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The BMC Teammachine of the American GC hopeful
Hyper-aggressive position for the sprint lead-out
How much air pressure pros use at the Tour de France
National theme bike for Tour's lone Japanese rider
Hello and welcome back to Cyclingnews' live coverage from this year's World Championships.
After this morning's action in the women's TTT it's the turn of the men's peloton to take to the streets of Florence for their trade team race of truth.
The teams of six riders have a 57.2 kilometre test against them. It's virtually an identical course to the one that will decide the individual time trial, but for a few slight modifications.
The course starts out in Montecatini Terme and right now, the conditions are perfect, with the sun out and little wind. The temperature will rise throughout the day which could make for even faster times.
The first time check come at Serravalle Pistoiese after a short rise at around 7km. Then the race drops down, after a brief technical section. The section split comes after 24km but the majority of that section is wide and flat and should see the powerful teams hit their stride. There's another technical section in the closing stages that will see a number of teams stretched to the limit, before one final hairpin bend before the finish.
There's real mix, it has to be said, in ability, such is the way the event is structured but all the WorldTour teams are coming later in the event.First off, and on the start ramp now is the VELO CLUB SOVAC team.
Last year Omega Pharma QuickStep stormed to the win, edging out BMC and GreenEDGE.
A slightly re-shaped line up for the winners from 2012 with Boonen out but Martin is here to help marshal the team.
BMC will be out for revenge. The US team were second last year and could, perhaps should, have won. However they fell apart on the final ascent of the Cauberg. This year they have Taylor Phinney and van Garderen in the mix but there's no spot for Italian veteran Marco Pinotti. Still, they're one of the strongest teams in the race.
Third last year, and the winners of the TTT in the Tour de France this year, Orica GreenEDGE also line up with a strong squad:
Luke Durbridge (Aus)
Michael Hepburn (Aus)
Daryl Impey (RSA)
Brett Lancaster (Aus)
Jens Mouris (Ned)
Svein Tuft (Can)
The ladies team secured bronze early today and the men's team will be looking for at last that colour of medal. It's actually hard to see a weak link in that line-up.
No disrespect but Sky have a stronger line up than the one that travelled to Holland last year:
31 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor)
32 Christopher Froome (GBr)
33 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr)
34 Richie Porte (Aus)
35 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr)
36 Geraint Thomas (GBr)
A Tour de France winner, with Porte and Thomas in the mix is a match for any team. Kiryienka and Siutsou are both dependable, and of course Kiryienka picked up a medal in the individual time trial last year.
Cancellara, who missed the worlds last year due to injury, is back and will lead RadioShack in their last Worlds outing. They have a decent mix of riders and could challenge for a top five:
61 Fabian Cancellara (Swi)
62 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa)
63 Bob Jungels (Lux)
64 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr)
65 Hayden Roulston (NZl)
66 Jesse Sergent (NZl)
Not much has been said of the Garmin-Sharp team in the build up. Some of their TTT gloss may have worn out but on their day they can still challenge. They're packed with experience but do they still have the legs?
121 Rohan Dennis (Aus)
122 Tyler Farrar (USA)
123 David Millar (GBr)
124 Andrew Talansky (USA)
125 Christian Vande Velde (USA)
126 David Zabriskie (USA)
This is Vande Velde's last venture out and Farrar is a bit of a surprise inclusion at this stage.
You can find a complete start list for the race, right here:
Davide Rebellin is racing today. He's the oldest rider on the start list at the age of 42.
Three of the early teams have gone through the first time check and UTENSILNORD ORA24.EU are currently in the lead.
Optum and the Rabobank Development team are both on the road now.
The only change for last year's winners Omega Pharma QuickStep, is that Boonen is out. The Classics star has had an injury hit season but he's been replaced by Michal Kwiatkowski who has,quite frankly, been a revelation for the team this season. He was strong back in January at the Tour de San Luis, had a cracking Classics campaign and then was a star for the team during the Tour de France.
Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks now lead at the first time check but we've got a few more teams on the road now, including MTN-Qhubeka. They were here last year and finished in 23rd place. They'll be hoping for a stronger performance today.
