Mitchelton-Scott director Matt White was convinced that the Australian WorldTour team were on course to win the opening team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico, but he could only watch in disappointment as BMC Racing came home four seconds faster to push his team down to second place on the day.
“It’s always disappointing when you don’t win, but it was so close, and overall we are happy with the result and how that sets us up for the rest of the week,” White said. “What we saw today was a really selfless ride from the team. Our goal was to go out hard, and that meant that we had to sacrifice a couple of guys, our sprinter Caleb [Ewan], Luka [Mezgec] and Jack [Bauer] all did what they could and kept the speed high, which enabled us to have a very good ride today.”
Luke Durbridge crossed the line first for the Australian team and now sits fifth overall, four seconds down from BMC’s GC leader Damiano Caruso, Rohan Dennis, Paddy Bevin and Greg Van Avermaet. Durbridge’s teammates Daryl Impey, Adam Yates and Michael Hepburn follow him in the overall results, with Team Sky’s line up, led by Geraint Thomas, next at a further five seconds back.
For Durbridge, the disappointment of not winning was countered by the relatively small margin of BMC’s win.
“We haven’t been that close to BMC in a while, so we’re happy to be up there in the pointy end of TTTs,” he told Cyclingnews. “Obviously four seconds too slow, but hey, it was a good performance. We wanted the victory, too, but we’ll be looking at where we can improve on today and where we can find those five seconds that would have meant we won. There are two more big TTTs this season, and one of them is at the Tour de France, so we’re working hard for that.”
Mitchelton-Scott’s Impey, who started his season with a win at the Tour Down Under, also took solace in BMC’s four-second winning margin.
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