Team Sky had to pick up the pieces of its team time trial squad on Saturday after Danny Pate, Elia Viviani and Luke Rowe crashed in the reconnaissance ride, but Pate was satisfied with the team's ninth place finish under the circumstances.
"It was good considering what happened to us yesterday," Pate told Cyclingnews. "We still had a pretty good ride, and for me and Elia to do what we did - I think a lot of the guys picked up the slack a little bit - Kiryienka did some really good turns. He's riding really well and will be good in the individual time trial. It's just kind of a bummer to be training for something and have a mishap the day before. We pulled through pretty well physically and mentally, as good as we could."
Pate hinted that he might be returning to an American team, or at least spending more time racing in the US next year. His contract is up at Team Sky and he has not yet finalized his team for next season.
"It's good to be racing in America. I might be doing more of it soon. It's still undecided."
Tuft gutted for Orica-Greenedge come up short
The team time trial was the only event at the World Championships for Svein Tuft. After being on the podium the past three years, but never claiming the gold medal, Tuft and his team were disappointed to be knocked off the podium entirely by a strong Movistar squad.
"It's just really a sign of how the level has come up," Tuft said to Cyclingnews. "It's something we always took seriously, and now you see a lot of teams are taking it quite seriously. The level's come up, but also I think we didn't have our best ride today. With the blustery wind it made it quite a difficult course. The wind seemed to be coming from all directions, which makes for a hard sit, which makes it hard to recover. You're always trying to find the sweet spot and never getting it. Then I think we had a couple guys who weren't on a super days. At the world championships you need everyone on a super day.
"That's how it goes. We've had a lot of good luck in the past, and we have to learn new lessons every time."
"I quite liked the course. It was quite a fast course, it wasn't super technical, but it had a bit of everything. There was a hard climb to the finish, some really fast sections. It covered all the bases as far as a world championships course should go. It's funny that the ITT is 55k and the team time trial, which is generally a longer race, [was 38.8km] - I don't know. That's up to the organiser."
Tuft will not compete in the individual time trial with Canada, but instead will call and end to his season.
Haga suffers to fifth with Giant-Alpecin
American Chad Haga was part of Giant-Alpecin's fifth-place squad. The team was never tipped as a podium contender, but rode well behind the strength of Tom Dumoulin, who led the-Vuelta a Espana until the final mountain stage.
"It was excruciating, like always. That's what it's supposed to be - you get everyone to their edge and hold it there to the finish. We all knew what we were capable of and our limits, and we used that to the best of our ability. I think we did the best ride we were capable of today."
Many pundits expected Dumoulin to suffer from fatigue after fighting so hard to win the Vuelta only to crack on the penultimate stage, but Haga said he was riding strong.
"Tom is certainly tired, and he did the pre-ride in the car while the rest of us did it on the bikes to save as much as possible. He really put the hurt on us today, he was really strong. It was impressive."
Riding at home was special for Haga, who has been racing in Europe for the past two years. "[This is] my one race in the US this year, and it's the world championships so that's really special. To see an environment similar to a European race, but it's English speakers and my own countrymen cheering for me. IT was really special. I got to spend some time in the hot seat which was also a first. So it's been a great day."
Haga has been steadily building his abilities to WorldTour level after joining Giant-Alpecin in 2014, and expects to continue racing at that level - his contract has been finalised but is not yet announced.
"It's been a heavy year for me, with a lot of tough races, but it's challenged me throughout the whole year and I've continued to improve and get stronger and smarter, I hope to build on that for the future."
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