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“Our plan was to start fast and put the other teams behind, to have guys like [Bradley ]Wiggins and Tony [Martin] start doing huge amount of work in the difficult sections and then they would start to lose certain riders behind."


Photo: Sirotti




21.09.2014 @ 18:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard, Ponferrada

For the third year in a row, Svein Tuft was part of a medal-winning Orica-GreenEDGE team at the World TTT Championships but again the Canadian powerhouse missed out on the gold. Admitting that the team just weren’t on the ripper they were hoping for, he reveals that the plan for the Australians was to have Tony Martin and Bradley Wiggins make their teams blow up.


Having been part of team time trial wins in the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, Svein Tuft only misses one thing on his palmares when it comes to team time trialling. In his first two attempt, he missed out on the elusive World Championships title, being part of Orica-GreenEDGE’s bronze and silver medal rides in Limburg and Florence respectively.


This year Tuft and his teammates were fully focused on making amends for last year’s huge disappointment where they were beaten into second by just 0.8 seconds. However, it ended up as another near-miss as the Australians missed out on the gold medal by 32 seconds, earning them another silver medal.


“It’ one of those things where you still have to be satisfied in the effort,” Tuft told CyclingQuotes after the post-race press conference. “We were really hoping to be on a better one than today. When you have done the work for a team time trial, at a certain point you just have to hope that everyone is on a ripper that day and it just didn’t happen for us today.”


Orica-GreenEDGE got the race off to a slow start and were already 24 seconds back at the first check. Between the two first intermediate checks, they were faster than anyone else but in the end they again started to lose time.


“We started out behind and we were just never able to lift it to that panic type of a pace,” Tuft said. “You need to be able to lift it to that ridiculous pace and then just hold on. We weren’t able to do that.”


In fact the team had planned to approach the race in the completely opposite way.


“Our plan was to start fast and put the other teams behind, to have guys like [Bradley ]Wiggins and Tony [Martin] start doing huge amount of work in the difficult sections and then they would start to lose certain riders behind,” Tuft said. “That was our goal. The nature of the course was that it was so bloody fast from the get go. Everyone could ride 60kph. The big work had to be done in those final 15k on the big highway where it started to increase one or two percent here or there. It just got more and more difficult.”


BMC started almost 30 minutes before their main rivals who did the final part of the stage under rain and with a stronger headwind.


“It was a factor,” Tuft said. “But the work should have been done before then. It is true that with the rain the headwind picked up a bit on the climb and made it more difficult and for sure the bottom two roundabout corners were not the safest but in the end of the day it wasn’t 30 seconds for us.”


Tuft now turns his attention to the time trial. Six years ago he grew to fame when he took a surprise silver medal but he doesn’t have similar aims for Sunday’s race.


“With the guys here, it is a long shot,” he said. “For me, it is really a test, a personal test. I just don’t want to be too focused on where I am going to end up. I will just go out and have a ripper and see wherever that puts me. I feel good. This build-up has been fantastic for me and today was really good for me. I hope for Wednesday to be just as good.”


Last year Tuft skipped the time trial but this year he feels a lot better.


“I was cooked. It was a whole new world for me last year doing the Giro, Tour, Eneco Tour. By the time I got here, I was just cooked.”


Tuft recently finished second in the Tour du Poitou-Charentes time trial, proving that his form for the individual test is good.



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