The Netherlands took victory in the first ever mixed relay team time trial at the European Championships 2019, beating Germany in to second and Italy into third.
The event is the first of its kind to be run, and gave a glimpse at what will feature for the first time at the World Championships in Yorkshire in September.
Teams were made up of three male riders and three female riders, with the male riders setting off first to take on a 22.5km course with the female riders doing the same once their team-mates had finished. The accumulative times of the two groups would then be their final result.
The Dutch team of Koen Bouwman, Bauke Mollema, Ramon Sinkeldam, Amy Pieters, Rijanne Markus and Floortje Mackaij dominated the event, recording the best time at the relay point of 25-05 before finishing on 52-49.
Only four teams were really left in contention by the relay point, with Italy at 14 seconds, Germany at 23 seconds and France at 29 seconds. The next best team from there was Belgium, who lost their third man early on in the course, with a time of 26-04, 59 seconds down on the leaders.
As the women took to the course, positions remained similar though the gaps began to grow. The German team gained significantly on Italy to move into second place, while Belgium were able to leapfrog France into fourth.
The Dutch continued to dominate on their flat home course in Alkmaar however, and were comfortably home as the winners of the first European Championship mixed relay team time trial title.
The mixed relay was the third event of the European Championships, which started today, with Shirin Van Anrooij (Netherlands) winning the junior women's time trial and Andrea Piccolo (Italy) winning the junior men's time trial earlier in the day.
The events continue on Thursday with the women's U23 and elite time trials as well as the men's U23 and elite time trials.
European Championships 2019, Alkmaar: Mixed relay team time trial (44.8km)
1. Netherlands, in 52-49
2. Germany, at 14 seconds
3. Italy, at 1-24
4. Belgium, at 2-22
5. France, at 2-25
6. Russia, at 4-10
7. Czech Republic, at 4-31
8. Slovakia, at 6-30
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Follow on Twitter: @richwindy
Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.
An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).
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