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Team Time Trialling in Toscana - Women's TTT Worlds 2013

The Road World Championships in Toscana kicks off on Sunday 22nd September with the men's and women's TTT World Champs. Unfortunately we might not be able to see it live, but here's how you can follow it - starting with the video preview of the course from GCN, and ending with conversation in the comments! And if you're new to the TTT, here's a video explaining it all, with Ellen van Dijk, Specialized-lululemon and Taylor Phinney among others

The race itself starts at 10:00 CEST, and it looks like the course is planned to take just under and hour to complete. UPDATE! We now have the start-times, and Specialized-lululemon are the last to start at 10:37 CEST, so we should know the full results by around 11:30.

Here's the full tv coverage schedule, and here's the schedule of places showing the TTT. The only place it will be shown/streamed live is on Italian RAI Sport 2, whose coverage starts at 09:55 CEST. Sweden's tv starts at 12:20 (TV10 / Viasat Sport), France at 12:30 (beIN SPORT MAX 3) and then countries like Belgium (VRT Canvas) and the UK (BBC Red Button) starts at 14:30 CEST/1:30pm, so that won't be any of the women's race live, it'll be around 30 minutes highlights of women before the men's starts. So if you can't watch the Italian coverage because of geo-restrictions, it's hoping for streams, and "watching" on twitter (I'll be looking out on Cycling Fans and Steephill, and there'll be a live thread on Podium Café, where people share where to look, in the comments)

If you're in a country without tv coverage, you can try the UCI coverage from 13:30 CEST, live on their youtube - but this is georestricted. There's a list of who can see that stream on the tv guide.


Follow on Twitter

By now, we are pretty used to following women's races without tv, and as it's the Trade Team TTT, we should have the usual twitterers. I am forever grateful for the Boels Dolmans mechanic Richard Steege, who tweets as @RichieSteege for his updates - and I've got a twitter list that is good for following races, which I add to as I see new accounts. And I've been loving the tweeting from the official accounts - @Toscana2013 in Italian and @Toscana2013_eng in English.

As always, if you want to follow riders as they enjoy Toscana, there are all kinds of happy tweets and photos - I've got a twitter list with as many women riders as I can find! And there's the #Toscana2013 hashtag for all things Worlds....


So, who will win?

Last year the podium looked like this:

1. Specialized-lululemon, 0:46:31.63
2. ORICA-AIS, + 00:24
3. AA, + 01:59
4. Rabobank, + 02:21
5. RusVelo, + 02:31

There aren't many TTTs to compare with for this year's teams - the most comparable one is the Open de Suède Vårgårda TTT World Cup, which is 43.5km to the Worlds' 42.7km. Here's video from this year's race:

There have been two teams that have completely dominated the World Cup - the much-missed Cervélo Test Team, who won in 2008, '09 and '10, and HTC-Highroad, which has morphed into Specialized-lululemon. They've won every year since then, and this year the results looked like this:

  1. Specialized-lululemon, 0:53:59
  2. Rabobank-Liv/Giant, + 00:38
  3. ORICA-AIS, + 01:26
  4. Sengers, + 02:38
  5. Wiggle Honda, + 02:45

The other TTTs that have been raced this year are handily searchable on CQ ranking - choose 2013 as the year and Team Time Trial as the race type. There have been 6 in total, 3 in the European UCI ranked races - and along with Vårgårda, the lululemons won the 19.7km Lotto Tour Stage 1, ahead of ORICA and Tibco, while BePink won the 11.8km uphill TTT in the Giro Trentino ahead of Specialized-lululemon and MCipollini-Giordana.

If I were a betting girl, I'd be putting my money on Specialized - but a lot of their squad will be aiming for the ITT on Tuesday too - will that affect them? Here's what they said about it on Cyclingnews.

ORICA-AIS are going all out to win this too - as usual, I loved their race preview, where DS Dave McPartland said

"If it all comes together on the day in Worlds, we have a real good shot at the win," said McPartland. "Realistically it’s a massive task, but we are aiming for gold. I think we have a chance of winning with the team we’ve assembled this year. A lot of people think it’s crazy that we say we have a chance. I’d like to prove them wrong."

Then there's Rabobank - and we all know how much Marianne Vos likes to win! It's a formidable squad, and given that the course is flat and technical, it should suit the Dutch riders down to the ground.

Wiggle may not have shown up on the results, but they had bad luck in Vårgårda with sick riders, and they've been saying all year that they want to win, including in this video. Can they make it onto the podium?

Finally, I can't wait to see how Sengers and USA team Optum p/b Kelly Benefits show. Sengers are a small team - UPDATE! and this will be their final race ever, as the sponsor is pulling out, and the DS and riders are moving on. A real shame, they've been a great little development team, punching well above their weight with Anna van der Breggen for the last two seasons. And Optum? So many strong riders, and they'll want to fly the flag for the US domestic scene on the World stage. And MCipollini? As the biggest Italian team, they're also going hard for this. It's going to be very exciting!

The official startlist isn't out yet is here, and as always, Cycling Fever has theirs here - long-lists mostly, but CF did such a good job before the official one came out. The rider names link to their stats and such, so check it out.


Of course, if you find more, let me know - in the comments or on twitter - and I'll edit it in! There'll be some great photos, and I'll make a post after the race with all the links I find, but in the meantime, watch out on, CJFoto and check out this lovely flickr set of the TTT practice by Wei Yuet. And head to the comments for conversation - what do YOU think will happen?

Here's the UCI's silent fly-through video with the profile (it's very flat!)