Road World Championships TTT Gold for Kirchmann
Canada brought home two medals from the 2017 UCI Road Cycling World Championships held in Bergen, Norway from Sept. 16-24, claiming Team time-trial (TTT) gold with Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb) and silver with Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team). Twenty-three riders raced for the Red Maple Leaf, with several notable results by junior riders such as Quebec’s Simone Boilard with her stellar eighth in the junior women’s road race.
TEAM TIME TRIAL
Canada’s Kirchmann from Manitoba celebrated her first Road Worlds gold medal as Team Sunweb won the 42.5km women’s TTT at the 2017 UCI Road World Championships.
Defending champions Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team with fellow Canuck Canuel settled for silver, giving Canada two medals on the opening day of the Championships. Alison Jackson finished eighth with her BePink squad.
Cervelo-Bigla set an early best time that only Boels-Dolmans could challenge and beat until Sunweb put the hammer down and won gold at a dozen seconds faster, with Cervelo-Bigla taking the bronze.
“It’s an incredible feeling to win and stand on the podium as a team. For sure Boels was the favourite,” said Kirchmann. “We knew we could fight for a podium spot if we rode a really good race, but we didn’t expect to win. It’s pretty cool to be a world champion. Our strategy was just to pace the whole race; not go too crazy from the start and lose time at the end. We knew that the times were close from communications we were getting, but in the end, you just have to ride your own race.”
In the men’s TTT race, Team Sunweb triumphed yet again over powerhouses such as defending champions BMC Racing Team, who finished second, with Team Sky third on the final podium. Canada’s Svein Tuft was fifth with Orica-Scott.
Team Sky made a very strong start, clocking the fastest early time ahead of defending champions Quick-Step Floors. However, they were forced to settle for a repeat of their bronze medal in the 2013. BMC Racing Team showed their strength in depth too, but on the descent back to the Festplassen, they began to struggle.
“First the women, and now us. It’s crazy,” said Team Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin. “The team was so homogenous. It was absolutely amazing. It’s the team event of the year, and we pulled it off.”
Team Sunweb with Canada’s Kirchmann (l) en route to women’s TTT gold at the 2017 Road Worlds.
Canada’s Kirchmann celebratesher first Road Worlds gold medal.