WORLDS’15 Team Time Trial: BMC Blasts Home!
Race Report: The first events of the 2015 World road championships in Richmond are in the bag and we have the first winners. The women’s and men’s team time trail gold medals repeat from last year in Spain as Velocio-SRAM and BMC hold their titles. And both races were nail biting to the finish.
On a perfect late summer afternoon in Richmond Virginia it was reigning champions BMC who emerged victorious from a nail biting World Team Time Trial Championship, besting twice champions Etixx QuickStep by 11 seconds with Movistar taking the last podium spot ahead of TTT specialists Orica-GreenEDGE who shed Sam Bewley just too early in the day. Hero of the day for BMC was Swiss rider Silvan Dillier who turned himself inside out to finish as fourth man despite being on his knees as the team hit the last kilometre.
The ladies’ race narrowly went the way of Velocio-SRAM from Boels Dolman and Rabo-Liv with Velocio’s five riders to Boels Dolman’s four making all the difference on the tough final few hundred metres to the finish line.
Women’s World Team Time Trial Championship Result:
1. Velocio-SRAM in 47:35.70
2. Boels Dolmans Cycling Team at 0:06
3. Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team at 0:56
4. Wiggle Honda at 1:10
5. Twenty 16 p/b Sho-Air at 2:04
6. Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team at 2:50
7. Orica-AIS at 2:53
8. BTC City Ljubljana at 3:02
9. Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 3:20
10. Hitec Products at 3:31.
But back to the start and first of all, let’s have Etixx – Quick-Step DS and former star roadman-sprinter, Tom Steels describe the 38.6 kilometre parcours; “I saw the course on Sunday, and I have to say it will be pretty fast. There are some long, straight sections where the speed will be really high and there will also be fast downhills. So, keeping the right rhythm is important. It’ll be fast until the last climb, which is more or less in the last kilometre. It’ll be a tough finale for sure and will be really close among the teams and likely a question of seconds that differentiate the winner from the losers of this race. The finale can be something like the Worlds TTT of Valkenburg, in a way. That one was harder, but of course, it’s important to save power for that last part of the parcours. The winner of the race will be decided likely at that point of the race.”
But 38.6 kilometres is well shy of the 100 kilometres the winning Netherlands team of Cordes, De Vries, Talen and Harmeling had to ride to win the World TTT Championship back in 1986 in Colorado Springs, the last time the TTT was contested at world level in the USA; the Orangemen won at close on 50 KPH – the winners today will have to go MUCH faster, today.
Because many teams which qualified for the race through the various UCi Continental Tours have chosen not to make the long trip to Richmond, the UCi has decreed that all of the USA’s Continental teams can ride with Champion System-Stan’s No Tubes first off the ramp. That’s ‘no tubes’ as in tubeless tyres, not as in frame tubes – just thought we’d clarify that one.
The weather is nice if a little breezy at 26 degrees and the intervals are three minutes.
Champion Systems climb the steps to the start house, they line up, gulp hard, try to look calm, there’s the ‘beeps’ – five, four, three, two, one and they’re off complete with mis-matched aero helmets – they’re a Continental team, after all.
Lupus Racing are away, too – as big Tom Zirbel warms up for US Pro Conti squad Optum, they’ll be want to shine in home roads – Astellas Cycling roll now but with only five riders, not a good start.
Jelly Belly line up now – complete with Freddy Rodriguez, it’s not so long since he was on the podium in the Primavera. . .
Jamis-Hagens Berman are next away as Champion System clock 51 KPH at check one – but Lupus top that at 51.4 as ‘Vino 4 Ever’ roll, you have to respect old Alexandre’s ability to wind folks up. . .
If Conti teams are 51 KPH at check one it’s going to be close to Mach 1 for the World Tour F 16’s.
Hincapie Racing now as the first Pro Conti’s line up – Optum go first, I’d expect a good ride from them, Zirbel will be bestial today, they’ll temper his power by having him do longer spells.
Jelly Belly shave top at check one as United Healthcare ‘face the time keeper’ with Utah and Colorado stage winner Kiel Reinen in the line up.
Topsort Vlaanderen-Baloise will be out to embarrass as many World Tour teams as they can as Lupus go top at check two – but Jelly Belly soon usurp that.
World Tour time as IAM Cycling blast off – meanwhiles, further up the road, Optum thrash through check one at 53 KPH plus. One time TTT Kings, Cannondale launch; then FDJ, this isn’t their scene but they have to go through the motions – Optum look to be about to lose a man, there’s no coming back at these speeds.
LottoNL-Jumbo are away, big strong boys – and Optum are indeed down to five, that won’t help. IAM take check one, 54 KPH plus, serious speed; back in town it’s the Trek boys turn to hurt – and they’re scrappy from the get go, there’ll be no medals for these guys. Cannondale-Garmin check one – and they can’t best IAM with only five men, oops!
