Etixx stun BMC as Boels Dolmans bag women’s TTT title in Doha

 10 Oct 2016 - 3:20

Etixx stun BMC as Boels Dolmans bag women’s TTT title in Doha
Cyclists from Boels Dolmans compete in Women’s Team Time Trial of the UCI Road World Championships 2016, in Doha yesterday.

The Peninsula 

DOHA: Battling high winds and traditional warm weather, Etixx-QuickStep yesterday dethroned men’s defending champions BMC to win the 40km Team Time Trial (TTT) on day one of the UCI Road World Championships in Doha. 
Earlier in the evening - that saw riders thoroughly challenged by the strong winds - Dutch side Boels Dolmans overcame stiff weather resistance to nail the women’s TTT crown. 
Etixx from Belgium, winners in 2012 and 2013, emerged 11 seconds faster than BMC who were the champions in 2014 and 2015. Gaining momentum early following the start at Losail International Circuit, Etixx riders weaved their way with brisk pace before winding down at the spectacular Pearl island.
Orica-GreenEdge secured a podium finish on day one of the event, the first UCI worlds show in the Middle East. Team Sky finished fourth.
Etixx - managing an average speed of 56.426km/h - finished with a time of 42:32 seconds while BMC Racing Team was second 11 seconds slower. 
Orica-GreenEdge was 37 seconds adrift of the time set by Etixx while Team Sky (fourth) were 54 seconds behind. Team LottoNI-Jumbo (55 seconds) complete the top five teams.
The championship officially kicked off with only 10 squads out of 18 teams on the 18 WorldTour roster. With challenging conditions enveloping the starting point, Etixx clearly emerged as the fittest side on the day. With BMC the team to beat, Etixx switched to a four-rider strategy after 27km mark. 
Earlier Elizabeth Deignan, Evelyn Stevens and Ellen van Dijk brought cheer to Boels Dolmans’ camp with a commanding run despite crashes and pullouts for a number of other riders. It was Boels Dolman team’s maiden TTT win. Boels Dolman won in a time of 48:41 seconds. Defending champions Canyon-SRAM finished second. 
Canyon-SRAM - the German team closed the day 48 seconds behind Boels Dolmans’ winning time. Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling finished third to take the bronze medal (1:57 behind Boels Dolmans).
The day was marked by windy conditions and high temperatures with a number of teams witnessing riders going down during the 40km stage. In one instance, Anouska Koster crashed into the barriers.  
Evelyn Stevens - all set to retire from pro-cycling following this week’s UCI worlds - headed the charge for Dutch side Boels Dolmans.  At the 26km mark, Boels Dolmans chugged on like a steam engine, gaining lead with each passing kilometre. Canyon SRAM’s time trial champion Mieke Kröger signed out due to exhaustion as the German side left with only five riders.
In a shock pullout, Boels lost Christine Majerus Karol-Ann Canuel due to the rising mercury. However, the resolute Dutch side held their nerve to win with just four riders.