Defending world team time trial champions Boels-Dolmans were unable to hold onto their title for another year, losing out to fellow Dutch outfit Team Sunweb in the first event of the Bergen 2017 UCI Road World Championships.
Boels, who were clear favourites at the start of the day, were without Lizzie Deignan who continues to recover from an operation, but they faced stiff competition from Sunweb as well as Canyon-SRAM and Cervélo-Bigla.
Eventual winners Sunweb actually looked off the pace through the first intermediate time check at just over 10km gone on the 42.5km course, 15 seconds down on Cervélo-Bigla’s fastest time. Meanwhile Canyon went through at 5-84 seconds and Boels at 4-07 down.
Boels-Dolmans then began to assert themselves on the hilly course, going through the second check fastest and over 15 seconds up on Sunweb. Cervélo began to pay for their fast start as they faded to almost 13 seconds down with Canyon even further behind at this point.
Things had started to turn on Boels as they approached the final check with around 5km to go, going through at 0.22 seconds down on Sunweb.
Sunweb then reached the finish in a time of 55-41-63, with Boels-Dolmans then looking like they were running out of steam on the final approach, shedding time to their rivals.
Within the final kilometre it was clear Sunweb were set for victory and eventually Boels came in at 12-43 seconds, leaving Sunweb to celebrate a World Championships title.
UCI Road World Championships 2017: Women’s team time trial (42.5km)
Team Sunweb Women, in 55-41-63
Boels-Dolmans, in 55-54-06
Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team, in 56-09-66
Canyon SRAM Racing, in 56-46-42
Team Virtu Cycling Women, in 58-33-15
FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope, in 59-04-67
BTC City Ljubljana, in 59-28-21
BePink Cogeas, in 59-48-92
Hitec Products, in 1-00-40-47