Great Britain win ‘surprise’ bronze in mixed team trial relay race
There may not have been a gold medal for Great Britain on the opening day of the Road World Championships here in Yorkshire, but the scenes of jubilation as they clinched bronze in the mixed team time trial relay spoke volumes.
“We never anticipated getting a medal,” said Harry Tanfield, one part of the six-rider team in this new format race that is making its debut at the world championships. Indeed, few had given the British team much thought going into yesterday’s race around the Harrogate circuit that will become very familiar over the next seven days.
It was an emotional result for Tanfield, who was competing three weeks after the death of his mother. “For my family and stuff to come and watch, to come away with a medal is fantastic,” the 24-year-old said. “That’s why I wanted to do it, for my mum to be proud of me.”
Fourth down the starting ramp on a wet afternoon, the trio of John Archibald, Dan Bigham and Tanfield powered over the line to set an early benchmark of 18min 24.01sec at the halfway point of the 27.6km course around Harrogate before their female team-mates, Lauren Dolan, Anna Henderson and Joss Lowden, clocked off for the day with a time of 39min 18sec.
Having surprised almost everybody, even themselves, all that was left for them was to sit and wait in the hotseat – or hotseats – an experience Tanfield described as “good fun”.
However, it was Holland, whose team was made up entirely of Worldtour riders – Koen Bouwman, Bauke Mollema, Jos van Emden, Lucinda Brand, Riejanne Markus, Amy Pieters – who, despite suffering a brief scare with a touching of the wheels between Bouwman and Mollema, won the inaugural title, finishing 23 seconds ahead of Germany, who took silver.
Medallists: The British mixed team