By a single second, the BMC Racing Team earned its second victory at this year’s Tour de France by winning Sunday’s team time trial.
The reigning world champions in the team time trial averaged 52.09 kilometers an hour on their BMC timemachine TM01s over the 28-kilometer course to finish in 32:15 and defeat race leader Chris Froome and Team Sky. Movistar Team finished third, four seconds back.
The stage shuffled the top of the overall standings, with Froome now leading van Garderen by 12 seconds. BMC Racing Team’s Greg Van Avermaet is third, at 27 seconds. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), who had been second, is fourth, at 38 seconds, and recent Giro d’Italia winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) moved up to fifth, at 1:03.
“We knew we were on a really good ride,” van Garderen said. “In a perfect world, we would have taken the stage and the yellow jersey. But we will take the stage win. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier.”
The BMC Racing Team and Team Sky were tied at the first time check at 10 km and Team Sky was one second faster at the second check at 20.5 km. Heading into the final two kilometers – all of it uphill – the BMC Racing Team trailed Team Sky by five seconds.
“We definitely had to rail the corners and make sure we stayed together outside of them,” van Garderen said. “On the climbs, we had the stronger guys pulling longer. And we had to finish with five guys. Rohan Dennis was really the key element to the team. He’s got a motor.”
Dennis, winner of the opening stage individual time trial on July 4 and wearer of the yellow jersey for one day, said he thought the team might have started too fast.
“I was really worried the first 10 kilometers. I was actually on my limit,” the past world hour record holder said. “When we started losing a couple guys, the directors told us to start pulling longer turns.”
Four of the BMC Racing Team’s nine riders Sunday were part of the gold medal-winning result last September at the world team time trial championships: Dennis, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato and van Garderen. Joining them in the winning effort this time were Damiano Caruso, Samuel Sánchez, Michael Schär, Van Avermaet and Danilo Wyss.
BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said everything went according to plan, with a lot of support from staff behind the scenes.
“When you have the world champions, you don’t need to talk very much with them,” he said. “They have a lot of experience and this was a big objective for them. The plan was to give 200 percent and they did.”
The three-week race enjoys its first rest day Monday before resuming with a 167 km stage Tuesday on the cusp of the Pyrenees mountains.
“We have not had any problems and we have not had any big crashes,” Ledanois said. “Tomorrow is recovery for everybody and the team will be ready for the Pyrenees. For sure, Tejay is ready for the mountains.”
Listen to pre- and post-race comments from BMC Racing Team riders on the Audio Line.
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