World Championships: Quick-Step Floors win men's team time trial

Team Sunweb get silver, BMC Racing take bronze

Quick-Step Floors rounded off day one of the 2018 UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck by taking victory in the men’s team time trial.

Kasper Asgreen, Laurens De Plus, Bob Jungels, Yves Lampaert, Max Schachmann and Niki Terpstra blitzed the 62.8km course with a time of 1:07:26, beating Team Sunweb by 18 seconds while BMC Racing finished third, 20 seconds down.

Team Sky and Mitchelton-Scott finished fourth and fifth, the only other teams to get within a minute of Quick Step – they came home 45 and 57 seconds down, respectively. The Australian squad had gone fastest at the first checkpoint, but Quick Step flew up the climb to set the second-fastest time behind Sunweb, saving their efforts for the final third of the course and the run to the line.

After Philippe Gilbert’s win at the GP d’Isbergues earlier in the day, it’s the 69th victory of the season for the Belgian team. Since 2000, they only lie behind the 2008 (70 wins) and 2009 (83 wins) vintages of Team Highroad.

The win also marks a farewell for a number of Quick-Step’s riders, with De Plus, Schachmann and Terpstra all leaving for new teams next year. It’s the fourth time the team has won the title, after their triumphs in 2012, 2013 and 2016.

“We are so happy and the feeling is incredible because we were not the top favourites,” said Lampaert after the finish. “I knew we had a strong team – a lot of young riders but really talented and at the start I had a lot of confidence that we could do a great performance. But to win is something different, especially with that time difference.

“At the first time check I heard we were behind and I though ‘wow, we are really fast’, but I knew we had the climb and we sped up there. Especially on the descent and to the finish we went full, full gas.

“It’s incredible. All year long we’ve won so many races, but to win the World Championships team time trial is very special. It gives a lot of satisfaction and yeah, we’re super happy that we’re world champions.”

How it happened

Like to the women’s course, the men’s ran from the Area 47 waterpark in Ötztal to Innsbruck, but there was one rather large difference – the men had to deviate to tackle a 62.8km course that including a climb two-thirds of the way in.

The 4.6km Axams climb averages 5.7%, with sections of 10% on the lower slopes, and would prove to be the vital part of the route. Checkpoints came after the initial flat 22.8km, and at the top of the climb, 44.9km in.

Continental teams Vorarlberg-Santic and Elkov-Author were the fastest among the early teams to set off, topping the leaderboards with times of 1:12:13 and 1:10:44 respectively. Their times wouldn’t last long at the top of the standings, though, with the WorldTour teams not far behind them on the road.

Katusha-Alpecin were the first WorldTour team through the first checkpoint, setting a time of 22:42 that wouldn’t be bettered until Mitchelton-Scott came through at 22:14. After all teams had passed through, there were seven teams within 32 seconds of the Australians – BMC, Quick Step, Sky, Sunweb, Katusha, Movistar and LottoNL-Jumbo.

Cameron Meyer and Jack Bauer looked to struggle to hold on to the Mitchelton-Scott train up the climb, but they got back together to post a quickest time of 50:31. Five-rider Sky would equal it, but not before Quick Step had gone 30 seconds faster. The last team on the road, Sunweb, edged the Belgian squad by less than a second, while BMC lay third just four seconds down to set up a big finale.

Mitchelton-Scott hit the finih in a time of 1:08:23, but would their prowess on the flat be enough to grab back time on the teams who beat them on the climb? Quick Step soon answered that question, blowing the Australian squad’s time away with a time of 1:07:26. They faced a tense wait as teams with the TTT calibre of Sky, BMC and Sunweb raced to the finish, but none of them would come close to the Belgian team’s time.

Quick-Step’s mastery of the descent from Axams and the fast run-in to Innsbruck proved difference as they forged ahead of Sunweb and BMC in the closing kilometres.

“We really trained for this part pretty well,” said Terpstra, winner of a fourth team time trial gold medal. “We had videos, even the downhill. Yesterday I had it on my telephone and I played it 100 times, the video of the downhill, just to know every corner, because it's not so difficult but it looks difficult because you cannot see the corners. But you go really fast and really spin the wheels. It was a bit scary but we knew the route and things went pretty well.”

