The win completed a remarkable and unexpected double, after Sunweb’s women’s team won gold earlier in the day.
The team had already enjoyed an exceptional season, and many of the riders who have delivered their major successes were part of today’s line-up, including Giro d’Italia champion Tom Dumoulin, Tour de France green jersey winner Michael Matthews, and Wilco Kelderman off the back of his fourth place overall at the Vuelta.
Few however had singled Sunweb out as potential winners, especially given that they had never previously finished on the podium at the event.
It was clear the Dutch outfit were on a good ride when they posted one of the best times at the first intermediate checkpoint, slower only than Sky, Quick-Step Floors and BMC.
All three of those teams faltered further into the course, leaving Sunweb to claim the title.
Team Sky got off to a flying start, setting the quickest time at that first checkpoint, but suffered on the climb midway into the course with Geraint Thomas losing contact. Chris Froome eventually made the call to ride on without him after the remaining four had briefly held back, and the team missed his presence in the final kilometres.
BMC suffered similar problems when they too were reduced to just four riders. With a team’s time being measured by the fourth rider over the finish line, it was vital that the quartet remained together. But Tejay van Garderen struggled to hold his teammates’ wheels, forcing the other three to knock off the pace, ensuring Sunweb won by eight seconds despite being four seconds down on BMC at the final checkpoint.
The result prompted jubilant scenes on the hot-seat among the Sunweb riders, with the their nervous energy erupting into delighted hugs and cheering when BMC crossed the line with an inferior time.
UCI Road World Championships 2017: Men’s team time trial (42.5km)
1. Team Sunweb, in 47-50-42
2. BMC Racing Team, in 47-58-71
3. Team Sky, in 48-12-77
4. Quick-Step Floors, in 48-25-62
5. Orica-Scott, in 48-53-63
6. Movistar Team, in 49-09-65
7. Team LottoNL-Jumbo, in 49-10.00
8. CCC Sprandi Polkowice, in 49-34-47
9. Katusha-Alpecin, in 49-36-00
10. Bora-Hansgrohe, in 49-45-52
11. Astana Pro Team, in 50-06-21
12. Trek-Segafredo, in 50-40-03
13. Joker Icopal, in 50-58-51
14. Sangemini – MG. K Vis, in 52-52-48
15. Uno – X Hydrogen Development, in 53-00-16
16. Team Fixit.no, in 53-11-91
17. Team Sparebanken Sør, in 53-20-89