(Reuters) – The Netherlands underlined their favourites tag as they claimed gold in the mixed team time trial on the opening day of the UCI Road World Championships in Harrogate on Sunday.
The Dutch team dominated over two legs of the undulating 14km circuit, taking gold by 22.75 seconds from Germany.
Britain took the bronze ahead of Italy.
The mixed team time trial, tested out at this year’s European Championships, featured three male and three female riders tacking the same circuit, although not together.
The Dutch male trio of Jos van Emden, Bauke Mollema and Koen Bouwman put down a powerful ride before ‘tagging’ the women’s trio of Lucinda Brand, Riejanne Markus and Amy Pieters who never looked like missing out on gold.
Britain, the fourth team to start, were helped into the medals as Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini suffered a puncture.
The mixed TTT has replaced the trade teams time trial that had been a feature of the worlds since 2012.
Governing body the UCI are considering adding it to the Olympic road programme at Paris 2024.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)