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Quick-Step Floors1:07:26 
 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger)  
 Laurens De Plus (Bel)  
 Yves Lampaert (Bel)  
 Bob Jungels (Lux)  
 Kasper Asgreen (Den)  
 Niki Terpstra (Ned)  
2Team Sunweb1:07:44 
 Wilco Kelderman (Ned)  
 Chad Haga (USA)  
 Michael Matthews (Aus)  
 Tom Dumoulin (Ned)  
 Sam Oomen (Ned)  
 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den)  
3BMC Racing Team1:07:45 
 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel)  
 Rohan Dennis (Aus)  
 Patrick Bevin (NZl)  
 Damiano Caruso (Ita)  
 Tejay van Garderen (USA)  
DNFStefan Küng (Swi)  
4Team Sky1:08:11 
 Owain Doull (GBr)  
 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr)  
 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol)  
 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa)  
 Gianni Moscon (Ita)  
DNFIan Stannard (GBr)  
5Mitchelton-Scott1:08:23 
 Cameron Meyer (Aus)  
 Jack Bauer (NZl)  
 Michael Hepburn (Aus)  
 Luke Durbridge (Aus)  
 Daryl Impey (RSA)  
 Matteo Trentin (Ita)  
6Movistar Team1:08:58 
 Imanol Erviti (Spa)  
 Winner Anacona (Col)  
 Andrey Amador (CRc)  
 Jasha Sütterlin (Ger)  
 Marc Soler (Spa)  
 Nelson Oliveira (Por)  
7Trek-Segafredo1:09:30 
 Ryan Mullen (Irl)  
 Matthias Brändle (Aut)  
 Fabio Felline (Ita)  
 Michael Gogl (Aut)  
 Toms Skujins (Lat)  
 Julien Bernard (Fra)  
8Bora-Hansgrohe1:09:33 
 Maciej Bodnar (Pol)  
 Gregor Mühlberger (Aut)  
 Patrick Konrad (Aut)  
 Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut)  
 Felix Grossschartner (Aut)  
DNFDaniel Oss (Ita)  
9CCC Sprandi Polkowice1:10:03 
 Adrian Kurek (Pol)  
 Szymon Sajnok (Pol)  
 Kamil Gradek (Pol)  
 Mateusz Taciak (Pol)  
 Lukasz Owsian (Pol)  
 Jan Tratnik (Slo)  
10Astana Pro Team1:10:20 
 Hugo Houle (Can)  
 Tanel Kangert (Est)  
 Andrey Grivko (Ukr)  
 Michael Valgren (Den)  
 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz)  
DNFMagnus Cort (Den)  
11Katusha-Alpecin1:10:21 
 Mads Wurst Schmidt  
 Reto Hollenstein (Swi)  
 Nathan Haas (Aus)  
 Tony Martin (Ger)  
 Nils Politt (Ger)  
 Alex Dowsett (GBr)  
12Elkov-Author1:10:43 
 Alois Kankovsky (Cze)  
 Vojtech Hacecky (Cze)  
 Michael Kukrle (Cze)  
 Jakub Otruba (Cze)  
 Jan Barta (Cze)  
 Josef Cerny (Cze)  
13LottoNl-Jumbo1:10:54 
 Timo Roosen (Ned)  
 Danny van Poppel (Ned)  
 Thomas Leezer (Ned)  
 Jos van Emden (Ned)  
 Koen Bouwmam (Ned)  
 Neilson Powless (USA)  
14Team Voralberg Santic1:12:13 
 Patrick Schelling (Swi)  
 Daniel Geismayr (Aut)  
 Gian Friesecke (Swi)  
 Jannik Steimle (Ger)  
 Lukas Ruegg (Swi)  
 Davide Orrico (Ita)  
15AG2R La Mondiale1:12:44 
 Alexis Gougeard (Fra)  
 Alexandre Geniez (Fra)  
 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu)  
 François Bidard (Fra)  
 Silvan Dillier (Swi)  
 Nico Denz (Ger)  
16Team Felbermayr Simplon Wel1:13:05 
 Filippo Fortin (Ita)  
 Matthias Mangertseder (Ger)  
 Riccardo Zoidl (Aut)  
 Matthias Krizek (Aut)  
 Stephan Rabitsch (Aut)  
 Daniel Lehner (Aut)  
17Tirol1:13:51 
 Mario Gamper (Aut)  
 Johannes Schinnagel (Ger)  
 Manuel Porzner (Ger)  
 Tobias Bayer (Aut)  
 Florian Gamper (Aut)  
 Georg Zimmermann (Ger)  
18Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang1:14:29 
 Andreas Graf (Aut)  
 Dominik Hrinkow (Aut)  
 Andreas Hofer (Aut)  
 Patrick Bosman (Aut)  
 Jonas Rapp (Ger)  
 Markus Freiberger (Aut)  
19Sangemini-Mg. K Vis-Vega1:14:31 
 Michele Gazzara (Ita)  
 Michele Scartezzini (Ita)  
 Nicola Gaffurini (Ita)  
 Dario Puccioni (Ita)  
 Paolo Toto (Ita)  
 Niccolo' Salvietti (Ita)  
20Team Lotto-Kern Haus1:14:59 
 Joshua Huppertz (Ger)  
 Jonas Rutsch (Ger)  
 Robert William Kessler (Ger)  
 Daniel Westmattelmann (Ger)  
 Luca Henn (Ger)  
DNFJan Hugger (Ger)  
21Dukla Banska Bystrica1:15:36 
 Martin Mahdar (Svk)  
 Samuel Oros (Svk)  
 Jan Andrej Cully (Svk)  
 Patrik Tybor (Svk)  
 Marek Canecky (Svk)  
 Juraj Bellan (Svk)  
22WSA Pushbikers1:16:05 
 Joshua Harrison (Aus)  
 Jodok Salzmann (Aut)  
 Felix Ritzinger (Aut)  
 Helmut Trettwer (Ger)  
 Daniel Auer (Aut)  
 Christian Grasmann (Ger)  

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