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by Shane Stokes
September 21, 2015
Photography by Cor Vos
Finishing just ahead of Etixx – Quick-Step, 2014 victors BMC Racing team took a second straight world championship victory in Richmond, Virginia on Sunday.
The American squad was quickest throughout the race, but the margin of victory was tighter than twelve months ago. On that occasion it beat Orica-GreenEdge by 31.84 seconds; this time around it was 12 seconds up on Etixx – Quick-Step.
Team trainer Marco Pinotti said he was initially worried the squad started out too fast.
“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 victory was particularly sweet for Taylor Phinney, who returned in recent weeks from a near career-ending accident during the 2014 US nationals. He went through a very difficult time but now has a world championship medal to his credit.
“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.”
Movistar was 31 seconds back in the race against the clock while Orica-GreenEdge was fourth, 54 seconds down. Giant-Alpecin and LottoNL-Jumbo completed the top six.
The day brought disappointment for the Tinkoff-Saxo squad, with the squad finishing last. Triple world time trial champion Michael Rogers and Michael Valgren hit the deck during the test, and the team ended up losing any chance of success. It was last of the 27 squads in the race.
Team Sky was also affected by a crash, although the fall in question happened during training on Saturday. Elia Viviani, Danny Pate and Luke Rowe hit the deck and while they were able to start Sunday, the accident undoubtedly contributed to it finishing back in ninth place.
1, BMC Racing Team, 38.8 kilometres in 42 mins 7 secs
2, Etixx-QuickStep, at 12 secs
3, Movistar Team, at 31 secs
4, Orica-GreenEdge, at 54 secs
5, Team Giant Alpecin, at 1 min 4 secs
6, LottoNL-Jumbo, at 1 min 18 secs
7, Lotto Soudal, at 1 min 27 secs
8, Astana Pro Team, at 1 min 38 secs
9, Team Sky, at 1 min 42 secs
10, Trek Factory Racing, at 1 min 47 secs