The trade team time trial didn’t sit entirely comfortably with the rest of the world championships. Having one event based on the on the trade teams the riders represent the rest of the year did stick out against the other events being by nationality.
It’s a good idea to have a mixed event. Perhaps they may look at having it as an Olympic discipline one day.
It will be different to the team time trial as we know it. People who don’t follow cycling and see the word relay might think it will involve batons being handed over one rider at a time. But this will see a team of six – three men and three women – doing two laps of a circuit in Harrogate. The men will ride together as a three on the first followed by the women. The women’s trio can start their lap when the second male rider crosses the line and the finish time is taken when the second female riders crosses the line. It is a bit like two mini team time trials.
The trade teams used to say it was difficult to prepare for the team time trial properly, in terms of getting the time and money together to have a training camp for the event. That situation is probably worsened by the fact it’s now national teams because you’ve got riders who may well not be able to ride together before the world championships, especially if they ride for different teams.
But that will be mitigated by the fact that there are only three of them on the road together at any one time.
It’s difficult to say how the British team will go until we see the full startlist and see the strength in depth of the field. The Dutch should be very strong, as expected, especially the Dutch women’s team, whichever three they put out, because they have so many talented riders to choose from. I think Great Britain are likely to be competitive.
It’s going to be fascinating for all of us to see how this race looks and works.