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With Dennis the big powerhouse, BMC covered the 38.8km course in Richmond in 42.07 to beat Etixx-QuickStep by 12 seconds at the Worlds team time trial; Movistar completed the podium

Photo: A.S.O.

DECEUNINCK - QUICK-STEP

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MANUEL QUINZIATO

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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ROHAN DENNIS

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SILVAN DILLIER

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STEFAN KÜNG

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TAYLOR PHINNEY

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WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

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20.09.2015 @ 22:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

BMC lived up to their status as the dominant team time trial team in the 2015 season by defending their title in the World TTT Championships in Richmond. With Rohan Dennis as a big powerhouse, the Americans covered the 38.8km course in 42.07 which was 12 seconds faster than 2012 and 2013 champions Etixx-QuickStep while Movistar took their first ever medal in third.

 

Last year BMC became a surprise winner in the World TTT Championships in a race that was widely seen as a battle between Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Orica-GreenEDGE. However, they have proved themselves fully worthy of their status as they have won three of the biggest team time trials of the year in the Dauphiné, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana.

 

Hence, their status was completely different than it was 12 months ago as they went into this year’s championships as the big favourites. Despite losing Tejay van Garderen to a crash in the Vuelta, the combination of Rohan Dennis, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato, Stefan Küng, Silvan Dillier and Taylor Phinney was always going to be a powerful one and very hard to beat on the mainly flat 38.8km in Richmond.

 

Already from the start, it was clear that they were up for the challenge as they posted the best time at every time check before crossing the line in the best time. Being the final team to start, they could celebrate their win immediately while a disappointed Etixx-QuickStep had to settle for second, thus missing out on a third title.

 

At the first time check, they were already four seconds faster than their Belgian rivals and it looked like they would crush the opposition when they passed the second check with a lead of 12 seconds. Whenever the camera showed the team, it seemed like Rohan Dennis was on the front and the Australian looked like he was going to bring his teammates to a comfortable victory.

 

However, their progress suddenly stalled and when they passed the final check, they had seen their advantage being halved. At this point, Küng had been dropped while Etixx-QuickStep still had the entire team of Tony Martin, Niki Terpstra, Rigoberto Uran, Yves Lampaert, Michal Kwiatkowski and Tom Boonen intact.

 

Moments later Quinziato also fell off the pace and Dillier was clearly suffering at the back. However, Dennis did everything perfectly on the final climb inside the final kilometre to pace his teammates to the finish and when they hit the finishing straight, it was clear that they would take the win. In the end, they stopped the clock in 42.07 to beat their Belgian rivals by 12 seconds.

 

Orica-GreenEDGE were widely tipped to be the final team on the podium but the Australians had to settle for fourth. Despite a fast start, they constantly lost ground and for the first time since their fourth place in 2012, they missed out on a medal.

 

Instead, it was Movistar who took their first ever medal in the discipline and as always they moved up from time check to time check. At the first check, it seemed like Orica-GreenEDGE were still in contention for the win as they were less than a second behind Etixx-QuickStep and 9 seconds faster than Movistar. However, at the next check they had lost 3 seconds of their advantage over the Spaniards and from there it just got worse.

 

At the final check, Movistar had moved into third with a two-second advantage and from there the outcome was never in doubt. At the finish, the difference was a massive 23 seconds which allowed Adriano Malori, Alex Dowsett, Ion Izagirre, Jonathan Castroviejo, Jasha Sütterlin and Andrey Amador to step onto the podium.

 

Giant-Alpecin had a surprisingly good ride to finish in the top 5, edging out LottoNL-Jumbo who had bad luck to lose Jos van Emden in a crash. However, the fate was even worse for Tinkoff-Saxo who were on track for a good ride when Michael Rogers and Michael Valgren went down at the second check. As Manuele Boaro had already been dropped, they didn’t have the minimum of four riders left and so waited for each other to end the race last.

 

The World Championships continue tomorrow when the junior women and the U23 men will battle against each other in the individual time trial.

 

A flat course

The 2015 World Championships were held on a 38.8km course in Richmond. The terrain was mostly flat on wide, non-technical roads but there was a short 300m climb to tackle inside the final kilometre.

