Road World Championships 2021: How does the mixed relay time trial work?

The new discipline made its debut in Yorkshire and is a unique perspective on racing

Italy during the European Championships mixed relay team time trial
Italy during the European Championships mixed relay team time trial
(Image credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The mixed relay team time trial returns to the World Championships in 2021 in Flanders, as the rainbow bands will once again be handed out in the slightly unusual discipline. 

First introduced in the Yorkshire 2019 Worlds, the mixed relay replaced the old team time trial, which was decided between trade teams. 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex 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 the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.