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BMC Defend TTT Crown

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BMC opened the worlds with a close TTT win over Etixx-Quickstep.

Bryn Lennon, Getty

BMC started the Richmond World Championships with a (sort of) home win. After Velocio-Sram came from behind at the final check to win the women's race, the standard mix of pro-conti and continental teams such as Lupus and Vino4Ever (I know!) started the racing. After the ten of them, IAM Cycling were the first of the World Tour teams, and set a seemingly decent time, before being eclipsed by Cannondale-Garmin, who were in turn beaten soon after by LottoNL-Jumbo, who despite losing powerhouse Jos Van Emden set an excellent time, which stood for quite a while.

One of the day's biggest talking points, however, involved Tinkoff-Saxo. The Russian-backed team started quickly enough, and were running close enough to the top time in seventh when a crash devastated their chances.

The crash was caused by Michael Valgren touching Rogers' wheel and hitting the deck. Valgren came off with only bruises, but Rogers was less fortunate, ripping all the skin off his right hand. Tinkoff went on to the finish, and came in eight minutes behind, but all six riders intact.

At the sharp end of the race, it was quickly developing into a battle between BMC and Etixx-Quickstep. While Giant-Alpecin and Movistar swapped the hotseat, it was those two teams always in front. While the GPS tended to exaggerate the times, there was rarely more than five seconds between the two teams through the three checks. Both teams kept six riders together for most of the way. By the final kilometres it was a two horse race, but a very close one. Rigoberto Úran gave a huge last effort on the final late climb to springboard Etixx to a fast time of 42:19, Tony Martin sprinting on the front up the final straight.

BMC were not laggardly in arriving back at the finish line. They had six riders in tow, with Silvan Dillier hanging on at the back. He was not the first to get dropped, though, and was hanging on as Quinziato and Kung fell back, gritting his teeth, out of the saddle. His effort paid off, as BMC crossed the line twelve seconds ahead to win their second consecutive Gold Medal.

Taylor Phinney, a principal member of the six, said after the race: "It’s kind of hard to process. It’s been kind of a roller-coaster the past couple years. Rohan [Dennis] really pulled us today. To do it with the team is fantastic, I'm at a loss for words."

Results:
1. BMC Racing 42.07
2. Etixx-Quickstep .11
3. Movistar Team .30
4. Orica-GreenEDGE .53
5. Giant-Alpecin 1.03
6. LottoNL-Jumbo 1.17
7. Lotto-Soudal 1.26
8. Astana 1.37
9. Team Sky 1.41
10. Trek Factory Racing 1.46