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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Monday, September 21, 2015

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary

Racing schedule:

Yesterday we had the GP Industria-Commercio Prato, probably the last chance for some road men to get in some racing before the World's and the big dog, the World Championships. Sunday's roster had the men's and women's team time trials.

At the Worlds, the individual time trials start today with the Women's Juniors and the U23 Men.

World Team Time Trial Championships team reports

We have to start with BMC, of course:

Richmond, Virginia - The BMC Racing Team led through every time check Sunday on the way to capturing its second straight UCI world team time trial championship.

Powering its BMC timemachine TM01s through the streets of Richmond, Virginia, the BMC Racing Team averaged 54.969 kilometers an hour to best Etixx-Quick Step by 11.35 seconds. Movistar Team finished third, 30.11 seconds off the winning time of 42:07.97.

Members of the winning team were Rohan Dennis, Silvan Dillier, Stefan Küng, Daniel Oss, Taylor Phinney, Manuel Quinziato.


BMC riding to a gold medal

Phinney, who only recently returned to racing after being sidelined by a major injury for 62 weeks, called it "a nearly perfect" performance. "Everybody was really impressive today, but Rohan Dennis absolutely carried us," Phinney said. "He is kind of on another level. But it was great that all six of us stayed together until close to the end. I tried to be conservative in the beginning and then give it some gas toward the finish. But that is always easier said than done."

Dennis, Dillier, Oss and Quinziato won their second gold medals after being part of last year's team. Peter Velits, who was part of the winning team time trial squad in 2012, 2013 and 2014, was the team's first alternate.

"Peter would easily fit into anybody else's team and he was gracious enough to come here knowing he would be the reserve," Phinney said. "He was really helpful for us as a road captain in training."

Dennis, winner of the opening time trial at this year's Tour de France and a past holder of the world hour record, said the victory was even better than last year. "Last year when we won, it was a bit of a surprise to a lot of people," Dennis said. "To win again really puts our mark on the team time trial on a world level. It is pretty big for BMC."

In addition to winning on Sunday, the BMC Racing Team also captured team time trials at the Vuelta a España, the Tour de France and the Critérium du Dauphiné this year.

BMC Racing Team Trainer Marco Pinotti said he was initially worried the squad started too fast. At the first time check at 10 km, the BMC Racing Team led Etixx-Quick Step by nearly four seconds, ORICA-GreenEDGE by nearly five and Movistar Team by almost nine.

"It was fast and I did not expect to be that much in front of the other teams," Pinotti said. "The hardest part was the last part, with a headwind and a slight uphill. The guys kept riding hard and lost a bit. But the other teams were losing even more time. I was sure it was going to be close. When it is close, it is not only about the skill and form, it is about mental strength. The guys kept their focus and this a big achievement."

The flip side is Tinkoff-Saxo's misfortune:

Tinkoff-Saxo’s ambitions at the World Championships Team Time Trial took a tumble, as Michael Valgren and Michael Rogers crashed just before the second split time. Both riders have sustained significant skin wounds but were able to fight their way to the finish line in Richmond with their teammates, fortunately staying clear of any major injuries. BMC ultimately took the win.

Not hiding the fact that Sunday’s unfortunate turn of events left the squad gutted, team sports director Sean Yates confirms that the crash happened at 60km/h, as Valgren touched the wheel in front of him.

“We are all very disappointed after many days of perfect training and build-up. No one are blaming Valgren for the crash, as we all know that it’s something that can happen in these flat-out team time trials. We were approaching the second split time and Michael Valgren touched the wheel in front of him and that caused him to fall. Mick Rogers was on his wheel and they both hit the deck hard. They were moving at 60km/h so they naturally suffered a hard crash but nothing is, fortunately, broken”, says Sean Yates, who adds that the crash wasn’t the first thing to go wrong.

“The boys were on their way to a good split time. However, we had already lost Boaro to a mechanical after just one kilometer of racing. But with five strong guys left including Sagan and Bodnar, who were going like machines, they stood a chance of reaching a good result. Valgren had to make up a few meters after the final corner before the intermediate check and he was on his limit, as he got back up. That might have caused him to lose concentration for a second. So to sum up – nothing really went our way, it simply didn’t come together”.


Tinkoff-Saxo at the worlds. Note the last rider, Michael Valgren, has a torn sleeve.

