Freewheeling takes three for three as our prediction was realised for the third day running! Team time trial World champions, Team BMC, swept to victory on the 20.9k course with a time of 23:11. Etixx-Quickstep were the second placed team, adrift by 6 seconds. Yesterday we also predicted that LottoNL-Jumbo would put in a strong performance; another prediction that was borne out by the team’s third place in the stage, stopping the clock at 23:34. Our third ‘one to watch’ from yesterday’s predictions was the Movistar team, who placed 4th overall.
The stage saw big changes to the GC, with Rohan Dennis reclaiming the top spot from yesterday’s stage winner, Peter Sagan. The Tinkoff rider drops down into 4th place, separated from Dennis by 27 seconds overall. Second place is awarded to Dennis’s team mate Taylor Phinney, by virtue of BMC’s commanding TTT performance. Etixx-Quickstep also put in an impressive time trial despite having lost Tom Boonen to a crash in the previous stage, which has catapulted Tony Martin up the standings into third place.
Now that the battle with the UCI over the World Championship TTT has been resolved, it appears that BMC have been thinking about those Qatari gold medals. “This shows why we’re the best in the world” exclaimed race leader Rohan Dennis shortly after his team crossed the finish line together and looking remarkably strong. “This was a very good test for Qatar”.
Etixx-Quickstep too had looked formidable – who knows what they would have been able to achieve with a full complement of riders?