At the 2019 Road World Championships in Yorkshire, the new mixed relay team time trial discipline will be introduced for the first time.
Taking place on Sunday September 22 in Harrogate, Yorkshire, the event will make it’s second ever competitive appearance after it was debuted in the European Championships in Alkmaar in August, where the Netherlands took victory.
The European title was no doubt be a test run before the event is also introduced to the World Championship schedule in Yorkshire next month.
But how does the innovative new format work? Cycling Weekly delved back in to the UCI rules and regulations to find out.
The number of riders in a team time trial is determined by each individual race, with teams of six competing in the Worlds mixed TTT, but the UCI stipulates that the number of riders per gender in the mixed event must be at least two and no more than six. The maximum team size for any mixed relay TTT is 12.
The UCI has also set a maximum distance for all team time trial events.
Riders in an elite or under-23 mixed relay TTT can take on a maximum distance of 25km per gender in the World Championships, or 50km per gender for other events.
The World Championship event will see riders tackle a 14km course, with the men’s and women’s units completing one lap each, taking the total distance to 28km.
To compare with other TTT events, men’s elite TTT events can be up to 100km, with women’s events capped at 50km.
The starting order of any TTT is determined by the organiser, with the UCI establishing the schedule at the World Championships.
In mixed relay TTTs, the UCI rules state that the men must start first and relay to their women team-mates.
Relay zone for the mixed relay TTT
The gender receiving the relay line up in start lanes set up at the start line, with at least two start lanes provided. At the World Championships, three start lanes will be provided.
Riders will be held side-by-side on the start line and released by holders on the relay signal, but they must not be pushed. The holders will be the same in each start lane for all teams.
The relay and start of the women riders will be given by the second male rider crossing the finish line.
The overall finishing time will be taken on the second female rider at the World Championships.
For mixed team relay the classification of teams will be the continuous time of both genders.
If there is a mechanical malfunction of the relay system provided by the race organisation that leads to an early or late start, the commissaires’ panel may adjust the final results to take into account the actual times recorded.
A false start occurs when at least one rider takes the relay before the relevant team-mate has crossed the relay line.
Any riders committing a false start of less than three seconds will be given a 10-second penalty, while a false start of more than three seconds will result in disqualification.
In mixed relay events, teams that take their relay at the same time must respect the lateral gap of two metres between them. After one kilometre, the team caught shall ride at least 25m away from the other.
The commissaire will decide which team will ride at least 25m away from the other based on their position after one kilometre.
If a rider is disqualified their team will also be disqualified and the classification shall be adjusted.