Great Britain win ‘sur­prise’ bronze in mixed team trial re­lay race

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport - By John Ma­cleary in Har­ro­gate

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

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