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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Monday, September 22, 2014

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World Road Championships Team Time Trials

Sunday, the 21st, saw the elite men's and women's world championship team time trials. The various teams sent out press releases celebrating or lamenting how they did.

Of course, BMC is on top of the world:

The BMC Racing Team captured its first UCI world team time trial title Sunday with a 31-second victory over ORICA-GreenEDGE and by 35 seconds over Omega Pharma-Quick Step, the winning team the past two years.

Powering its BMC timemachine TM01s over the 57.1-kilometer course in Spain, the BMC Racing Team clocked a winning time of 1:03:29 for an average speed of nearly 54 kph. "This was special because it was everybody on the team – not just the six riders," BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. "It is really all the riders and all the staff and (sponsor) Andy Rihs and all of us who have thought about this since they started this world championship three years ago. It has always been high on our priority list, it has been a goal of the team every year and now we have done it. So it is a great moment in our organization."

Riders on the winning team were Rohan Dennis, Silvan Dillier, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato, Tejay van Garderen and Peter Velits. Velits, the Slovakian national time trial champion, was also a member of the winning team time trial squad (with Omega Pharma-Quick Step) the past two years.

BMC

BMC racing to its gold medal. Photo ©Sirotti

Here's the release from Specialized-Lululemon :

Ponferrada, Spain, 22nd September 2014 - Team Specialized-lululemon won its third consecutive Team Time Trial World Championship in Ponferrada, Spain on Sunday. In a time of 43'33" over a 36km course, the team led from very early on and held the pace until the finish, winning by 1'17" over Orica Green Edge.

"It was a little nervous going into today," said Team Sport Director Ronny Lauke. "Three of our riders went down in a crash yesterday in training so we weren't sure if there was going to be an effect from that in the race.

"But they really all pulled together well and with the help of the staff were able to refocus and line up with confidence this morning," he added. "From the beginning they looked good and at our 5km check they were ahead and they just kept increasing their lead.

"We're of course very excited," added team owner Kristy Scrymgeour. "As a team we put a lot of effort into this time trial. Ronny is a perfectionist for this event. He was here already in January to check out the course and today in the car he knew every corner and every bump in the road. Then of course the rest of the staff think about every little detail and with the help of our sponsors and equipment we are always confident that we have an excellent set up on the road.

"It was also really nice seeing the girls ride so well under such pressure today."

Specialized-Lululemon

Specialized-Lululemon riding to first place. Photo ©Sirotti

This from fifth-place Tinkoff-Saxo:

Today, Tinkoff-Saxo’s Michael Rogers, Nicolas Roche, Manuele Boaro, Daniele Bennati, Michael Valgren and Christopher Juul-Jensen took part of the annual team time trial World Championships. They rushed through the 57.1 kilometer long course in Ponferrada, Spain where their efforts brought them to 5th position.

Crossing the intermediate time check after 23 kilometers, the Tinkoff-Saxo riders were in fourth position and passing the second and third time check, they were up to second place behind BMC. Entering the finish line, the five remaining Tinkoff-Saxo riders stood up in the pedals and sprinted across the finish in second place so far, 46 seconds behind Team BMC.

Covering the 57.1 kilometers in 1 hour, four minutes and 16 seconds was enough to improve last year's 9th place to fifth.

DS, Philippe Mauduit says: "Before we took on the race, our goal was to improve last year's result and we did. So we obtained our goal and we should be happy. On the other hand, we were only seconds away from the podium and that always frustrates you at the finish when  we're all a lot wiser. Maybe we could have started a bit faster than we did but we had to decide on the course what to do and we wanted to be able to maintain a good pace all the way and actually, we did push the pace as the race progressed. So all in all, I'm happy about the result", said Mauduit.

Tinkoff-Saxo

Tinkoff-Saxo riding to fifth place. Photo ©Sirotti

Lotto-Belisol wasn't at all happy with 22nd place:

On the first day of the world championships cycling in Ponferrada the team time trial took place. On the 57.1 kilometer route, it seemed to be a strive between the titleholder Omega Pharma-Quick.Step and challengers Orica, BMC and Sky.

The more kilometers passed, the more it became clear that BMC was in pole position for the golden medal. At the finish line, the team of big boss Andy Rihs was 32 seconds ahead of Orica-GreenEdge and 36 seconds ahead of Omega Pharma-Quick.Step. Lotto Belisol didn't do well in this team time trial and ended at the 22nd place.

