The Australian team slipped to fourth behind BMC, Etixx-QuickStep and Movistar after losing one rider early in the 38.8km event and another later as the team approached the final climb to the finish.
"We lost a rider early, and then we lost another with about four or five K to go, so we had to go a bit slower up the climb than we expected. So that cost us," said Luke Durbridge, who joined Sam Bewley , Michael Hepburn, Michael Matthews, Jens Mouris and Svein Tuft on the Orica TTT roster.
Orica was the third-fastest team through the first two time checks but then slipped to fourth behind Movistar at the third. Losing the riders obviously cost the team. Bewley was the first rider to pop off the pace in the early going. Mouris was next.
Durbridge said the team was obviously unhappy to slip out of the medals, but their real focus was on the win, and anything short of that would have been a disappointment.
"I think if we ran third or we ran second we'd still be disappointed," he said. "We come here try and win but we weren't even in the ballpark today. I'll have to have a look and analyse the ride later, but BMC is a super strong team and full credit to them. We'll be back again next year, I guess."
Durbridge will have a chance for redemption sooner than that. On Wednesday he'll compete for Australia in the individual time trial. He's been in Richmond for more than three weeks now to prepare for today's race and Wednesday's test.
"I've been here awhile, maybe too long," he said. "It's been good though. Richmond's been great. The support has been absolutely fantastic and the roads have been beautiful and everyone's been supportive. This has probably been one of the best Worlds I've ever been to. I've spent 22 days in one place and the weather's been great. Couldn't ask for better.
"I'm feeling quite good, so I'll recover for this and then move on."
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