Sciandri confident in BMC's Worlds TTT challenge

BMC directeur sportif Max Sciandri and Taylor Phinney at the pre-Giro press conference in Naples

BMC directeur sportif Max Sciandri and Taylor Phinney at the pre-Giro press conference in Naples (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Sports director Max Sciandri is managing BMC's world championships team time trial project and is confident his six riders have the form and speed to produce a winning performance on Sunday.

BMC finished three seconds slower than winner's Omega Pharma-Quick Step after splintering on the Cauberg climb in sight of the finish. This year's course between Montecatini Team and Florence is almost totally flat and far more about speed and power than technique and BMC has worked all season to field the best team for the event.

"The guys are up for it. It's one thing one rider winning but it's a different feeling when you win as a team, they can feel that," Sciandri told Cyclingnews at the team's hotel in Montecatini Terme as the BMC mechanics put the final touches to the team's bikes.

"We've been working a lot for this. We've had three training camps and worked on everything. We've got everything we need and we're ready."

"I think it's great the brought the TTT back as a discipline and as a world title. Team time trials are very prestigious and very important. You win Grand Tours now thanks to team and individual time trials. They're fundamental."

"It's going to be a spectacular race too. The shot of teams riding past the Florence Duomo in the centre of the city will be amazing."

The Tuscany world championships and especially the time trials are also on Sciandri's home roads. He raced for Great Britain in the final part of his career because he was born in Derby but both his parents are Italian and he has lived in Quarrata, midway along the time trial route, for most of his life.

"I want to enjoy every single second of these world championships. The second time split is in Quarrata, my home town. It's a special moment," he said.

"I also want to win. Last year as a sports director I won quite a lot of races, this year not so much, so I feel as if I 'need' a win. Everyone is so motivated and focused."

Six big rouleurs

BMC has selected six big rouleur riders who can work together and have the power to cover the 57km course at an average speed well above 50km/h. The six riders who will roll of the start ramp on Sunday are Taylor Phinney, Tejay van Garderen, Steve Cummings, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato and Michael Schär.

"It was very hard to pick the final six but we've got a very balanced team which we think will be very important, "Sciandri said.

"Tejay and Phinney don't need any kind of presentation. Cummings is a great rider, he did the pursuit on the track with Great Britain. Michael Schär, Daniel Oss and Manuel Quinziato are all great team guys. They want to step up and deliver here."

Taylor Phinney lives near Sciandri in Quarrata, when based in Europe. Sciandri expects the young American to lead BMC out on the road.

"Phinney is our leader. He's going to be our captain on the road. He motivates and will lead the pulls and the single-line rotation," Sciandri said.

"Last year they guys lost a little focus in the finale on the Cauberg and the rider order changed. We've planned the rider order carefully this year but its never easy when you have to come into Florence after 50km flat out. Phinney will be important in moments like that. We need six guys to finish together, we can't afford to lose some one early on."

BMC rode on part of the course on Friday and will study the whole 57km route on closed roads on Saturday morning.

"We've looked at the early climb and it's an important moment. It's a three-minute effort that has to be judged right. After that it's not very technical until the centre of Florence, where there are some cobbles and some turns. It's all about speed and keeping it high.

"We've done some calculations on speed variations and we predict it's going to be a very, very fast race, with a few second making all the
difference between the best teams."

Sciandri picked Orica-GreenEdge and last year's winner Omega Pharma-Quick Step as BMC's biggest rivals for the world title.

"It's going to be a close race between us. From what we can understand from talking to others riders, Orica has been working very hard for this with several short training camps. They're showed they're good at TTTs the Tour de France. Omega were good last year too and I'm sure they're be just as good too. They're our big rivals but we're confident."

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Stephen Farrand
Head of News

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.