Cannondale, formerly Liquigas were fifth last year and were in the hot seat for a while. They've again sent a strong team this year:
111 Maciej Bodnar (Pol)
112 Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Ita)
113 Michel Koch (Ger)
114 Kristijan Koren (Slo)
115 Peter Sagan (Svk)
116 Brian Vandborg (Den)
Nibali will of course be targeting the road race, Sagan too, but today they will be allies on the road.
BDC - MARCPOL TEAM are the current leaders at the second time check, having posted the 6th fastest time at the first check.
The Rabobank Development team were fastest at the first time check and they're looking good out there. They're on course for going fastest at the second time check.
What of Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team's chances today? Their final Worlds, at WorldTour at least. They've gone out with a whimper this season on paper they still have a line up that could challenge for a top ten spot today. Motivation could be key for them.
181 Thomas De Gendt (Bel)
182 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa)
183 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb)
184 Bertjan Lindeman (Ned)
185 Mirko Selvaggi (Ita)
186 Lieuwe Westra (Ned)
RIJKE storm to the top of the leaderboard at the second check with Team Cult Energy in second place for now. MTN should be at the first time check soon enough.
Optum have perhaps their strongest team here but they're well off the pace at the moment and down in 10th at the first check. Can they turn it around?
271 Ryan Anderson (Can)
272 Jesse Anthony (USA)
273 Michael Friedman (USA)
274 Chad Haga (USA)
275 Tomas Zirbel (USA)
276 Scott Zwizanski (USA)
The fightback has begun as Optum go fastest by seven seconds at the second time check.
While MTN also struggle in the first sector. Perhaps holding back through the technical sections before opening up the throttle on the long, flat stages.
Rabobank Development started strongly and they've continued in that fashion, setting the fastest times at both of the time checks.
The Rabobank youngsters started strongly last year and it's a case of history repeating itself as they cut through all the fastest times so far.
Euskaltel are under way. Certainly not the strongest team in the race but they'll want to do that jersey proud in their last Worlds outing.
They're off and around the first early corners.
Lotto smash through the first time check and take the lead as MTN are in full flight and heading towards the second time check. They take 6th after 24km.
Argos are out on the road. Their women's team didn't manage to pick up a medal. A tough ask for the men's team but they do have a couple of handy riders within their ranks.
As Lampre line up on the start ramp.
The Italian team had a shocker last year, finishing in 28th place. This time around they've picked:
131 Matteo Bono (Ita)
132 Davide Cimolai (Ita)
133 Luca Dodi (Ita)
134 Roberto Ferrari (Ita)
135 Adriano Malori (Ita)
136 Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg)
Around the opening corners for Lampre, as up ahead Argos keep the pace high.
And Garmin now set off with David Millar leading the American team down the start ramp.
Garmin immediately lined out and in single file, just the one man in the wind. If they can keep it together they're in a with a chance of a medal.
As Malori leads Lampre. He's really going to have to take responsibility for the team today. Of course he's off to Movistar for next season.
Rohan Dennis on the back for Garmin. The American team take a slight lead at this stage.
And Cannondale now start their effort.
No Ted King in their line up, still no news on where the American will be racing next season.
Garmin are on the early climb. It's around a km of effort.
Over the top of the climb and Garmin are second. Belkin are now about to start their effort. Team Cult Energy are the new leaders at the finish line.
Lotto are having a storming ride, and are fastest at the first two time checks.
Omega's Development team are about to hit the line and they take the lead by nearly 8 seconds.
Saxo Bank, who had a strong TTT in the Tour set off. No Contador in their ranks but Roche, fresh from his Vuelta performance is here:
81 Manuele Boaro (Ita)
82 Mads Christensen (Den)
83 Michael Morkov (Den)
84 Nicolas Roche (Irl)
85 Nicki Sörensen (Den)
86 Matteo Tosatto (Ita)
Astana are about to take to the start line.
And Cannodale are now the fastest team at the first time check, 5 seconds up on Lotto.
But it's Optum who now take the lead. It wont stand though because the Rabobank Development team are over 40 seconds faster.
Fabian Cancellara steadies himself on the start ramp and then leads off the RadioShack Leopard team.
