fi'zi:k teams take silver and bronze at Worlds

The UCI Road World Championships are underway in Bergen, Norway, and it’s been a powerful start by teams riding fi’zi:k saddles. Events began on Sunday with the elite women’s team time trial, and it was a fine effort by fi’zi:k-riding FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope, who finished sixth behind winners Team Sunweb.

Then it was onto the men’s event, whose course also followed the 42.5km rolling route around Norwegian roads. Favorites included fi’zi:k-riding BMC Racing and Team Sky, led by Tour-Vuelta champion Chris Froome (fi’zi:k Antares R1).

But it was Movistar who took the early lead thanks to a sextet including time-trial specialist Alex Dowsett (fi’zi:k Arione) and Ion Izagirre (fi’zi:k Arione VS), who looked fully recovered from lumbar-spine surgery after crashing out of this year’s Tour de France.

That lead didn’t last, however, as the 13th team out of 17, Team Sunweb, stopped the clock at 47:50mins to ride into pole position. But Dumoulin and co knew they couldn’t rest on their laurels as Team Sky hit the course.

And the British outfit, that also included Geraint Thomas (fi’zi:k R1B shoes) and 2015 individual men’s world time-trial champion Vasil Kiryienka, started well, registering the fastest opening split. But after Thomas and Owain Doull (fi’zi:k Arione R3) dropped out, the team dropped back slightly to finish 22 seconds behind Sunweb.

That left Team Sky in second overall but that always looked under threat as two-time team time-trial champions BMC Racing Team, led by TT wizard Rohan Dennis (fi’zi:k R1B shoes), hit the course. And it looked like they’d make it three victories in four years as they hit the second intermediate checkpoint in first place. That lead was intact at the third checkpoint and a third world title looked likely. But in a nail-biting finish saw BMC drop back slightly to repeat last year’s second, just 0.08 seconds behind winners Sunweb, meaning Team Sky took bronze.

The championships continue Monday with the junior women and U23 men’s individual time trials, and run through to the finale next Sunday – the elite men’s road race.