Rapha speaks to the six CANYON//SRAM racers who will compete at the World Championships Team Time Trial on Sunday wearing a new skinsuit developed by Rapha to provide them with an aerodynamic advantage.
Hello everyone, we hope that preparations are going well. To start us off, an obvious one: do you enjoy the Team Time Trial?
Trixi Worrack: Yes. I enjoy it a lot because it is about being one unit on the road.
Hannah Barnes: Me too. I like the connection between the six teammates, which is really important – you need complete faith in each other.
Elena Cecchini: For sure. You need even more trust than in a road race and you always have to think that you are not alone. For me, racing with my team in a TTT gives extra motivation because I know we all want the same thing and this way I can reach a higher suffer score!
Mieke Kröger: I love the sound of the wheels in the wind! But as Elena says, a huge part of it is suffering, which to be honest I can’t really enjoy…
Would you agree that there is something quite artful about the event?
Lisa Brennauer: Yes I do agree. It’s a beautiful discipline. It’s aiming for perfection.
Elena: Me too. It is not only power (lucky for me), but it is about being smooth, somehow looking good on your bike and being one linear arrow that goes against the wind.
Hannah: When executed well it can be a beautiful thing to watch and be part of.
What’s the most beautiful thing about it?
Hannah: The association between teammates. The trust means you can get closer to the rider in front which means you can be more efficient and deliver an even better performance.
Mieke: The most beautiful thing is the feeling after crossing the finish line! Or after giving everything you had and more for your ‘suffer-mates’.
Trixi: And if you win, the whole team gets to go on the podium.
And the hardest thing?
Elena: The suffering. When you start a TTT you know that you are going to feel a lot of pain but you can’t stop because your teammates need your help. So you just have to be mentally ready for a huge day of suffering on your bike.
Hannah: The hardest thing for me is while being on your physical limit you still have to be mentally aware and not lose concentration.
Mieke: I agree with Hannah – every time you pull off the front, you know you have to get back into the echelon even though your body tells you you can’t.
Lisa: Always going at the speed of somebody else and adapting to the team’s rhythm is what makes it such a difficult discipline, I think.
From left to right: Trixi Worrack, Elena Cecchini, Mieke Kröger, Hannah Barnes, Lisa Brennauer, Alena Amialiusik.
Finally, best of luck for Sunday – are you looking forward to it?
Lisa: Of course! That’s what we’re here for.
Hannah: I’m really nervous but also looking forward to it. It’s my first TTT at Worlds so I need to make sure I put all the practice and training into race day.
Mieke: To be honest, I want Sunday to be over… or at least, I want to be on the start ramp already!
Elena: We prepared a lot for this TTT. It is a goal, a dream and a big chance for all of us. I’m sure we will give all we have.