Champions who may never become world champions

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09/25/2013| 0 comments
by Neil Browne
Will Tony Martin and Philippe Gilbert renew their World Champion status or will surprise winners take the spotlight in Florence? Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com! Fotoreporter Sirotti

Champions who may never become world champions

The UCI is awarding rainbow jerseys at the Road World Championships this week, but there are some riders who deserve one regardless.

the World Championship road races where they were favorites, Indurain was expected to win the race against the clock that year. After all it was in the Tour de France time trials were the Spaniard carved out huge time gaps on his competition. So it was an easy bet that Big Mig would win the worlds in the time trial. But let's dig a little deeper to see who have never become World Champions, but really deserve to.

Canada is not exactly a country that springs to mind when discussing cycling. Sure they've had strong riders in the past like Steve Bauer, a third place finisher in the world championships and a silver medal winner in the Los Angeles Olympics. Ryder Hesjedal became the first Canadian to win the Giro d'Italia. However, there is one rider from the Great White North who deserves a world championship stripe: Svein Tuft.

For those who may not be familiar with the name, Tuft is cycling's equivalent of Chuck Norris. He's just a bad ass. I'm not sure if he does this anymore, but during the off-season the guy drops off the grid and goes into the backcountry to survive off of God knows what. He's ridden his bike across Canada to Alaska for crying out loud. I can't confirm this, but it's rumored that for 1,000 of the 4,000 miles of his trip to Alaska he actually rode on the back of a grizzly bear. It was at this point the bear died and Tuft skinned the hide of the animal to make a chamois as well as using the carcass to make jerky, his sole source of food for the remaining 3,000 freezing miles. At least that's what someone told me...

Regardless, take a look at his resume and don't tell me he doesn't deserve to win a world champion medal. He's a multiple winner of national championships and has delivered strong finishes in several WorldTour events. Tuft was part of the GreenEdge team time trial squad that finished in second place by .8 of a second to Omega Pharma-Quickstep on Sunday. Tuft was scheduled to also compete in the individual time trial later today, but citing exhaustion he has decided to not compete. Regardless, the guy rides like a Trojan and should receive a jersey emblazoned with a honey badger chewing on a cobra as a symbol of his bad-assness.

Another rider with huge cojones is Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel. You need a breakaway run down you reach for the race radio and call up Chavanel. If you're a professional rider there's one rider's butt you know well and that Chavanels' because more than likely you've been behind it or chasing it. If you see the baby blue of the Omega Pharma-Quickstep kit at the front of the peloton or in the break, chances are Chavanel is the one wearing it. Will he ever win a world champion rainbow jersey? Probably not. The French Worlds team will use him to chase everything down or get in the early break. That's not to say he

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