In her own words, Tanja Erath describes her first experience racing the UCI Women’s WorldTour Team Time Trial (TTT) on Saturday in Sweden.
“I really enjoyed the experience with the team. On one hand because it’s probably the closest team effort you can experience and on the other hand because I’ve always been impressed by and a huge fan of watching TTT’s: the unity of the team when you almost can’t tell who is who, the speed, the power, the equipment.
Being a part of this made me extremely proud and super excited.
I was happy to have really strong and experienced riders on my side. Especially Trixi told and taught me a lot in the two days leading up to the race. Her knowledge is amazing. Everything about time trials is so natural for her. She probably has forgotten more than I can imagine ever to understand!
Elena and Lisa are super strong and it looks so smooth how they ride in the group. They did long and really fast pulls and held us on speed. Tiff is perfect in using the slipstream to save power. That’s where my lack of experience hits the most I guess. So I can learn a lot from Tiff. Alice was my “wheel” to keep. She also rode very smooth and completed the effort as the fourth rider. A really strong performance.
The atmosphere within the team was unique since we normally race together in the same peloton but now your teammates are the only athletes surrounding you. You practice together, you do your efforts together, all six of us on the SNAP trainer before the start and standing together on the starting ramp. It was just really really special.
During the race it was a huge relief when I realised during the first few minutes of the race that the racing conditions were way easier then ones we had the day before in training. At least until the rain managed to lower our sight to almost zero.
From the moment I dropped there were only four riders left, but I had no doubt that even as four they can finish strong and that’s what they did. A fourth place with Alice being quite new to the TTT game, Tiffy not having the TTT’s as her favourite way of racing and me as a total newbie is a good result I would say and it shows how strong our three core ‘experts’ are. I was really happy to last longer than I expected and got some really good feedback from my teammates. I like the pain cave.”