2010 Cycling World Championships Preview and Predictions
The UCI Road Cycling World Championships begin tomorrow in Geelong, Australia.
The UCI Road Cycling World Championships begin tomorrow in Geelong, Australia. The Under-23 men and the Elite women will compete in their time trials. This preview will concentrate on the Elite men's time trial and road race, which will take place on Thursday, September 30 and Sunday, October 3, respectively.
The Elite men's time trial will take place on a two-lap circuit that will total 45.8 km. The riders will begin the rolling course by going slightly downhill before tackling two short, steep climbs and a steep 120-m rise that will be the most challenging feature of the course. The descent will be a fast, 2.5-km one, and it will be followed by another short, steep climb. The riders will then make a rolling, slightly downhill descent before beginning a rolling but slightly uphill run to the start line to begin another circuit. Clearly, the rider who can best ration his energy over the whole course will win.
Who will that rider be? Fabian Cancellara is a nearly prohibitive favorite. In 2010, Spartacus, as the world's best time trialist is known in the peloton, has won the prologues of the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France. In addition, he won Stage 19 of the 2010 Tour de France, an individual time trial. Cancellara lost Stage 17 of the Vuelta a Espana, an individual time trial, and then withdrew, saying that he was not sure that he would ride the worlds because he lacked winning form.
On Monday evening, however, the Swiss star announced that he would defend his title in Geelong. That was bad news for the competition, particularly because Cancellara has additional motivation for competing in Australia: He will attempt to become the first four-time world time trial champion. Look for the defending champion to win gold for the fourth time.
Tony Martin (Germany) is the only rider who might be able to keep up with Cancellara. The German beat Cancellara in the individual time trial in the 2010 Tour de Suisse. In addition, der Panzerwagen , as he is known, won his country's time trial championship and the overall and Stage 7 (an individual time trial) of the 2010 Eneco Tour. Martin was right when he said that Cancellara was nearly unbeatable but that he (Martin) had a chance if Cancellara did not have his best day and Martin had a very good one. Last year's bronze medalist should take the silver medal this time.
Gustav Erik Larsson (Sweden), last year's bronze medalist, is Cancellara's teammate at Saxo Bank. In 2010, Larsson won the Swedish national time trial championship, Stage 21 (an individual time trial) of the Giro d'Italia, the overall and Stage 2 (an individual time trial) of the Tour du Limousin, and Stage 1 (an individual time trial) of the Tour a la Comunidad de Madrid. Last year's silver medalist will ride strongly and honorably. He will win the bronze medal.
The road race course will be 262.7 km long. The first 83 of these will be from Melbourne to Geelong, and they will be followed by 11 laps of a 15.9-km circuit. The key features of the circuit will be The Ridge, the summit of which is the race's highest point, and a second climb up to Aphrasia St. The second ascent will follow the descent from the first