The former world time trial champion leads his team through the first few corners. No risks at this stage as Euskaltel are 5th at the second time check.
Lotto still the fastest time on GPS with RadioShack at 3 seconds.
What chance of the Rabobank Development team upstaging Belkin? It's possible because the WorldTour team are off the pace at the moment.
The sun is still out, and there's little wind out there from what we can see on the finishline.
Out on the road and RadioShack remained disciplined. They're still four seconds off the pace but they've not started the climb yet.
As Movistar leave the start ramp.
Garmin Sharp are fastest at the second time check. 18 seconds faster than Lotto.
RadioShack on the climb but they're moving the gears and starting to find their pace.
At the second time check the WorldTour team are demonstrating their dominance, leading the top 7 places. Sagan is leading Cannondale though and they hit the second time check and they're 15 seconds up on Garmin.
As Froome and his Sky teammates start the TTT course.
A bit of a surprise to see Sagan and his team so far ahead at the second time check but there's still a long way to go.
MTN come to the line and it's another scalp for the Rabobank Development team.
Podium placers from last year, Orica GreenEdge start their TTT. They of course won the TTT during the Tour and will be one of the strongest teams today.
Meanwhile Astana are second at the first time check.
Just BMC and Omega Pharma have yet to start but it's BMC on the ramp right now.
It looks like Phinney is leading them off.
Sky are now on the early climb with Froome back in third wheel.
GPS says that Sky are fastest on the road, with Orica three seconds down.
Cannodale were the fastest team at the first check but Sky go four seconds faster.
Rabobank still lead but Lotto are closing in on the finish.
And now the defending champions are off. Can they retain their crown?
Up ahead BMC snake their way through the opening sectors as Lotto approach the finish.
They're down to four riders with Greipel leading them home.
Porte on the the front and van Garderen on the front for BMC. This is building towards a thrilling finish.
Astana are approaching the second time check and they're really in the mix, just 2.7seconds down on Cannondale.
And it's Vacansoleil who set the fastest time and by 50 seconds. That's a solid ride, even though they only finished with four riders.
There's bit more of a breeze out there now and that could really make a difference.
Chavanel takes a turn for Omega and then swings off. They're about to hit the early climb.
Garmin are 56 seconds up on Lotto but they look to be down to 5 riders.
As RadioShack are 16 seconds slower than Cannondale at the second time check.
Lotto now set the fastest time with Greipel first over the line. Flecha had only just sat down but the Belgian team were 37 seconds faster.
Cannondale come to the third time check and now they're faster than Garmin. But behind them the likes of RadioShack, BMC, Orica and Sky are all in the mix.
Sky still have all six riders, BMC too as Boasson Hagen drifts to the back for the British team. At the first time check Omega are the quickest.
It looks like one of the BMC riders is already missing turns though.
At the first time check It's Omega leading with Orica at 12.2 seconds and BMC at 12.4.
Argos come over the line and take second for now, behind Lotto.
Cannondale look to be running away with this according to the GPS.
Sky are coming up to the second time check though and they've gone 29 seconds faster than the GPS. I think we can ignore the GPS from now on.
Garmin hit the centre of Florence and they're down to four riders.
Omega are still the fastest on the road and the medals look to be between the defending champions, Sky, BMC, Orica and Cannondale.
RadioShack and Astana are on the fringes of the main battle at the moment.
at the second time check Orica are four seconds faster than Team Sky.
Tony Martin drifts to the back of the Omega line as Chavanel leads
Lampre cross the line almost a minute down on Lotto.
Greipel slouches in his chair by the podium but he'll know that his team will be not be in the hunt come the end of the race.
Garmin are about to finish and they go fastest, 59 seconds faster than Lotto. That sets the standard for the other teams on the road.
The defending champions are on the march though and they're still leading the race by six seconds head of Sky are Orica.
But now Orica leap into second and they're a second off the lead with Sky five seconds down. BMC are being squeezed out at the moment.
It's going to be tough for BMC to come back into this as they're losing a few more seconds. And Cannondale are over 30 seconds faster than Garmin.
