Outgoing Martin and compatriots take final time trial gold
Wednesday 22 September 2021
The last event on the roads between Knokke-Heist and Bruges was the Team Time Trial Mixed Relay. The team of Tony Martin, who concluded his career today, came out on top. Lisa Brennauer, Lisa Klein, Mieke Kroeger, Nikias Arndt and Maximilian Walscheid provided him with a wonderful parting gift from cycle racing.
Another rainbow jersey was up for grabs between Knokke-Heist and Bruges, or rather: 6. Three men and three women defended their country's honour in the Team Time Trial Mixed Relay. It was only the second time this discipline has featured on the programme in 100 years of the UCI Road World Championships. Netherlands, the title defender, sought another victory with its impressive team, but Germany, Italy and Switzerland also brought a strong selection to the start at the beach in Knokke-Heist.
The first impressive time on the tables came from the United States. However, their party in the hot seat didn't last long. The United Kingdom’s team, third in 2019, was almost a minute faster at the finish in Bruges. They, in turn, were overtaken by Switzerland. Küng and Reusser’s team moved up to the top of the ranking.
It promised to be a thrilling finale. The Belgian team kicked off the last wave. They couldn't give the home crowd what it had come for and were slower than Switzerland and the UK. Meanwhile, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands had begun their team time trial.
During their leader’s farewell race it was as if Tony Martin's German team had wings. First, Martin, Arndt and Walscheid put in the best time at the finish, before Kroeger, Brennauer and Klein defended their lead. The Italian men, with new world champion Ganna, beat Germany’s time, but in the second leg Cavalli, Cecchini and Longo Borghini had to concede defeat. Top favourites the Netherlands were also unable to better the German times and had to be content with second place.
And so Tony Martin was able to end his career in the finest jersey cycle racing has to offer.