Taylor Phinney had hoped to lead BMC to victory in the team time trial world championship after finishing a close second in 2012. However, the American was left hurting with disappointment as much as fatigue at the finish after BMC finished an unexpected fourth, 1:02 behind repeat winners Omega Pharma-Quick Step.
Phinney lives close to the time trial course during his European season and had prepared meticulously for the event with his teammates. He admitted he whole team had a bad day.
BMC was fourth fastest at the first intermediate time check after 7.3km and the climb to Serravalle Pistoiese, 12 seconds slower than Omega Pharma-Quick Step. There was little chance for them to overturn such a significant deficit in the rest of the race and while they held fourth place at the other time gaps, they quickly lost any hope of victory or even a medal.
"We came in quite confident but we were just disappointing as a team," Phinney told Cyclingnews as the UCI fretted to control his bike after the race.
"I didn't feel I was on my best day. I tried to carry the team as well as I could in the end. Tejay was really strong too, but we just didn't perform."
"Sometimes you have it and sometimes you don't. We definitely worked really hard for it, so it's quite disappointing to come here and finish so far down after being so close last year. But that's the way life is I guess."
Phinney will be hoping to bounce back and have a better day on Wednesday when he targets the individual time trial, riding for the USA. He can be encouraged by his strong individual effort in last year's world championships, when he finished second to Tony Martin but only five seconds away from victory.