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UCI Road World Championships 2018: Men's Team Time Trial


22 teams have signed up for the final edition of the elite men's trade team version of the World Championships team time trial. We're still in the dark as to precisely what format this competition will take in its future as an event for national teams, but in the here and now, this is the running order for today's race:

As was the case for the women's race this morning, teams set off at three-minute intervals. The local Tirol Continental team kick off proceedings at 14:40 local time. Katusha-Alpecin are the first of twelve WorldTour teams in action, setting off at 15:10.

There are two time checks on the route today, after 22.8km and atop Axams hill after 45km. At 62.8km in length, this course is a test of endurance, the longest Worlds team time trial since the old four-man, 100km TTT was last held in 1994. As Canyon-SRAM's win in this morning's women's race proved, keeping six riders together deep into the finale can make all the difference on such a long parcours.

Tirol Cycling Team roll down the start ramp and begin their effort. There are nine Continental outfits in this event but just one Pro Continental squad, CCC-Sprandi.

WSA Pushbikers are the second of five Austrian squads in the event today, and they get their effort underway.

Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang are out on the road. Next up are the Slovak squad Dukla Banska Bystrica.

While the early Continental squads are out on the course, the main contenders are warming up outside their team buses in the start area. Defending champions Sunweb, three-time winners Quick-Step and two-time champions BMC are the favourites for victory this afternoon, while Team Sky and Mitchelton-Scott will also be in contention for the podium.

Stephen Farrand spoke to Marco Pinotti about BMC's Worlds team time trial preparations yesterday. The Italian believes the Axams climb will be the pivotal moment of the race. “It’ll be fascinating to see what happens to each team on the climb, such a long climb after 40km in a TTT can cause havoc,” Pinotti said. Read the full story here.

Sangemini have begun their effort. There are three more Continental teams to come. In total, there are five Austrian teams in action today. Simply for comparison, there were none in last year's TTT. 

Czech squad Elkov-Author have begun their effort. All nine Continental squads are out on the road. Next up are the lone Pro Continental representative, CCC-Sprandi. Next year, of course, the orange of CCC will feature at WorldTour level following the merger with BMC Racing Team.

Tirol Cycling Team reach the first intermediate check after 22.8km in a time of 24:12. That's an average speed of 56.5kph. The early kilometres are slightly downhill and on dry, smooth roads. We should see from very fast averages indeed from the WorldTour squads - although keeping something in reserve for the climb will be a key consideration.

Canyon-SRAM scored a fine victory in the women's team time trial this morning, beating the fancied Boels-Dolmans and Sunweb squads to the final gold medal. The remarkable Trixie Worrack claimed her fifth Worlds TTT medal in seven attempts in the process. Read the full report here.

The wonderfully named WSA Pushbikers sound like they could be competing against the Cutters in the Little 500 race. They reach the time check 25 seconds down on Tirol.

Katusha-Alpecin have begun their effort. Tony Martin and Alex Dowsett lead a team that also includes Nathan Haas.

Trek-Segafredo are next in action, with Ryan Mullen and Matthias Brandle the main pistons in their sextet.

Five teams have been through the first time check. Tirol Cycling are 6 seconds up on Lotto-Kern Haus of Germany.

AG2R La Mondiale are next to take the start. Silvan Dillier, Alexis Gougeard and Alexandre Geniez are the strongmen in their sextet this afternoon.

A new quickest time at the first check point for Team Voralberg, who are 27 seconds quicker than Team Tirol. Their average speed is a eye-catching 57.6kph.

Astana are in the opening kilometres of their effort, with Michael Valgren and Alexey Lutsenko leading the line for the Kazakhstani squad.

Elkov-Author, who feature Jan Barta, were expected to be the strongest of the Continental squads, and they duly hit the first check with the best time, 49 seconds up on Voralberg. Their average speed is a rasping 59.7kph.

Andrey Amador and Nelson Oliveira lead the Movistar squad through the early kilometres, but they will be hard-pressed to match their bronze medal-winning effort of 2015.

Mitchelton-Scott are the first of the medal favourites in action. The Australian squad line out with Luke Durbridge, Cameron Meyer, Matteo Trentin, Jack Bauer, Michael Hepburn and Daryl Impey.

Bora-Hansgrohe follow them into the fray, and they could be potential dark horses. The four Austrians in their line-up will not want for motivation, while Daniel Oss and Maciej Bodnar have a treasury of experience in the discipline.

