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Mixed team time trial to make World Championship debut on Sunday

Mixed team time trial to make World Championship debut on Sunday

19/09/2019 at 13:50Updated 19/09/2019 at 15:14

The mixed team time trial has never been seen at the UCI Road World Championships but it will break cover on Sunday as the event's very first race.

The concept will see three male riders go out first on the 14km circuit around Harrogate, followed by a corresponding team of three women.

The female trio are allowed to start their lap after the second male rider crosses the finish line, and the final time will be recorded when the second female rider completes the course.

Not only is the race a Worlds first, but it is in fact the first time men and women have ever participated in the same event in the history of the Championships.

The team trial, in any format, endured a 17-year absence from the Road World Championships after many riders chose not to compete in a race that sometimes was stretched up to 100km; it was scrapped in 1995.

In 2012, the UCI brought it back as a showcase event for pro teams but after Innsbruck last year, it was confirmed that Yorkshire would host a historic race that would see TTT return to the schedule.

It will be given proper prominence too, with the national teams' results contributing to the world rankings and qualification for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year and all six victorious riders being awarded the rainbow jersey.

The UCI president David Lappartient said: "The mixed relay team time trial reserved for national teams is the latest step towards greater gender equality in cycling.

"The new format will shine the spotlight on the National Federations and their riders while promoting equality between men and women.

"The mixed relay will also have a positive effect on the budgets of the teams and the organisers. [There is €166,000 of prize money up for grabs.]

"This is a significant step towards achieving the UCI's major objectives of increasing the attractiveness of our World Championships, developing women’s cycling and promoting National Federations."

The event was trialled at the European Road Championships in Alkmaar and won by the home nation, whose strength in depth makes them favourites once again, having also picked up two medals in the individual TTs.

The Netherlands won the inaugural mixed team time trial at the European Championships and will be favourites once again

The Netherlands won the inaugural mixed team time trial at the European Championships and will be favourites once againGetty Images

"I have a lot of admiration for John, Dan and Harry for the success they have achieved independently of British Cycling and the mark they have made on the cycling world," said Stephen Park, British Cycling performance director.

"I believe those three riders will set us up for a strong first lap, before handing over to the women’s team to pick up the metaphorical baton.

"Lauren, Anna and Joss all possess strong climbing abilities which will be crucial on this course, and riding at this level will play a big part in their development, particularly in Lauren and Anna’s case as under-23 riders."

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