Wiggle-High5 were fastest through the time check, but set an unsustainable pace and sunk to fourth in their last appearance before disbanding

Canyon-SRAM are the new UCI Women’s Team Time Trial world champions, having improved on their fourth place last year to win over Boels-Dolmans in Innsbruck.

>>> UCI Road World Championships: all you need to know

The German registered team rose from the ashes of former team time trial champion squads, Specialized-Lululemon and Velocio-SRAM.

The train contained the likes of four time gold medallist Trixi Worrack, alongside British time trial champion Hannah Barnes, and her second placed sister Alice Barnes, with Alena Amialiusik, Elena Cecchini and Lisa Klein.

>>> Quick-Step Floors defeat Sunweb to win UCI Road World Championships men’s team time trial

The sextet crossed the line in 1 hour 01 minute 46 seconds, with Beols-Dolmans clocking in at 1-02-08.

Third place went to 2018’s winners, Team Sunweb, seven seconds behind. Sunweb  pushed Wiggle-High5 – who set a blistering pace to lead at the first time check – into fourth place in their last appearance before the team disbands for 2019.

How it happened

Twelve teams took to the start of the 54.5 kilometre team time trial, from Otzal to Innsbruck – with speeds in excess of 50kph expected over the fast course, which featured an early climb followed by a slight downward slope for the majority of the parcours.

The first team off the ramp was BePink, and they reached checkpoint one at 22.8km, in 26 minutes 53 seconds. Virtu Cycling knocked them off the top spot, getting there 31s quicker.

The best time through the intermediate time check, however, came from Wiggle-High5 – who blistered through the first half with a time of 25-34, 47s quicker than Virtu.

The squad, eager to put in a strong performance in the team’s last outing, lost Katie Archibald before they got to the checkpoint.

Alé-Cipollini also lost a rider in Karlijn Swinkels, but they were down 1-36 on the “Wigglets.”

Times were expected to fall as the team time trial specialists rolled through – but that anticipation was met by surprise.

Canyon-SRAM were 11s down on the black and orange train at the first time check. Mitchelton-Scott came in 28s behind with Boels-Dolmans trailing by 19s and Sunweb in fifth, 35s back.

Wiggle-High5 continued to set a rapid pace – which proved unsustainable for another rider, Emilia Fahlin, who became separated. This left the squad with just the four riders essential to gain a finish time.

The team completed the course in a time of 1-02-43, with an average speed of 51.7kph. But Canyon-SRAM – who were fourth in the event last year – were just 2km from the finish line, and had passed Alé-Cipollini.

Under the flamme rouge, the Canyon riders with their multi-coloured disc wheels were 56 up on the team in the hot seat. By the time they reached the finish line, the clock had hit 1-01-46, meaning they were 58 seconds up on Wiggle-High5.

Mitchelton-Scott was next to cross the threshold, 1-30 down on the leaders. Boels-Dolmans, down to four riders by the finish, finished 22s down in second, with Subweb gaining a bronze medal 7s slower.

Next up is the men’s team time trial, where Sunweb are again the reigning champions looking to defend their title – see the start list here.

Results: UCI Road World Championships women’s team time trial (54.5km)

1 Canyon-SRAM 1-01-46
2 Boels Dolmans 1-02-08
3 Team Sunweb 1-02-15
4 Wiggle-High5 1-02-43
5 Mitchelton-Scott 1-03-16
6 Team Virtu Cycling 1-03-52
7 BTC City Ljubljana 1-04-55
8 Valcar PBM 1-05-21
9 BePink 1-05-22
10 Ale Cipollini 1-05-40
11 Cogeas-Mettler Pro Cycling 1-05-43
12 Parkhotel Valkenburg 1-05-57