Katusha hit the first check with a new best time, 13 seconds up on Elkov-Author. Their average speed is in excess of 60kph through the first 23km.

A determined Quick-Step Floors team roll down the start ramp in search of a fourth world title. Bob Jungels, Niki Terpstra, Laurens De Plus, Yves Lampaert, Kasper Asgreen and Max Schachmann don the blue skinsuits today.

Next in action are Team Sky, who feature Gianni Moscon, Michal Kwiatkowski, Jonathan Castroviejo, Vasil Kiryienka, Ian Stannard and Owain Doull. By form and pedigree, there are few stronger teams in the field. Only BMC and Sunweb are left to start their efforts.

BMC roll out with Rohan Dennis the conductor of the orchestra. Tejay van Garderen brings a lot of Worlds TTT experience while Stefan Kung is one of the best time triallists in the world, full stop. Greg Van Avermaet, Damiano Caruso and Patrick Bevin supply plenty of firepower of their own.

Out on the course, Katusha are the best of the early WorldTour teams. AG2R, for instance, are 45 seconds down on Tony Martin et al at the first time check.

Team Sunweb are the defending champions and will take some beating this afternoon. Tom Dumoulin leads the line, with Sam Oomen, Wilco Kelderman, Chad Haga, Soren Kragh Andersen and the on-form Michael Matthews also in the team.

Second best time at the first check for LottoNL-Jumbo, 4 seconds down on Katusha-Alpecin.

Tirol, meanwhile, have reached the second time check after 45km with a lead of 1:40 over their fellow countrymen from WSA Pushbikers.

Astana came through the 22.8km mark 25 seconds down on Katusha. Movistar fared rather better. They speed through with the second best time, 3 seconds behind Katusha.

A new benchmark is set by Mitchelton-Scott at the first time check. They come through 27 seconds quicker than Katusha at a searing average speed of 61.5kph. Their 22:14 will be the standard that BMC, Sunweb et al will be aiming to emulate or better in these opening stages.

Team Vorarlberg set a new best time atop the climb of Axams. They get to the summit with all six riders still together, and they reach 44.8km with a lead of 1:11 over Tirol and 1:37 over Sangemini.

LottoNL-Jumbo, meanwhile, have lost Timo Roosen ahead of the climb. They are down to five riders as they face the course's chief difficulty.

Quick-Step Floors go through the first check point 13 seconds down on Mitchelton-Scott.

Team Sky hit the same point 16 seconds down on Mitchelton-Scott, with the third best time at the first check.

Katusha hit the top of the climb with just 4 riders intact, but with the new best time after 44.8km, 25 seconds up on CCC.

Second best time for BMC at the first check point, 8 seconds down on Mitchelton-Scott.

Team Sunweb have the fifth best time through the first check point, 23 seconds down on Mitchelton-Scott. All teams are now through the first time check.

The top 10 at the 22.8km mark is as follows:

Mitchelton-Scott have hit the climb and the change in pace is very discernible. It's a brutal transition from pushing mammoth gears on the flat roads to spinning lower gears on the climb.

Movistar have hit the top of the climb with the new best time They are 21 seconds quicker than Katusha and 32 up on Trek-Segafredo at the top, though they still have 20km or so to go.

Cameron Meyer and Jack Bauer showed signs of struggling on the climb, but they have managed to remain in contact with the rest of the Mitchelton-Scott team for the time being.

At the finish, meanwhile, CCC-Sprandi have a new best time, 40 seconds up on Elkov-Author. They made up considerable ground on the Continental squad in the back end of the course. Now we await the 12 WorldTour teams' arrivals.

Mitchelon-Scott get to the top of the climb with five riders. They lost Bauer on the way up, but they reach the summit 14 seconds quicker than Movistar and 35 up on Katusha.

Disappointment for Katusha, who only clock the second best time at the finish, 18 seconds down on CCC-Sprandi.

New best time at the finish from Trek-Segafredo, 33 seconds up on CCC Sprandi.

At the top of the climb, meanwhile, Quick-Step have set a new best time. They hit the 44.8km mark some 30 seconds up on Mitchelton-Scott and 44 ahead of Movistar, quite a turnaround.

Team Sky have lost Ian Stannard on the climb, and their remaining quintet hit the top with the second best time, 29 seconds down on Quick-Step.

A ragged showing from AG2R La Mondiale sees them come to the finish more than 3 minutes down on Trek-Segafredo.

