Image: ©Tino Pohlmann
"It's above everything. For me it's one of the nicest, yet one of the hardest disciplines in our sport. It is so much about technique, about focus, about pain and suffering."
On Sunday 9 October Trixi Worrack will lead her teammates in the team time trial world championships in Doha, Qatar. The German veteran is the only rider male or female to have won four team time trial events since the discipline's re-inception to the world championships in 2012.
Worrack will be joined by Lisa Brennauer, Mieke Kröger, Hannah Barnes, Elena Cecchini and Alena Amialiusik for the strongest possible line-up for CANYON//SRAM Racing. Referring to her wins in the past four consecutive years, Worrack shrugs it off. "It feels nice, but I am not thinking much about it. Every year it is a new challenge with new riders in the team and each year we are competing against new teams."
After winning Ladies Tour of Qatar in February, losing a kidney in a crash in March, returning to win the German time trial championships in June, and racing at Rio Olympics in August, Worrack could be forgiven for calling her roller coaster 2016 season early. But her passion for the team time trial is evident in every conversation she holds about this discipline. There was no doubt she would not be there in Doha. "It's above everything. For me it's one of the nicest, yet one of the hardest disciplines in our sport. It is so much about technique, about focus, about pain and suffering. You are thinking about your team mates in every moment of the race."
Touted as one of the discipline's most valuable riders Worrack's presence in the team time trial is described by Directeur Sportif Ronny Lauke as being crucial. "There is no other rider in the women's peloton that can bring the experience, skills and knowledge to the team time trial like Trixi does. She has a feeling for this discipline that is irreplaceable and her presence lifts the level of all her teammates."
While Lauke and Worrack's teammates may praise her worth, the 35 year old laughs about being considered the most valuable member of the team time trial. "Am I?! I think it's because I did a lot of these team time trials. Also because every year I am with new riders and this gives me even more experience at teaching. Each new rider is so different in their strengths and weaknesses. I really enjoy seeing how they develop even just after a few days of training together. They're all so willing to learn and this enthusiasm is nice to see. It brings the team even closer together."
Alongside Worrack will be former winners Lisa Brennauer, Alena Amialiusik and Mieke Kröger. Worrack says "It's a good mix of experience in the team. Lisa has been a part of three of the wins and together we are a good combination. Sometimes she reminds me of something or has an idea, and other times it is the other way around. The team time trial is very different to the individual time trial. There you suffer alone. Here you need to think for five other riders at every moment, in the wind, on each section of the course, in every corner."
Worrack welcomes less experienced riders Hannah Barnes (who races her first team time trial at world championships) and Italian Elena Cecchini (who races her second). Worrack, who will compete in her 15th world championships says "For Hannah and Elena I haven't said too much to them yet about what Sunday is going to be like. They know, like all of us, that we have to give everything we have and it will be painful until we cross the finish line."
The women's world championship team time trial starts at 14:15 AST / 13:15 CEST / 12:15 BST on Sunday 9 October.
Contact: Beth Duryea / firstname.lastname@example.org