Tony Martin powered Omega Pharma-Quick Step to their second consecutive title in the team time trial as the road cycling world championships opened on Sunday.

Omega edged Orica Greenedge by a minuscule 0.81 seconds over the 57km route from Montecatini Terme to Florence, clocking 1 hour, 4 minutes, 16.81 seconds.

Sky, featuring Tour de France winner Chris Froome, finished third, 22.55 seconds behind.

Martin, the German who has also won the individual time trial at worlds the past two years, led a team that also included Sylvain Chavanel of France, Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland, Niki Terpstra of the Netherlands, Kristof Vandewalle of Belgium and Peter Velits of Slovakia.

BMC, with American standouts Taylor Phinney and Tejay van Garderen, finished fourth, and RadioShack with Swiss star Fabian Cancellara was fifth.

Repeat crown

There was also a successful title defence in the women's event, with the American squad Specialized-Lululemon winning again.

Lisa Brennauer and Trixi Worack of Germany, Katie Colclough of Britain, Carmen Small and Evelyn Stevens of the United States and Eleonora van Dijk of the Netherlands clocked 51 minutes, 10.69 seconds along the 43km route from Pistoia to Florence.

Dutch team Rabo, featuring Olympic and two-time road world champion Marianne Vos, finished a distant second, 1:11.09 seconds behind, and Orica-AIS of Australia was third, 1:33.83 back.

This is the second year the team time trial was held at the worlds, and it is the only event in the weeklong championship for trade teams. The other events are for national squads.

Monday's events are the individual time trials for junior women and under-23 men.

The championships conclude next Sunday with the featured elite men's road race.

Source: AP