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"Since we knew Rohan was our strongest guy, we had him set the pace and then it was up to the rest of us to decide how long of pulls we could do at that pace."

Photo: Sirotti






09.06.2015 @ 20:01 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The BMC Racing Team set the fastest time early in Tuesday's team time trial at the Critérium du Dauphine. But the reigning world team time trial champions had to wait more than an hour for 18 other teams to finish before celebrating the victory that also earned Rohan Dennis the race lead.

The BMC Racing Team was four seconds better than runner-up Astana Pro Team and five seconds faster than Movistar Team over the 24.5-kilometer course that started in Roanne and finished in Montagny. The BMC Racing Team's riders averaged 49 kilometers an hour.

Four riders from the BMC Racing Team's gold medal squad at the world championships in Spain last fall were part of the winning effort again: Dennis, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato and Tejay van Garderen. Joining them was Joey Rosskopf, Samuel Sánchez, Michael Schär and Dylan Teuns.

"Since we knew Rohan was our strongest guy, we had him set the pace and then it was up to the rest of us to decide how long of pulls we could do at that pace," van Garderen said. "We aimed for the winning pace and told the guys if you can hold it, you deserve to be there. If you can't hold it, then you are going to get dropped. We finished with the minimum amount of guys, but we had the best time."

This is Dennis's second time in the lead at the Dauphiné. Two years ago, he won an individual time trial to don the maillot jaune. Being first across the finish line did not come by design, he said.

"We didn't actually talk about who would go over the line first," the former world hour record holder said. "It was just whoever got there first. Tejay took over with 500 meters to go and I saw Dylan was just off the wheel. So I backed off and paced him back on. I just came at Tejay and Daniel and Joey and went past them, wanting to help them get to the line as quickly as possible."


However, Dennis took the jersey by virtue of his better stage placings in the first two stages, not by crossing the finish line first today.

Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said winning the stage completed the BMC Racing Team's No. 1 goal heading into the race.

"It is important, not just for the Dauphiné, but also for the Tour de France," he said. "It is very important for the morale. I think the guys have confidence now for the Tour. I think it is a good, good moment to win this team time trial."

Van Garderen, who is now into second overall behind Dennis, said the performance was as much about making a statement as it was about winning.

"When you are world champion in this event, you have to take it seriously every time," he said. "You definitely get nostalgic. But you are also out there to prove a point. We are world champions and we went out to show them why.


"To win is great, we've finished with five guys so we were definitely going to win it. This is the first big test of the Dauphiné. We'll also have kind of a sprint day tomorrow. Believe it or not, I feel ready to take up the challenge in the mountains. Today it's also a good warning shot ahead of the team time trial of the Tour de France."

Tuesday's victory was the BMC Racing Team's 13th of the season. Dennis was also the race leader at the Santos Tour Down Under on the way to winning that race overall in January.


Wednesday's stage, at 228 kilometers, is the longest of the eight-day race that finishes Sunday.



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