The UCI’s decision to axe the team time trial from the World Championships is “a disgrace”, according to the Quick-Step Floors boss.
The Belgian WorldTour team dominated the event since it was re-introduced in 2012, winning four of seven gold medals.
Quick-Step Floors won the 2018 UCI Road World Championships men’s team time trial on Sunday, taking the win ahead of defending champions Sunweb by 18 seconds.
“I think that it’s not a shame, but a disgrace,” Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere told Sporza.
“The UCI says that it is at the request of the teams, because not all teams take part. As a WorldTour team, you should not look for excuses, I think.”
Cycling’s governing body announced in May that the event would be eliminated from the Worlds after 2018.
The issue was the cost and effort that the teams have to make to reach the event, added to an already busy racing schedule.
In 2012 the event was debuted in it’s current format in Valkenburg, the Netherlands.
Only 11 of the 18 WorldTour teams took part in the event on Sunday, when Quick-Step topped Sunweb and BMC Racing.
The weaker TTT teams did not bother to attend. The remaining start list spots were occupied by professional continental teams and some local continental teams.
The event stands out in a week of national team events, but Lefevere’s strong Quick-Step team and others like BMC did not mind.
“We crown our team as world champion, and I attach great importance to that,” Lefevere said.
“Team Sky brings stronger riders to the start on paper, but a team time trial is also about cohesion, preparation and willpower, and we won with three of our riders younger than 23: Asgreen, De Plus and Schachmann.”
The win added to Philippe Gilbert’s comeback win on Sunday to give Quick-Step 69 for the 2018 season. Lefevere still searches for a big sponsor to augment his budget, however.
“Hopefully this world title will help, because it is not normal that we are still looking for a new main sponsor, but we will continue.”