Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep Wins team time trial world championship
Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep won gold in the 53.2km Elite Men's team time trial of the 2012 UCI Road World Championships earlier today, being the fastest team at both checkpoints and finishing with a time of 1:03.17.
Knowing they had a chance at the gold medal, the Omega Pharma - QuickStep team huddled in anticipation watching BMC Racing Team as they rode to the finish. OPQS was elated when they won gold by 3.16 seconds.
Omega Pharma - Quick Step was ahead of BMC Racing Team by 8.26" at the first checkpoint, and when they passed the second checkpoint, they had almost 45" on Rabobank Cycling Team. Team GreenEDGE passed through the 2nd checkpoint faster than Rabobank, but still 28.63" down on Omega Pharma - Quick Step.
Omega Pharma - Quick Step finished with all six riders: Peter Velits, Sylvain Chavanel, Tom Boonen, Tony Martin, Niki Terpstra and Kristof Vandewalle.
"It's super to be a part of the group — I'm proud," Chavanel commented. "It's really a great team effort, even for the staff. After the finish it was an explosion of happiness. it was a great week preparing the TTT. We were together, working together, paying attention to all the little details. I have to thank also our staff. They were great during the entire approach to the race. We were thinking about this race for a long time. I have no world champion jersey but I'm happy as I have this gold medal! I think it's a great discipline. Fun to do, and great to watch for the public. It's also a great motivation for Wednesday's race!"
"I put this victory near my biggest, along with the Classics and the Road World Championship," Boonen said. "I didn't expect to win a race like this, first of all because it never existed before and in the past it wasn't our discipline. We worked a lot and now we are there. It's a team victory even for the staff. It's really a change of mentality going on."
"We fought together as a team," Martin said. "I'm really happy for all the team. We maintained always a good pace. I really enjoyed today. It was fun and I really like this idea, this TTT World Championship. The team work was once again the key to the success. This victory gives me a lot of morale for Wednesday's race."
The BMC Racing team concisting of Alessandro Ballan, Philippe Gilbert, Taylor Phinney, Marco Pinotti, Manuel Quinziato and Tejay van Garderen was together at the base of the final climb. But near the top of the Cauberg, the 5.8 percent gradient of the 1.2 km climb took its toll.
"I knew when I looked back that I was the fourth rider and I was going to have to dig as deep as possible and limit our losses," Phinney explained. "I slowed the team down a little bit over the top but in this situation you have to accept how painful it's going to be and then push through it and hope the finish line comes quickly."
The minimum four riders (Ballan, Gilbert, Phinney and van Garderen) came to the finish line together to stop the clock at one hour, three minutes and 20 seconds for Team BMC Racing.
"This hurts a little bit,