Berliner TageBlatt - Swiss win world time-trial mixed relay as Van Vleuten crashes

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Swiss win world time-trial mixed relay as Van Vleuten crashes
Swiss win world time-trial mixed relay as Van Vleuten crashes / Foto: © AFP

Swiss win world time-trial mixed relay as Van Vleuten crashes

The Swiss team powered by European champions Stefan Bissegger and Marlen Reusser won the time-trial mixed relay at cycling's road world championships in Australia on Wednesday in a race marred by Dutch star Annemiek van Vleuten crashing heavily.

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Bissegger, Stefan Kung and Marco Schmid set the pace before Reusser, Nicole Koller and Elise Chabbey brought it home in 33min 47.17sec to beat Italy by just 2.92sec with Australia third.

Defending champions Germany were fourth around the 28.2 kilometre (17.4 miles) circuit at the coastal city of Wollongong, south of Sydney.

But it was a miserable day for the powerhouse Dutch team, the 2019 champions spearheaded by women's world time-trial winner Ellen van Dijk.

National champion Bauke Mollema's chain came off during the men's leg and they finished 40 seconds off the pace after the opening loop as they handed over to the women.

But in a terrible start Olympic champion Van Vleuten crashed heavily just seconds after coming down the ramp with what looked like a mechanical problem.

Bruised and battered, she sat on the side of the road in shock with road rash as Van Dijk and Riejanne Markus tried to regroup, but could only finish fifth.

Van Vleuten is the favourite for the elite women's road race on Saturday.

The time-trial mixed relay has only been a world championship discipline since 2019, and sees three male riders set off for a first lap of the course followed by three women coming down the start ramp to ride a second lap once the men cross the finish line.

B.Shevchenko--BTB