West Australians Cameron Meyer and Luke Durbridge helped ORICA-GreenEDGE to a bronze medal in the team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Holland.
The six-man squad also included Kiwi cyclist Sam Bewley (NZL), Dutch pair Jens Mouris and Sebastian Langeveld and Canadian Svein Tuft. The Australian registered team averaged 49.9 km/h time over the 53 kilometre course to finish in a time of 1:04:07. That was 47 seconds off the pace of gold medal winners Omega Pharma-Quickstep who averaged just over 50 km/h to stop the clock in 1:03:17. Team BMC was a mere three seconds slower in second place.
"The boys were happy to earn a medal, but we came here to win," said Orica-GreenEDGE Sports Director Matt White. "We weren't good enough to take the win on the day. We gave it everything and executed our plan well, but two teams went faster."
At the first time split, ORICA-GreenEDGE remained within striking distance of the race win but gradually the gap widened.
"We needed to increase our general speed through the middle section," noted White. "There's not much else we did wrong. It was little details here and there that add up. Technique wise, I'm happy with how the guys rode."
ORICA-GreenEDGE crossed the line with four riders, the fourth of whom determines the team's time.
"We knew Sam Bewley had limited preparation coming off the track," explained White. "His job was to give 100% in the first 35 kilometres, and he did well with that. Jens Mouris is the biggest guy in the WorldTour, so we weren't counting on him getting over the Cauberg (final climb) with the group. Our time trial specialists -- Svein Tuft, Luke Durbridge and Cameron Meyer - gave huge turns towards the finish, and Sebastian Langeveld gave everything he could to match their efforts."
White is pleased to see the team time trial return to the Road World Championships.
"It's a great event," he said. "We haven't seen it at the world championships for 18 years, and it was only ever raced by nations. It was a good choice to bring back the event and showcase this particular discipline. We're proud to come away with a bronze medal in the inaugural trade team event."
Both Meyer and Durbridge will now turn their attention to preparation for the individual time trial on Wednesday when they will line up for the Cyclones, Australia's national team.