• QuickStep fought to victory in the team time trial at the 2018 world championships (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
QuickStep Floors proved the best after an eventful time trial at the 2018 world championships in Innsbruck.
By
Cycling Central

24 Sep 2018 - 8:50 AM 

Kasper Asgreen, Laurens De Plus, Bob Jungels, Yves Lampaert, Maximilian Schachmann and Niki Terpstra put in a combative ride in the last ever World Team Time Trial Championships for trade squads. 

Stopping the clock at an hour, seven minutes and 26 seconds after averaging 55.6km/h over the gruelling 62.8 kilometre course, QuickStep won the gold medal by 19 seconds over closest competitors Team Sunweb, with BMC a further second behind.

Things got off to a disastrous start for one of the pre-race favourites, with Ian Stannard (Team Sky) crashing on the first corner, with the British squad having to wait for him to rejoin.

Victorious in 2012 (Valkenburg), 2013 (Florence) and 2016 (Doha), Quick-Step Floors came in again one of the top contenders and rode with huge confidence as they left the start house in Ötzal. They posted the third-fastest time at the first intermediate, behind early pace-setters Mitchelton-Scott, before using the 4.6km climb averaging 5.6% which featured inside the last 20 kilometers to push their advantage, pulling back time from the teams which sat ahead on the leaderboard and blasting through the last checkpoint just hundreds of a second behind first place.

With speeds reaching over 100 kilometres an hour on the descent the team blitzed through the finish to take the hotseat. With three more squads left on the course, the waiting was long and tense, but as soon as the last outfit crossed the line, the Quick-Step Floors riders and staff erupted in joy knowing the victory was theirs and the result they got propelled the team in the history books, as the only mens squad to have won the crown on four occasions.

Niki Terpstra took a men's record 4th team time trial win, only behind Trixi Worrack who had claimed her fifth TTT title earlier in the day for Canyon-SRAM.

"When we heard that we were just third at the first split, I thought how was that possible, because I couldn't imagine someone could have rode faster, but we didn't panic, because we knew there was still a long way to the finish and plenty of road left to gain time," said Terpstra. 

"We smashed it on the descent and I think that made the difference at the end of the day. A huge thanks goes to Tom and Koen, who made sure we had a great preparation for this event, which led to these gold medals. It feels incredible to win the last edition, but it's a pity we won't have this race anymore, because it's really special."