(Reuters) - Etixx-Quick Step, led by triple individual winner Tony Martin, upset defending champions BMC Racing to claim the team time trial gold medal at the world championships in Doha on Sunday.
The Belgian outfit, who won their third title since the event was created in 2012, clocked 42 minutes 32.39 seconds on a 40-km pan-flat course in searing heat, beating BMC by 11.69.
Martin and fellow German Marcel Kittel, Belgians Julien Vermote and Yves Lampaert, Dutchman Niki Terpstra and Luxemburg’s Bob Jungels produced a flawless ride on a technical course, finishing strongly.
Orica-Bike Exchange took third place, 37.12 off the pace.
Etixx-Quick Step made the fastest start, clocking 15:11 at the first intermediate check point, two seconds ahead of BMC Racing.
The American team, winners of the last two editions, were only seven hundredths of a second behind at the second check point but could not sustain the pace.
Team Sky, third at the first check point, dropped to fourth at the second and were eventually comprehensively beaten by Australia’s Orica-Bike Exchange for third place.
Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis