Team Sunweb’s Women’s program have stormed to an impressive team time trial victory at Madrid Challenge, completing the 14 kilometre technical test with prowess to be crowned the winners of the opening stage in Spain with the best time of 17 minutes and 40 seconds.
After expanding to a two-day race for the 2018 edition, stage one of the Madrid Challenge presented riders with a 14 kilometre team time trial. The last team-test before the world championships, Team Sunweb lined up looking for a solid result ahead of defending their title.
A tough route with an uphill cobbled climb to the line, Team Sunweb powered through the parcours to set the fastest time of 17 minutes and 40 seconds. Their time remained unshaken with just one team left to finish, and they went on to secure the stage one victory with an 18 second advantage over the second placers. First across the line, Team Sunweb’s Leah Kirchmann takes the race lead heading into tomorrow’s stage.
Leah said: “We are very pleased to take the victory here today in Madrid. It was a short and very technical circuit that we had to complete. It was honestly not the best race we have executed as a team, as we were down to only four riders quite early on. However, we adapted to the situation on the road, and still managed to keep it together to ride a fast time to the finish. It was a good final race before we race the World Championships in Austria, and there are a lot of learning points that will only make us stronger in the end.”
Team Sunweb coach Koen de Haan said: “It was a really tricky and technical team time trial. We lost two riders early on but the team did really well to keep a good mind-set to go on and bring it home. They stayed together really well and took a strong enough time for the win which is great. Leah was first across the line and takes the GC lead, and with Coryn second she has the sprint jersey for tomorrow’s crit.”