Sports Director Herman Frison: "We didn't ride a good team time trial. Becoming 22nd and being preceded by a few Pro Continental teams isn't good, but our guys couldn't go faster. I had the impression that the riders who rode the Vuelta, weren't recovered enough. Pim had to let go a few times quickly, Adam wasn't good, and Vegard also had a rough time. Lars Bak was the strongest of the team, but we had to make sure that we stayed together with enough riders on these hilly roads. It is true that we didn't start with our best time trial specialists. But this was a conscious choice to let riders like Gallopin, Wellens and Greipel prepare themselves for the road race next Sunday.”

Lotto-Belisol

Lotto-Belisol. Photo ©Sirotti

Orica pulled off a double-silver day, second place in both the men's and women's events:

Orica-GreenEdge and Orica-AIS have won silver in the team time trial events at the UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain today.

A strong finish pulled Orica-GreenEdge onto the podium but it wasn’t enough to top a dominant BMC Racing who won by over 30seconds.

Meanwhile, a perfectly executed race by Orica-AIS this morning saw them improve on last year’s bronze effort.  More on the women’s team time trial can be found below.

The six-man Orica-GreenEdge outfit, including Brett Lancaster (AUS), Damien Howson (AUS), Jens Mouris (NED), Luke Durbridge (AUS), Michael Hepburn (AUS) and Svein Tuft (CAN), went into the championships with high hopes of a gold medal but settled for silver for the second consecutive year.

“We suffered out there,” Tuft said. “Second again is not our favourite thing, but we gave everything we had that’s for sure. It was definitely a lot tougher than we thought pre-riding the course. The last 10-15km was just a boxing match and it was really hard coming home.”

As the team completed the final stages of the 57.1km course the weather began to turn but it didn’t affect the strength of the outfit’s finish. Sitting fifth fastest at the first intermediate split, Orica-GreenEdge put the foot down to move into fourth position at the second and third time checks before one of the strongest finishes of the day moved them onto the second step of the podium.

“The boys rode well, very solid,” sport director Matt White said. “They lost a little bit too much time at the start and at this level you just can’t lose 20-30seconds. We were one of the strongest, if not the strongest team coming home but the gap was just too much to BMC Racing to bring back. For us to win today, all six guys had to be exceptional.  We haven’t got any superstars in our team and the guys were good but not everyone was incredible and you need to be, to be world champions.”

Whilst it wasn’t the strategy to start out conservatively, a fast start backfired on some of the other favourites, including reigning champion Omega Pharma – Quickstep who settled for bronze. “We wanted to be the fastest team early and put pressure on the other teams to push through the second part of the course,” White explained. I think a lot of teams had the same idea to go out really really fast and Omega and Sky sort of imploded. We soldiered on through and came home as strong as we knew we would but we were too far back to threaten for that gold medal.”

Orica-GreenEdge

Orica-GreenEdge headed for a silver medal. Photo ©Sirotti

Orica-AIS has pulled together a stunning ride to take out the silver medal in the team time trial at the 2014 UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain this morning.

The outfit rode the 36.15km course to perfection, the result a culmination of training camps and recce rides in preparation for one of the season’s biggest focuses.

The six women team, including Amanda Spratt (AUS), Annette Edmondson (AUS), Emma Johansson (SWE), Jessie MacLean (AUS), Melissa Hoskins (AUS) and Valentina Scandolara (ITA) stopped the clock at 44 minutes 50 seconds, one minute 17 seconds behind that set by gold medalists Specialized-Lululemon.

“We pulled out a really good ride and we got everything right today,” Johansson said.

Orica-AIS

Orica-AIS riding to second place. Photo ©Sirotti

And this from Lampre-Merida:

The six cyclists from Lampre-Merida were realizing a good performance in the team time trial world championship in Ponferrada (51.7 km) when they had to face a sudden hitch.

Mattia Cattaneo, probably the key rider of the blue-fuchsia-green team, had to quit the race at the 22nd kilometer because of a kidney colic.

The team directed by the duo Matxin-Vicino did its best, but it was not possible to do better than 15th place: Lampre-Merida recorded the time of 1h 05' 59", average speed of 51,992 km/h, 2' 30" more than BMC, whowon the race.

"The withdrawal by Cattaneo in the first half of the race influenced our performance, especially considering that he was our key rider and that we were pedaling at a speed that was close to the 10th place," sport director Matxin said. "Without Mattia, each of the five remaining riders had to pedal longer at the front, spending more energy. In addition, when Ferrari completed his effort in leading the team mates in the approach if the final climb, we had to pay maximum attention to being united and in reaching the arrival all together, since there were four riders left. All the team members were great in facing this unexpected event and we obtained a fair result, considering the problem that occurred".

Team Lampre

Team Lampre with all six starting riders. Photo ©Sirotti

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