Slovenian home town team takes gold medal at the National Team Relay race on Thursday in cold wet conditions that will turn dangerous for weekend road events. 

The team relay event is an annual part of the amateur World Championships, taking place on a rest day in between the Individual Time Trial and Gran/Medio Fondo races.  National teams composed of at least one male and one female, with at least one rider over 40 and one over 50, competing on short criterium style laps.  Each rider must complete 3 laps before making the relay to a teammate. In total, the race consisted of twelve 2 kilometre laps, or 24 kilometres total.

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On the city streets of East Sarajevo, Germany started as fast as a lightening bolt, open up a small gap on Slovenia1, Slovenia2, Canada and the Czech Republic teams. The USA and other teams opted to ride more conservatively in the rain and watched from behind.  After the third relay, Slovenia2 was disqualified after committing a relay error by missing the official exchange zone. Slovenia1, on the other hand, continued to ride strong and held the lead to win before Canada and Czech Republic.

The gold medal winning Slovenia1 team was composed of 2021 Individual Time Trial silver medalists Laura Simenc & Matej Lovse, plus Dean Bratus and Andrej Zavbi.  Canada finished second with former Gran Fondo World Champion Bruce Bird, Serghei Maximenco, Esta Bovill, and Dorel Pop. Czech Republic took bronze with Ludek Blinka, Tomas Vrbka, Monika Simonova and Vaclav Vodicka as final rider.

Also, the UCI announced the Medio Fondo and Gran Fondo races scheduled for the weekend have been shortened due to dangerous hypothermic conditions expected at the mountain finish due to cold wet conditions, including the possibility of snow.

Both events have been shortened by 30 kilometres, or one loop of the mountain route. Saturday’s Medio Fondo is now 66 kilometres, with the Gran Fondo on Sunday only 100km.

Rain is forecast all weekend with temperatures of 1C expected at the start and at the Olympic Park finish line, site of the 1984 Winter Olympics.  

PHOTOS: GFWC Sarajevo

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