BMC Racing Team completed their final reconnaissance ride on the World Championships team time trial course in Innsbruck on Saturday morning, quietly confident that they have the power and speed to win a final title in the event.
Team Sunweb beat BMC Racing Team by eight seconds in Norway last year, completing a double victory in the men’s and women’s team time trial. BMC last won the world title in 2015 but are competitive in every team time trial they ride and hope to sign off with a third title as a tribute to late team owner Andy Rihs before merging with the Polish CCC team.
Time trial coach Marco Pinotti and the team’s management have selected Patrick Bevin, Damiano Caruso, Rohan Dennis, Stefan Küng, Greg Van Avermaet and Tejay van Garderen, opting for riders who can handle the 4.6km Axams climb and ride in tight formation at over 50kph on the valley roads to Innsbruck. This year’s 62.8km route is 20km longer than in Bergen and so will be a test of pacing and consistency.
Dennis will ride for Bahrain-Merida in 2019 but is keen to sign off with success in Innsbruck. He is on form after winning both time trial stages at the Vuelta a Espana. He is also a favourite for Wednesday’s individual time trial.
“Obviously with this being our last TTT at Worlds, it’s important. It's also important to us that we try to win,” Dennis told Cyclingnews after passing through the finish area and quickly debriefing with his teammates.
Pinotti has worked diligently on every aspect of BMC Racing’s team time trial preparation and the riders and staff have been in Innsbruck for several days for final training.
“I’ve been thinking about this race since the day they presented the course. I was so disappointed to lose last year. We want to end on a high this time,” Pinotti told Cyclingnews.
“We’re ready, like every year. We know the competition is strong for this last-ever team time trial but we hope for a good result. This group of riders have been training well all season long and have ridden other important team time trials. We’re an experienced team.”
The climb is the key point