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PONFERRADA Spain (Reuters) - BMC Racing beat pre-race favorites and holders Omega Pharma-Quick Step to claim gold in the team time trial at the road cycling world championships on Sunday.
BMC, with American Tejay van Garderen, Italians Manuel Quinziato and Daniel Oss, Slovak Peter Velits, Swiss Silvan Dallier and Australian Johan Dennis, set a best time of one hour three minutes 29.85 seconds on the 57.1-km course to beat Orica Erica by 31.83 seconds.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step (OPS), led by triple individual time trial champion Tony Martin of Germany, settled for third 35.22 off the pace.
They had won the first two editions of the event.
"It feels incredible. The team was confident but we were nervous coming into this," said Van Garderen.
"A couple of years ago, in 2012, we were two seconds off the win, so we have had that in the back of our minds for a couple of years now.
"We knew coming in that we had a strong team – it was just a matter of everything falling into place. We went out there, did our thing, stayed calm, and we delivered.”
"It was a boxing match," Orica Green Edge Canadian rider Skein Tuft was quoted as saying by www.cyclingnews.com.
OPS took a fast start, leading BMC at the first two checkpoints, but they could not sustain the pace.
Bradley Wiggins's Team Sky took fourth place, missing out on a podium spot by two seconds.
Team Sky were quickly reduced to four men after Salvatore Puccio and Geraint Thomas fell off the pace.
"Our plan was to ride hard from the start and we averaged 60 kph during the first 11km," said sports director Nicolas Portal.
"That showed a huge statement of intent but the effort meant Salvatore was dropped after the first checkpoint and Geraint fell off the pace shortly before the second.
"The four guys who remained did an amazing job over the rest of the course."
Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Lovell