BMC Racing Team Settles for Bronze Medal in Final Team Time Trial World Championship23. September 2018, Innsbruck (AUT) — Road Team
BMC Racing Team stood on the podium for the fifth consecutive time at the UCI World Championship Team Time Trial, securing the bronze medal after tackling the demanding 62.8km course in Innsbruck to cross the line 20 seconds behind winners Quick-Step Floors.
After securing the silver medal in Bergen, Norway in 2017, BMC Racing Team was the second-to-last team to roll down the ramp and quickly settled into a good rhythm on the first, flat part of course.
At the first intermediate checkpoint, after 22.8 kilometres of racing, the six-rider team of Patrick Bevin, Damiano Caruso, Rohan Dennis, Stefan Küng, Greg Van Avermaet, and Tejay van Garderen passed with the second-fastest time, 7’97” behind Mitchelton-SCOTT.
The course featured a steep 4.6 kilometer climb, with an average gradient of 5.7 percent, requiring the team to pace the effort to reach the top with five riders, and from there it was a fast decent and run into the finish.
At the second checkpoint at the top of the climb, the team was third-fastest behind Team Sunweb and Quick-Step Floors and with the three teams within four seconds of each other, it was clear the podium would be decided between them.
Ultimately, Quick-Step Floors managed to gain significant time in the final 20 kilometers and stopped the clock in 1:07:56, 18 seconds faster than Team Sunweb, who claimed the silver, and 20 seconds faster than BMC Racing Team.
The race was not only the last trade Team Time Trial at the World Championships, but the last team time trial with the BMC Racing Team skinsuit on display, an end of an era for the team that has won 18 Team Time Trials over the years.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Jackson Stewart, Sports Director:
"I think it went to plan and I suppose it was like every World Championships that we haven't won. We executed our plan perfectly but there was just a stronger team. Quick-Step Floors was just stronger from the top of the climb to the finish and that's where we lost time. We still don't know how but clearly they went faster than us. We did everything we could and I think we did really well. We did a good recon, we paced it right, we did the climb well and somewhere from there to the finish we lost time. Of course, everyone is disappointed but if we look back, we have either won or at least been on the podium at almost, if not all, the Team Time Trial World Championships that have happened. It's not the way we wanted to go out but it was still a respectable effort."
"I think we could have maybe gotten closer to Quick-Step Floors at the finish but you never know. We thought that with Stefan being the bigger guy, it was important to use him over the flatter section before the climb. It would have been the perfect situation if we had got to the top of the climb with six guys who were all flying but, in reality, it was never going to happen and we thought that the best option was to use Stefan's strength for our benefit and get everything out of him that we possibly could and keep the rest of us a little fresher for the climb and the final."
"Quick-Step Floors are always good. They don't have Tony Martin anymore but one rider doesn't win a Team Time Trial so, those guys have always been pretty solid as it is. They are always on our radar and we did think that they were top four definitely but in the end, we were thinking that Team Sky and Team Sunweb were the favorites to beat us."
"The flat part before the climb went really quickly actually. I think on that 40-kilometer stretch we were going around 60 kilometers per hour so it wasn't really too bad. Then, the climb was ten minutes maximum and then there was some downhill which meant you got a little bit of recovery before the final flat part which also went pretty quickly. The distance itself wasn't really an issue and the time ended up being quicker than we thought it would. It was a 50 to 54 kilometers per hour average. It was a good course and we just got beaten by a better team."
Greg Van Avermaet:
"It was a super fast course. I think it was a really special Team Time Trial with a steep climb pretty far into it. I think everyone on our team did their best to do as good a result as possible. We didn't lose by just one or two seconds but by almost 20 so we have to say bravo to Quick-Step Floors. They were stronger than us but we tried to defend a title we have previously held as best as possible and we are happy to at least finish on the podium."
UCI World Championships Team Time Trial
Oztal > Innsbruck (62.8km)
Top 3: 1. Quick-Step Floors, 2. Team Sunweb, 3. BMC Racing Team