BMC Dethrones Omega Pharma-Quick Step in World Championship TTT
BMC Racing Team has won the world team time trial championship. The Swiss-American squad powered over the hilly, 57.1-km course in Ponferrada, Spain, dethroning two-time defending champion Omega Pharma-Quick Step and winning the gold medal in 1:03:29. Orica-GreenEdge settled for silver for the second consecutive year, finishing at 0:31, while Omega Pharma-Quick Step settled for bronze at 0:35 (Watch video highlights - viewable within the USA).
Ukraine’s Kolss set an early standard with a 1:08:27. Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, a Spanish squad, took the lead with a 1:07:59. CCC Polsat posted a 1:07:06, only to see Rusvelo obliterate that time with a 1:06:14.
The ProTour teams then made their mark. Cannondale took the lead by a wide margin with a 1:04:58, but Trek, led by four-time world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara, established a standard with a 1:04:30. The American squad did not remain in the lead long, however, because BMC shattered Trek’s time.
After Team BMC Racing finished, rain began to fall. The race would come down to Movistar, Team Sky, BMC, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, and Orica-GreenEdge. Movistar fell short, while Sky rode strongly enough to finish fourth on the day but lacked depth. Geraint Thomas and Salvatore Puccio were dropped, and Dario Cataldo skipped turns. Only three riders pulled the British squad, which finished fourth, just 0:02 from the bronze medal. What might the team have accomplished with more horsepower?
Orica-GreenEdge trailed BMC by 0:24 at the 23.5-km checkpoint but closed to within 0:08 of the Swiss-American team at the 48.9-km time check. The Australian squad lost time on the hilly section that followed, however, and finished 0:31 behind BMC.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step was the last team on the course. The Belgian squad led the field by 0:07 at the 36.1-km checkpoint and expected to make a move for the win on the approach to the hilly section of the course. According to directeur sportif Tom Steels, “Just as we said at the meeting in the last straight heading toward the last hill, we really wanted to make a difference there. But the weather conditions prevented us from doing that. When they tried to speed up they went into a wall of wind. They kept on going, but we lost it there I think. The rain in the descent cost us more time.... We were consistent the whole way but with the change of conditions you cannot do anything about it other than try your best. But BMC Racing Team and Orica-GreenEDGE were the faster teams today and they deserved the gold medal and silver medal. Congratulations to them."
Today’s victory was three years in the making for BMC, according to team president and general manager Jim Ochowicz. "This was special because it was everybody on the team – not just the six riders," he 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."
Many of the riders in today’s team time trial will compete in the individual time trial on Wednesday and the men’s road race on Sunday. How will they fare? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
If you are located within the USA, watch video highlights from the 2014 UCI Road Cycling World Championships in our videos section at http://www.roadcycling.com/videos and spread the word.