Lampre-Merida on the ramp; they’re rolling, they’ll do a job but won’t be in the medals as Champions System take the finish line with 48.8 KPH – that isn’t exactly slow but will be exactly nowhere by the end of today. AG2R-La Mondiale high tail it; I remember watching Bagdonas riding kermises in Flanders. . .
Giant-Alpecin are next then Lotto Soudal with IAM Cycling numero uno at check two – it can’t last. . .
Lotto Soudal, BiG engines and best at check one – as Jelly Belly blast Champion Systems time and take the hot seats. Astana now and no duds in that line up, nor in the Tinkoff-Saxo line up which follows them – including former World Time Trial Champion Mick Rogers. Lotto go top at check two with 54.8 KPH as IAM begin to look untidy – it’s early but Saxo are flying, out the blocks like it was a prologue.
Sky now with bandaged Danny Pate looking like he’s on leave from the Western Front after his 60 KPH encounter with the tar, yesterday when Sky dropped it in training. Optum go top with better than 52 KPH, bye bye Jelly Belly; that’s a nice ride but the team who roll next will explode that – Movistar.
For starters the mobile phone boys have Dowsett, Malori and Castroviejo, enough said – a medal is possible. Katusha, hardy guys but not specialists at this game as Tinkoff-Saxo fail to best Lotto-Jumbo at check one – Topsport take the hot seats from Optum by a handful of seconds.
Etixx – Quick-Step aren’t here to get beaten – pure class as Lotto Soudal fail to dislodge Lotto-Jumbo at check two as IAM go top on the line. Orica-GreenEDGE next – pure power, they could win it but those BMC boys. . .
Cannondale-Garmin lead the race as BMC breath deep on the ramp and they’re off – this it, all the mega squads are mobile. Check two for Tinkoff-Saxo and aaahhhh! two crash hard as they come into the check – sore, sore, sore, it’s over.
FDJ.fr sneak the lead but now it’s LottoNL-Jumbo top at plus 53 KPH; it’s all happening now – Etixx top at check one; Movistar top check two at over 55 KPH.
Orica-GreenEDGE can’t top Etixx at check one, the lami. flooring boys are on fire but what will BMC do? LottoNL-Jumbo continue to hold the hot seats; BMC best Etixx at check one, three seconds up but Etixx are straight, neat, quick and eight seconds best at check two. Giant approach the line, four men, Dumoulin at the helm, 53.6 KPH and best time – LottoNL-Jumbo depart the hot seats.
GreenEDGE lose a man, that’ll cost – Etixx lead, neck and neck with BMC – but the Swiss team are 12 seconds up at check two, now. BMC, all big strong boys – Phinney, Oss, Dillier, Quinziato, Dennis and Kung.
Astana struggle home with four – nope. . .
Check three and Movistar’s six men go top as BMC kiss the kerbs on the bends, not one hundredth of a second allowed to sneak away from the men on those slippery Time Machines. Etixx – Quick-Step still have six men, they’re still tidy, controlled and top at check three. . .
Sky grovel home with just four men and walking wounded Pate still there – respect! Ian Stannard looks wasted – it’s been a long season, Big Fella . . .
Movistar go top on the finish line, as expected; and Saxo finish the course – more respect – BMC top by five ticks of the second hand over Etixx at check three.
Etixx on the death climb to the false flat and the sweet relief of the line – Tony Martin is in charge and it’s 54.7 KPH and top spot. BMC down to five and the BMC machine isn’t running quite so sweet as lungs and lactic burn deep; it’s Kung who’s popped and Dillier is swinging, he won’t make the final climb.
Orica come home, third behind Etixx and Movistar.
BMC down to four on the last climb with Dillier still there – Quinziato has popped – Dillier is dead on his feet – the finish straight lasts forever but they’ve done it, 11 seconds up on Belgium’s finest. Silvan Dillier man of the match; BMC win, Etixx second, Movistar third, no medal for Orica-GreenEDGE – a great race; and can Rohan Dennis make it a double?
Stay with us ’til Wednesday to find out.
Men’s World Team Time Trial Championship Result:
1. BMC Racing Team (USA) in 42:07
2. Etixx – Quick-Step (Bel) at 0:11
3. Movistar Team (Spa) at 0:30
4. Orica-GreenEDGE (Aus) at 0:53
5. Giant-Alpecin (Ger) at 1:03
6. LottoNL-Jumbo (Ned) at 1:17
7. Lotto Soudal (Bel) at 1:26
8. Astana (Kaz) at 1:37
9. Team Sky (GB) at 1:41
10. Trek Factory Racing (USA) at 1:46.