Etixx-Quick Step went into the Worlds team time trial looking for its third win in four years under pressure for the Richmond event, having finished third in Ponferrada last season. Etixx-Quick Step cut the difference between itself and BMC Racing from 35 seconds to 11 seconds 12 months on from last year's Spanish Worlds, passing through the three intermediate time checks in second place with a slower middle section of the 38km course ending its ambition for gold.
"It was surprising, the time difference on the last section of the parcours," sport director Tom Steels said. "We were gaining time at the end of the race. At the middle of the race we were already improving. If you see the values of the riders, their data, I don't think we could have gone any faster than what we did today. It was a really close TTT, and I can't think of any moment when we really lost the race. BMC Racing Team was just better today, so congratulations to them. I think we earned silver as a cohesive unit, and we can be satisfied with a strong performance."
With Orica GreenEdge fading to fourth place on the day, Etixx-Quick Step become the only team to have won a medal in each of the four years since the event was reintroduced to the Worlds schedule in 2012.
Three-time individual time trial champion Tony Martin and road World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski drove the team over the line with the fastest time, but with BMC starting three minutes behind them it wasn't long before they were demoted to silver.
"I'm really happy about the performance of the team here in Richmond," Kwiatkowski said. "We did the best we could. The team was really motivated. I did my best, as did everyone. Yves, Rigo, Tom, Tony, Niki, we all worked really well together on this parcours. We tried to go for the victory, but BMC Racing Team was the strongest today. Congratulations to them. As for me, I had great sensations today. I did even better than I expected. I think we all really performed at our highest level possible. The fastest team won today. That's sport."
Disappointed to miss out on gold, Martin explained the race has given him good indicators ahead of his quest for a fourth individual time trial rainbow jersey.
"This was also one of my big objectives of the season, and my performance gives me confidence ahead of the UCI World TT Championship on Wednesday," Martn said of the team time trial. "It's hard to analyze myself, but as my teammates said, they were suffering a little bit when I was in front (laughs). So, I'm sorry for that, but it means I am in a good way. It gives me a good feeling for my next objective. I will go for it. I am disappointed for the team in that we didn't win, but we did our best, and my own performance boosted my morale before Wednesday. We will see what can happen in a few days. "
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