The Belgian team won the titles in 2012 and 2013 but saw their dominance ended by BMC’s double in 2014 and 2015. A strong and disciplined ride in the heat of the Middle East, however, saw them regain the top spot on the podium.
BMC were never ahead on the 40km route between the Lusail Sports Complex and the Pearl Qatar island and would have needed to make up around seven seconds in the final few kilometres to wipe out the time gap.
Several of the favourites for the men’s individual time trial on Wednesday got an early look at the course, with Tony Martin (Etixx), Rohan Dennis (BMC), Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) and Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) expected to be among the top riders.
UCI World Championships men’s team time trial, Lusail – Pearl Qatar (40km)
1. Etixx-Quick Step (Bel), 42-32
2. BMC (Sui), at 11s
3. Orica-BikeExchange (Aus), at 37s
4. Team Sky (GBr), at 54s
5. LottoNL-Jumbo (Ned), at 55s
6. Movistar (Esp), at 1-11
7. Giant-Alpecin (Ger) at 1-26
8. Katusha (Rus), at 2-01
9. Astana (Kaz), at 2-21
10. Verandas-Willems (Bel), at 3-39