And now Orica are leading by two seconds but there's only five seconds separating Omega, Sky and the Australians.
BMC are 22 seconds off the lead at the second time gap.
Orica now lead by three seconds and Sky are starting to close in on the Belgians.
Orica still have all six riders and 9 seconds separate the top three positions.
Sky still look smooth, in a single pace line but one of their riders is missing turns.
Sky look to be cracking a bit here.
They're losing ground on Orica. We said earlier that the Australian's didn't have a weakness and they're proving that now as they stretch their lead over Omega.
Watch out for RadioShack because they've gone faster than Cannondale at the penultimate time check.
Orica have lost one rider so they're down to five.
There's a bit of a headwind though and that could play a factor. Sky are now ten seconds down on Omega, with the Belgians still in second.
Porte at the back of the Sky train and the British team are hanging in there.
Belkin are about to finish and they take provisional third.
Orica continue to keep their discipline, shifting to shorter turns on the front. Sky still have all six as Thomas leads them.
Up to the third time check and Sky are fastest so far.
Orica appear to be building on their lead though. It's at around 15 seconds.
Orica turn the screw and come up to the third time check 20 seconds faster than Sky. They're on course for the title.
Astana come to the finish. They should be on for a top five, at least. They beat Cannondale by 7.7 seconds.
They were down to four riders but kept plugging away and it's Fuglsang who leads them over the line.
That pushes Garmin down to third.
Cancellara now leads home RadioShack and they take the lead by 3 seconds.
Cancellara has three riders with him and that's enough. Astana had only just sat down in the hotseat but they're off back to the team hotel.
Popovich waves to the crowds as he take a seat. The Shack riders look spent.
As Omega come to the third time check and they're just 1.45 seconds down on Orica and it's Martin dragging the team along. The Belgians still have all six riders, Orica are down to five.
Sky were third at the penultimate time check, 20 seconds off the lead.
Orica are now down to four riders. There's no room for error here, they can't make any mistakes because Omega are hot on their heels.
Phinney is doing a lot of work for BMC but it might not be enough for a medal. The American team are off the pace.
BMC are over 20 seconds down on third.
Just four teams out on the road. RadioShack lead but really the medals will come down to Orica, Sky and Omega.
And Sky have lost two men but they're close to the finish.
55 seconds faster than RadioShack. They will get a medal if BMC cant beat them.
BMC are coming through the tight cobbled streets now.
It will be Orica who reach the finish first though.
And Orica, with four riders, are really up against it. They're now five seconds down on Omega.
Orica GreenEdge, 21 seconds faster than Sky and into the lead. For now...
BMC still to come but it's Omega Pharma who are looking to win their second title.
BMC look fairly ragged now, they may know the time splits as van Garderen sits on the front.
Chavanel is leading Omega out of a tight corner and they're four seconds up.
Cummigs in on the back of the BMC train and he's starting to miss some turns.
BMC are coming up to the line but fourth is the best they can do.
Third for BMC but Omega are still to come in.
Will it be gold or silver for Omega Pharma Quick Step, the defending champions.
Orica riders stare up at the screens above them as Martin leads the final team home. According to GPS the gap is one second.
Only four riders left for Omega. This is going to be nail biting.
Martin on the front, then Chavanel
it's going to be so close.
They've done it. They've done it by 0.88 seconds.
All four riders spread themselves over the road and that might have made the difference because in the end it came down to less than one second.
Durbridge shakes his head and buries his face in a towel. He can't quite believe it. As outside Martin and his teammates are mobbed on the line.
Omega Pharma have retained their title, just like Specalized did in the women's event.
Sky settle for bronze, with BMC down in fourth.
1 Omega Pharma Quick Step 1:04:16.74
2 Orica GreenEdge 0:00:00.88
3 Sky Procycling 0:00:22.62
4 BMC Racing Team 0:01:02.78
5 RadioShack Leopard 0:01:17.52
6 Astana Pro Team 0:01:21.21
7 Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:01:28.81
8 Garmin-Sharp 0:02:02.01
9 Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:02:14.24
10 Movistar Team 0:02:31.10
Thanks for joining us today. You can find our reports, race photos and results right here.