After on-site treatment at the finish line and additional medical checks performed by the team doctor, it stands clear that both Rogers and Valgren have escaped from the hard crash without major injuries.

“Rogers and Valgren have both suffered superficial injuries but nothing is broken. It’s always going to hurt, when you crash at that kind of speed but we are naturally relived that both of them didn’t sustain any major injuries. Rogers is pretty cut up with a wound on his hand. A large part of Valgren’s shoulder is scratched up and his mood also took a tumble. It’s not the scenario we were hoping for, the boys were all very motivated and they had all approached this TTT in a really professional manner. Our preparations went smoothly but in the decisive moment it didn’t come together. Now, we just got to look forward”, finishes Sean Yates.

Lotto-Soudal's World Championship's news:

On Sunday BMC conquered the world title team time trial at the World Championships in Richmond for the second year in a row. It was a battle with Etixx – QuickStep, Movistar and Orica – GreenEdge. The American team set the best times over the entire course and at the finish they were eleven seconds faster than Etixx – QuickStep and thirty seconds ahead of Movistar.

Before the WorldTour teams, the Continental and Pro Continental teams got on the course. Of the Continental teams the American Optum Pro Cycling team set the best result. Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise, which achieved the sixteenth place, was the first non-WorldTour team in the ranking. Then it was the Dutch team Lotto NL – Jumbo that set a fast time which other WorldTour teams couldn’t easily beat. At every time check Lotto Soudal was a few seconds slower than Lotto NL – Jumbo. Eventually, Lotto Soudal finished after 43’34” and achieved its top ten goal by ending up as seventh. Orica – GreenEdge didn’t succeed in setting a time that was good enough to step on the podium. It was Movistar that could take place next to Etixx – QuickStep and BMC. BMC needed 42’08” to cover the 38.8 kilometres.


Lotto-Soudal on their ride

Sports director Herman Frison: “We are very satisfied with this seventh place. Before the race, a top ten place was the goal we had set. We were hugely disappointed last year, so this result is very good. The preparation for the team time trial was perfect, the past week we could train in a serene atmosphere and work on the automatisms. All guys rode the races in Canada so they didn’t need to adapt to the time zone anymore. They were fresh and motivated, we deliberately chose not to select anyone who rode the Vuelta, and I think that was the right choice. The course suited us, it was relatively flat with a few tougher sections.”

“I thought we got in the right rhythm quite soon. With only six riders in the team you have to make sure you don’t lose someone very early in the race, but still you need to develop a pace as high as possible, knowing that the course wasn’t easy at the end. The intermediate times gave us an idea of our position and that result was confirmed at the finish. The four expected teams were the best and behind them the others were close together. Tim got dropped with ten kilometres to go and was disappointed about it, but that’s not what counts in a team time trial. Everyone is riding at his limit. Other teams already lost riders earlier. We didn’t panic, not even when Jürgen was distanced a bit later as well. In the final phase the pain was big, but the result is good!”


LottoNL-Jumbo sent this release:

Team LottoNL-Jumbo grabbed a sixth place at the World Championship team time trial in Richmond. BMC won the world title in the US city. Etixx-QuickStep was second and Movistar third.

After the great results in the individual time trials this season, Team LottoNL-Jumbo started ambitiously at the Worlds. The six-member team began fast and was in the lead a long time after the first intermediate point. However, they lost time because Jos van Emden punctured. Only BMC, Etixx-QuickStep, Movistar, Orica-GreenEDGE and Giant-Alpecin were faster.


LottoNL-Jumbo on their ride to 6th place

"We are satisfied. It's just a pity that we lost Jos due to a puncture," said Sports Director Jan Boven after the race. "Jos punctured right at the first intermediate check. Thus Robert Gesink lost contact a bit with the team. Then it was a bit ramshackle but the men kept their cool. Jos was super today and we really missed him in the second half of the race.”Sep Vanmarcke, Robert Gesink, Wilco Kelderman and Maarten Tjallingii finished off their the hard work for the team. Along the way, they had also lost Tom Leezer. The sixth place in this Worlds is a great improvement compared to last year when the team was 14th. The time and efforts put in this discipline paid off.

“I really had strong legs today and real power,” said Maarten Tjallingii. “Too bad we lost Jos. We really needed him in the second part of the race. We have paid great attention to the bike and the aerodynamics and worked closely with sponsor Bianchi. You can see it in the results.”

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