Brits in the medals as Doha 2016 kicks off in stifling heat for team time trials

UCI Road World Championships 2016: Lizzie Deignan helps Boels-Dolmans win gold

A British rider finished on each step of the podium in the women’s team time trial as the UCI Road World Championships got underway in Qatar.

Lizzie Deignan was part of Boels-Dolmans’ six-strong team, which posted a winning time of 48.41 on the 40km desert course in stifling conditions.

It meant defending champions Canyon-SRAM, for whom Hannah Barnes – who will also ride the individual time trial – was riding, finished second, 48 seconds slower, while Ciara Horne’s Cervelo-Bigla stopped the clock in 50.38 to take bronze.

Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans), Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) and Ciara Horne (Cervelo-Bigla) were in the medals on day one of the 2016 UCI Road World Championships (pic: Sirotti)

In the men’s race, Etixx-QuickStep returned to the top step of the podium to claim their third gold medal in the five years since the event was introduced, and first since 2013, with a time of 42.32.

Defending back-to-back champions BMC Racing were 12 seconds down, claiming silver, while Orica-BikeExchange rounded off the podium with a time of 43.09.

Etixx-QuickStep won gold in the men’s event, their first since 2013 and third in five years (pic: Sirotti)

Team Sky, with Ben Swift and Geraint Thomas in their six-strong team, finished just outside the medals in fourth – 17 seconds off the podium – while Alex Dowsett’s Movistar team were off the pace as they finished sixth in 43.43.

Riders were critical however of the decision to hold the event in Qatar, where temperatures reached 38 degrees during the event.

Rabobank-Liv rider Anouska Koster crashed, and while she suffered no fractures in the crash her team-mate, Roxane Knetemann, was critical of the UCI when speaking to Dutch press later, saying cycling’s governing body had not thought it through.

Nevertheless, Deignan – who will bid to defend her rainbow jersey in the women’s road race next weekend – ensured she will leave Doha with at least one gold medal.

Lizzie Deignan’s Boels-Dolmans won gold in the women’s team time trial (pic: Sirotti)

The team of Chantal Blaak, Karol-Ann Canuel, Christine Majerus, Ellen van Dijk and the soon-to-retire Evelyn Stevens set an average speed of 49.298km/h on their way to victory.

Etixx-QuickStep’s effort was spearheaded by Tony Martin in his last race in the Belgian team’s colours before he moves to Katusha for next season.

Deignan will now bid to win her second gold in the women’s road race, to retain her rainbow jersey (pic: Sirotti)

The 31-year-old, among the favourites for the men’s individual time trial, was joined by Bob Jungels, Marcel Kittel, Yves Lampaert, Niki Terpstra and Julien Vermote; Etixx-QuickStep recording an average speed of 56.426km/h.

The time trial action continues through the early part of the week in Doha, with the women’s elite race on Tuesday (October 11) and the men racing on Wednesday (October 12).

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