LottoNL-Jumbo take provisional 5th at the finish, behind Continental squad Elkov-Author.

BMC still have five riders atop the climb, and they are just 3 seconds down on Quick-Step Floors at the second time check. Sunweb will surely also expect to pick up time on the climb...

Astana finish with the provisional third best time, 50 seconds down on Trek-Segafredo.

A new best time at the 44.8km mark for Sunweb, who go through 0.71 of a second up on Quick-Step and 3.73 seconds up on BMC. With Sky and Mitchelton-Scott at 30 seconds, this looks like a three-way tussle for gold, though a lot can happen in 20km...

The times at the second intermediate check (44.8km) are as follows:

A new quickest time at the finish for Movistar, 32 seconds up on Trek-Segafredo.

Mitchelton-Scott lost Cameron Meyer just outside the final kilometre, but the cross the line with a new best time, 35 seconds up on Movistar. Despite a fine start, however, they look set to miss out on a medal.

4th best time for Bora-Hansgrohe, 1:10 down on Mitchelton-Scott. We await the next finisher, Quick-Step Floors, who should be in the hot seat when they cross the line...

Quick-Step come home with five riders, 56 seconds up on Mitchelton-Scott. The fastest time so far at an average speed of 55.5kph.

The on-screen graphic suggest that Sunweb are running 10 seconds down on Quick-Step with a little over five miles of this time trial to go. It's going to be tight between Quick-Step, Sunweb and BMC.

Chad Haga is the only rider missing for Sunweb as Dumoulin, Oomen, Matthews, Andersen and Kelderman hurtle towards the finish.

Second best time at the finish for the time being for Team Sky, 45 seconds down on Quick-Step. They will likely fall short of the medals this afternoon.

Quick-Step are assured of a medal, with only BMC and Sunweb still to come. Into the final kilometre for BMC, where Van Avermaet is struggling to stay in touch.

BMC can't make it. Second best time for Dennis et al at the finish, 19 seconds down on Quick-Step. Only Sunweb can Quick-Step gold...

Dumoulin sets the pace for Sunweb as they reach the final 2km, but they are 18 seconds down on Quick-Step per the on-screen graphics. Niki Terpstra's smile is growing broader with each passing metre.

Quick-Step Floors are world team time trial champions.

Team Sunweb take the silver medal, 18 seconds down on Quick-Step. Bronze for BMC, a further second back.


A fourth team time trial gold medal for Niki Terpstra after Valkenburg, Florence and Doha. He has been the only ever present in Quick-Step's Worlds TTT triumphs and, for good measure, he has a silver medal from Richmond in 2015 and a bronze from Ponferrada in 2014.

Yves Lampaert speaks of Quick-Step Floors' victory: “We are so happy and the feeling is incredible. We were not the top favourites but we have a very strong team. There were a lot of young riders but very talented young riders. I was confident we would do a great performance but to win is different, and with that time gap also.
I heard we were behind at the first time check and I thought, ‘Wow, we were really fast but we’re already 13 seconds behind. But we went faster on the climb and then went full full full gas on the descent to the finish. To win the Worlds team time trial is really special and a big satisfaction because we trained a lot for it.”

Niki Terpstra gives a clear-headed analysis of the Quick-Step win as he signs off on his time at the team with their 69th victory of the season: “It was a special parcours with a lot of fast and flat parts but a hard climb in the middle. We really need to consolidate our forces and go from A to B in one speed. You can never do a team time trial perfectly but it was pretty close. We really trained the downhill very well, we had the video and I played it 100 times yesterday on my phone to watch every corner. It was a bit scary but we knew the route and it worked pretty well. After eight years in the team, it’s the best present I can get from and give to the team.”

It's been a day of celebration for Quick-Step Floors. Philippe Gilbert won the GP d'Isbergues this afternoon on his return to racing for the first time since his heavy crash at the Tour de France in July.

Team Sky's performance was tempered by the fact that Ian Stannard crashed in the opening kilometre, but they still finished in 4th place despite the setback. "That was definitely not a dream start for @TeamSky, with Ian going down on the first kilometer. Luckily, he managed to continue and we did our best, pushing till the end. Congratulations @quickstepteam for an amazing race," wrote Michal Kwiatkowski on Twitter.


Thanks for joining us this afternoon on Cyclingnews. A full report, results and pictures are available here, and Stephen Farrand and Kirsten Frattini will have all the news and reaction from Innsbruck. 

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