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Oct. 9, 2016 – Tony Martin gave Etixx-Quick Step a parting gift as he helped them claim the men’s team time-trial title at the World Championships in Qatar on Sunday, his last race for the Belgians.
AFP/Image: Yuzuru Sunada
Etixx won a tight race in a time of 42mins 32.39secs, just eleven seconds ahead of BMC to reverse last year’s result. Australia’s Orica-BikeExchange finished third with early race leaders Team Sky fourth.
“It’s really very emotional for me,” time-trial specialist Martin said afterwards.
“It was the last race for the team, they have been a family for me in the last five years and I knew it was a last chance to lead the team to a great victory.”
Martin, a three-time world champion, will join Katusha next year.
In the women’s event — held on the same flat 40 kilometer course from Lusail to the fringe of the capital Doha — there was another emotional ending as American Evelyn Stevens won a fourth team-trial world title in her final race, helping Boels Dolmans to victory.
Boels Dolemans, who also included reigning road race world champion Lizzie Deignan (formerly Armistead) and four-times world champion Ellen van Dijk, brushed away the opposition to finish the course in 48mins 41.62secs.
That was almost a minute ahead of their nearest rivals, Germans Canyon Sram Racing, with Americans Twenty16-Ridebiker third. It was a sweet end for Stevens, 33, who was also part of winning teams in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
“I came into this season knowing this was my last race, it’s nice to have a goal and it makes it very special to win,” she told AFP.
The woman’s race also featured a spectacular crash involving Anouska Koster from the Netherlands, riding for Raboliv, who ploughed into a barrier. T
he races were held in sweltering conditions, where the temperature reached as high as 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).
Prior to the championships beginning, organisers had announced they would consider shortening races because of the heat, though Sunday’s event went the full planned distance.