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Cycling: Champions defend Team Time Trial honours

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Omega Phama-QuickStep and Specialized-Lululemon defended their Team Time Trial honours on the opening day of the UCI World Road Cycling Championships in Italy.

The Omega Phama-QuickStep team had to draw on all their powers to edge out Orica GreenEdge by just 0.81secs after 52.79km racing on a largely flat course that finished in Florence.

The Australians were the fastest through the final time check but the OPQ line-up, headed by world champion Tony Martin and Sylvain Chavanel, proved more adept through the tight and technical final few kilometres into Florence to pip their rivals.

Martin will now set himself to defend the individual time trial in three days when he will take on the likes of Fabian Cancellara and Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins, who took out the overall honours in the Tour of Britain today.

Meanwhile Team Sky, including Tour de France champion Chris Froome, were third 22.55secs behind.

The RadioShack Leopard team, including Kiwis Hayden Roulston and Jesse Sergent, were fifth overall, 1:18 behind the winners after averaging more than 52kph for the 52km test.

Lotto Belisol, based around their sprint train group including Kiwi Greg Henderson, were 13th fastest.

The German-based Specialized-Lululemon squad successfully defended the women's team time trial clocking 51mins 10.69secs, which was more than a minute clear of the Rabo squad with Orica-AIS grabbing the final spot on the podium to celebrate a strong day for the Australian team.

The British Wiggle-Honda squad, backed by Sir Bradley Wiggins and including Kiwis Linda Villumsen and Emily Collins, finished in sixth place 2:33 behind the winners.

The focus moves to the individual time trial starting tomorrow with four New Zealand riders in action.

James Oram (Auckland) and Michael Vink (Christchurch) will compete in the under-23 men while Devon Hiley (Auckland) and Madison Campbell (Christchurch) will race in the junior women.

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