Filippo Ganna and Elisa Longo Borghini help Italy to claim mixed relay team time trial victory at European Championships 2021

The unusual discipline returned in Trento, as nations tried to prove their collective strength

The Italian team celebrating victory in the European Championships
(Image credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The return of the mixed relay team time trial pitted some of the strongest cycling nations against each other, with Italy emerging victorious at the 2021 European Championships.

Led by powerhouses Filippo Ganna and Elisa Longo Borghini, the Italian TTT unit smashed the 44.8km-long course with a time of 51-59, beating the reigning champions Germanys to second place by 21 seconds.

The mixed relay is a relatively new discipline, introduced during the 2019 season, that only makes an appearance during the European and World Championships. 

Despite its unique nature, which sees three male and three female riders male and female from each nation take on the course separately, the event often attracts some star names in the sport. 

The course for the Trento 2021 European Championships was a pan flat route along the valley floor. 

It was the Dutch team, consisting of Jos van Emden, Koen Bouwman, Bauke Mollema, Floortje Mackaij, Demi Vollering and Amy Pieters, who set an early benchmark time of 52-25, with an average speed of 51.2km/h.

But it was the Italian squad of Ganna, Alessandro De Marchi, Matteo Sobrero, Elisa Longo Borghini, Marta Cavalli and Elena Cecchini who came through to secure the victory, with an average speed of 51.7km/h.

Meanwhile Germany’s six-rider team - Justin Wolf, Miguel Heidemann, Max Walscheid, Mieke Kröger, Tanja Erath, and Corinna Lechner - went into second with a time of 52-20 (51.3km/h). 

The European Championships continue on Thursday (September 9) with the men’s and women’s elite time trials, where Filippo Ganna is favourite to take victory as he continues to prepare for the World Championships TT later this month. The women’s TT is wide open however, as Annemiek van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) are both absent. 

European Championships 2021 mixed relay team time trial 

1. Italy, in 51-59
2. Germany, at 21s
3. Netherlands, at 26s
4. France, at 1-28
5. Austria, at 3-24
6. Russia, at 3-35
7. Ukraine, at 3-35
9. Polan, at 3-53 

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.