second half of the time trial passed to be 20 seconds behind the Australians.
Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany were yet to come out, the countries of the last bloc and great favorites for victory. The Swiss, commanded by Stefan Küng, Mauro Schmid and Stefan Bissegger, flew in the first intermediate point and also in the first crossing with a time of 15:50, leading Denmark by 15 seconds and achieving records that Italy could not beat, with Filippo Ganna and Edoardo Affini in their ranks, nor the Mathieu Van der Poel’s Netherlands, hampered by a gearbox problem suffered by Bauke Mollema during the course.
In the second part of the time trial the Swiss team, with the women’s relay formed by Elise Chabbey, Marlen Reusser and Nicole Koller, increased differences in the fight for gold while misfortunes accumulated in the Netherlands with the fall of Annemiek Van Vleuten shortly after starting his relay (in principle, his presence at the road event on Saturday is not in danger). However, the Swiss saw how Italy, with its women’s relay made up of Elisa Longo Borghini, Elena Cecchini and Vittoria Guazzini, was only 3 seconds at the last intermediate point, leaving the fight for the gold medal wide open. Switzerland was first at the finish line with a time of 33:47, snatching the gold from Australia… and beating Italy by just three seconds in a heart-stopping finale.
Good performance also from the Spanish team, made up of Raúl García Pierna, Oier Lazkano, Iván Romeo, Lourdes Oyarbide, Sandra Alonso and Idoia Eraso. The Spanish squad started the time trial very well, only surpassed by Australia in the first intermediate point at the start of the test and the replacement of García Pierna, Lazkano and Romero completed the first half of the time trial 28 seconds behind the Aussie team. In the second half of the time trial, with Oyarbide, Alonso and Eraso in action, Spain could not reduce the disadvantage with Australia although they did manage to finish the time trial in second provisional position with a time of 36:30, which finally allowed Spain to achieve tenth position at 2:43 of the time of Switzerland.
Classification of the mixed team relay time trial of the Wollongong Cycling World Championships
1. Switzerland 33:47.17
2. Italy (ITA) at 3″
3. Australia (AUS) at 38″
4. Germany (ALE) at 45″
5. Netherlands (NED) at 51″
6. Denmark (DIN) at 58″
7. France (FRA) mt
8. Belgium (BEL) at 1:49
9. Poland (POL) at 1:51
10. Spain (ESP) at 2:43