Patrick Bevin and BMC Racing have claimed world championship bronze in the final team time trial for trade teams at the UCI World Road Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. Quick-Step Floors took the win ahead of defending champions Team Sunweb with BMC Racing finishing ahead of Team Sky and Jack Bauer’s Mitchelton-Scott.
Tirol Cycling Team got the men’s team time trial underway, tackling the 62.8km between Ötztal and Innsbruck. The course ahead of them was a fast one right up until about 40km where a challenging climb of 4.6km would kick up; averaging 5.7%. Two Kiwis lined up for the final edition of the team time trial in its current format with Jack Bauer of Mitchelton-Scott and Patrick Bevin for BMC Racing. The former slotted straight onto the back of the six-man train for Mitchelton-Scott as they kicked off their effort.
After a number of continental outfits kicked racing off, Katusha-Alpecin were the first team to impose themselves on the course, setting an average speed of upwards of 60kph to provisionally go fastest at the first time check. It’s in part a testament to the speed of the course, that even with that high an average speed Katusha-Alpecin would only end up 11th fastest by the end!
BMC Racing were the penultimate outfit to leave the start ramp with Tejay van Garderen, Greg van Avermaet, Stefan Küng, Rohan Dennis, Damiano Caruso and Patrick Bevin. The two-time world champions entered the race with such a proud history in the team time trial, having won twice and also podium-ed in the last four years. Patrick Bevin started fifth wheel of the six as the team left the start ramp.
After Katusha-Alpecin’s lead at the first time check had withstood the first few World Tour team, it was Bauer and Mitchelton-Scott who finally cracked their time; and by some margin. Mitchelton-Scott went a full 27 seconds quicker than Katusha-Alpecin, with an average speed through the first check of 61.5kph. Their time would be good enough to better all other teams at the first check but it was at the 44.8km check where Quick-Step Floors really came into their own, putting in a massive turn of pace to reverse their deficit to Mitchelton-Scott and suddenly find themselves in the driver’s seat.
While Mitchelton-Scott now found themselves 30 seconds in arrears to Quick-Step Floors, however, a battle was emerging between the new leaders and BMC Racing. Bevin and his team stopped the clock at the second time check just 3 seconds slower than Quick-Step Floors. But then Sunweb came through and went just a fraction of a second quicker than even Quick-Step Floors.
Mitchelton-Scott lost two riders on the way to the line, and stopped the clock in 1.08.23 hours, 35 seconds faster than the previous best set by Movistar; and an average speed of 54.8kph. But it wasn’t a long stay at the top of the podium, as Quick-Step Floors – still with five riders – hit the line with a time of 1.07.26; an average speed of 55.877kph. Now Niki Terpstra, Kasper Asgreen, Laurens de Plus, Bob Jungels, Maximilian Schachmann, and Yves Lampaerts could only wait.
Team Sky couldn’t get close to their time, going outside of 1.08 hours. Meanwhile BMC Racing were powering on the pace, with Patrick Bevin still amongst the five riders to cross the line together. Even they couldn’t come close enough to the Quick-Step Floors outfit, stopping the clock 19 seconds slower and slotting into second place; with only Team Sunweb to come.
Sunweb were off the pace of Quick-Step Floors, but the battle for them was for silver between them and BMC Racing. In the end just 1.09 seconds could separate the two teams, with Sunweb just squeezing into the silver medal spot.
Earlier in the day Georgia Williams had lined up for Mitchelton-Scott in the women’s team time trial. Team Sunweb again headed into the race as defending champions, but it was Canyon SRAM Racing who set a blistering time after a slow start to take the win in a time of 1.01.46 across the 54.5km course.
Williams, in the company of Sarah Roy, Lucy Kennedy, Gracie Elvin, Jolien d’Hoore and Jessica Allen, stopped the clock in a time of 1.03.16; an average speed of 51.686kph to finish 5th, 1.30mins behind Canyon SRAM Racing, and 1.01mins behind third placed Sunweb. Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team took second place at 22 seconds to the winners.