September 22, 2013 (AFP) – Belgian team Omega-Pharma defended their world team time trial crown by just eight tenths of a second ahead of Orica of Australia at the world road race cycling championship on Sunday.
Orica finished just 0.81secs in arrears with the British Sky team taking bronze as Tour de France champion Chris Froome struggled to keep pace with his teammates during the undulating 57.2 km course around Florence.
Orica had set the pace before Omega-Pharma to take the provisional lead but despite Michal Kwiatkowski and Kristof Vandewalle trailing off in the final kilometres Tony Martin, Sylvain Chavanel, Niki Terpstra and Peter Velits finished strongly for the defending champions to snatch the win.
It was Martin, Chavanel, Terpstra, Velits and Vandewalle’s second gold in the event, the quintet among the riders to lead Omega-Pharma to victory in the Dutch town of Valkenburg last year.
The victory also helped avenge defeat to Orica, this time by 0.75sec, at the Tour de France team time trial in Nice on July 2.
It was the second successive title defence on the opening day of the competition, which culminates next Sunday with the men’s road race.
Earlier, American team Specialized defended the women’s team time trial crown, completing the 42.8km course in a winning time of 51min 10sec.
The Rabo team, led by multiple world champion Marianne Vos, finished second at 1:11 with the Australian Orica team claiming third place at 1:33.
It was the second consecutive title for American Evelyn Stevens, German Trixi Worrack and Dutchwoman Ellen Van Dijk, who had triumphed in the trade team event last year and teamed up with Britain’s Katie Colclough, American Carmen Small and German Lisa Brennauer for this year’s edition.
(2013) - 2013 World Championships Team Time Trial
|7||Cannondale Pro Cycling||+1:28.74|
|14||TEAM ARGOS - SHIMANO||+3:06.86|
|17||Lampre - Merida||+3:56.31|
|18||EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI||+3:59.95|
|19||RABOBANK DEVELOPMENT TEAM||+4:28.79|
|22||TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN - MERCATOR||+4:54.80|
|23||Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||+5:09.48|
|24||AG2R LA MONDIALE||+5:18.92|
|25||ETIXX - IHNED||+5:19.71|
|27||TEAM CULT ENERGY||+5:27.50|
|28||KOLSS CYCLING TEAM||+5:27.99|
|30||CYCLINGTEAM DE RIJKE||+5:42.36|
|31||BDC - MARCPOL TEAM||+6:07.57|
|32||TEAM GOURMETFEIN SIMPLON||+7:13.42|
|34||CYCLINGTEAM JO PIELS||+8:34.65|
|35||VELO CLUB SOVAC ALGERIE||+11:51.68|