 

It was a hot and sunny day when Champion System rolled down the ramp as the first team and the American team enjoyed a highlight of their career when they stopped the clock in 47.22 to take an early lead. They even managed to beat the second team, Lupus, which had been faster at the first two time check but missed out on the lead by just 3 seconds.

 

Best time for Jelly Belly

Astellas were unable to match their compatriots as their time of 48.06 was far off the mark. Instead, it was the Jelly Belly team that knocked Champion System out of the hot seat as they stopped the clock in 45.49 after having led at every time check.

 

Jamis were expected to challenge Jelly Belly but they were never in contention and their time of 46.44 was only good enough for second. Vino4ever were not in the mix either as they could only managed 46.51, good enough for third.

 

Optum take the lead

Hincapie had got their race off to a slow start but they got better and better from time check to time check. In the end, they narrowly missed out on the lead by just 2 seconds.

 

However, it was Optum that was widely tipped to be the best continental team and there was never any doubt about that status. They were clearly the fastest at every time check and when they reached the finish, the clock showed 44.31 which was enough to take the lead by more than a minute.

 

Topsport Vlaanderen in the hot seat

Unitedhealthcare was the first pro continental team to hit the course but it was clear that they were not at Optum’s level. They were always off the pace and as they reached the finish, they were 33 seconds behind.

 

Instead, it was Topsport Vlaanderen who pushed the Americans out of the hot seat. The Belgians were behind at the first two time checks but in the end they stopped the clock in 44.27 to take the lead by just four seconds.

 

FDJ a surprise leader

That was always going to be a short-lived affair as IAM were next to reach the finish. The Swiss lost Stef Clement due to bad luck early in the race but still managed to lower the mark significantly with a time of 44.05.

 

It looked like they would be able to hold off Cannondale-Garmin who were behind at every time check but the Americans had gauged it better and took the lead with 43.57, 8 seconds faster than IAM. However, they never got the chance to sit in the hot seat as FDJ became a surprise leader with a time that was one second faster.

 

LottoNL-Jumbo take the lead

LottoNL-Jumbo had bad luck as Jos van Emden crashed just as they has set the best time at the first check but they didn’t slow down. They were best at every time check and their time of 43.25 was 31 seconds faster than FDJ.

 

Trek had got the race off to a bad start and were not even in the top 3 at any time check. However, they slowly moved up and when they reached the finish, their time of 43.54 was good enough for second.

 

Giant-Alpecin create a surprise

Lampre-Merida were never expected to be in contention and so it was no surprise that they could only manage sixth. They were quickly pushed down one spot by Ag2r who went four seconds faster.

 

Giant-Alpecin were behind LottoNL-Jumbo at every time check but Tom Dumoulin proved that he has recovered from the Vuelta by dragging his teammates along in the final part to stop the clock in 43.11, 14 seconds faster than their Dutch rivals. However, they faced an immediate challenge as Lotto Soudal had been just 3 seconds behind at the final check. However, they lost speed in the end and had to settle for third with 43.34.

 

Disaster for Tinkoff-Saxo

Astana were tipped as an outside but throughout the entire race it was clear that they were not in contention. They passed the final two checks in fourth and that was their spot when they reached the finish 43.45.

 

Tinkoff-Saxo were on track for a great race and was about to post the best time at the second check when a touch of wheel between Rogers and Valgren left them with just three riders. Hence, they stopped to gather their troops and rolled across the line in 50.19.

 

BMC take the win

Sky had had a bad crash yesterday and looked like they were on track for a poor performance when they passed the final check in 14th. However, they finished strongly and when they reached the finish, they slotted into fifth.

 

Most were already waiting for Movistar to finish their ride and it was Izagirre who did a massive job in the end before they stopped the clock in 42.38 to take a comfortable lead. Katusha had a disastrous ride to reach the finish in 15th, meaning that the three pre-race favourites were the only teams left.

 

It was clear that Etixx-QuickStep were going to take the lead and their time of 42.19 was clearly the fastest. At the same time, it was evident that Orica-GreenEDGE were fading so it was no surprise when they reached the finish with the third best time. With a 6-second difference at the final check, it was a thrilling finale when BMC approached the finish but in the end they had pushed their lead out to 12 seconds which was enough to defend their title.

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