World Championships Time Trial Preview

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

With many of the world’s best time trial riders not here, today’s field of 58 riders might lack some obvious picks but there are still plenty of contenders, if not for the rainbow jersey then for a medal. The race should be a battle between Germany’s Tony Martin and Spain’s Alberto Contador but the course is deceptively hard and a surprise is possible, especially with changeable weather forecast.

Here’s a look at the contenders, the course, TV listing times and a full startlist too.

Click to enlarge

Today’s 45.7km course is technical. It does not open up for long, often as soon as a rider hits top speed they must hit the brakes and then try to power up again. No steady power curve today, plenty of torque instead. The roads twist and turn, cornering skills matter and riders need to accelerate quickly out of each corner. A criterium race against the watch? Not quite but compared to last year’s course in Copenhagen, the Limburg route is hard.

The final climb of the Cauberg is a test of legs and brain alike. Riders need to get their pacing right so they have enough left to cope with the climb. It is not steep, it is not long but it’s just the place where riders need to judge their effort right to carry momentum uphill. Once a rider slows they will struggle to pick up pace and the long drag from the top of the climb to the finish line can also cost time.

Reigning world champ Tony Martin starts last and is an obvious pick. A powerful rouleur he is suited to the flat courses, see his dominating win last year in the worlds or his silver medal in the Olympics, gained after crashing out of the Tour de France with a fractured wrist. He can climb though and should be able to cope with the climb and rode almost all the Vuelta so he should come here feeling strong. The next pick is Spanish dancer Alberto Contador. The Vuelta winner is in great form and well-suited to the accelerations and climbs on the course. These two seem well ahead of the others.

Forecasting is always hard but bronze it’s especially awkward. Sweden’s Fredrik Kessiakoff has surprised with his time trialling this year and forget bronze, he could even win the race. He’s won when it mattered, first in the Tour de Suisse where he got selection for the Tour although he didn’t do well against the clock in the July, perhaps because he was fighting for the mountains jersey instead. He made amends, winning the Vuelta time trial three weeks ago, finishing ahead of Contador. How tired is he as he’s been riding hard since June? Tejay van Garderen managed to drop his team mates on the Cauberg last Sunday, he is clearly in good form and is probably my pick for bronze whilst compatriot Taylor Phinney also has a shot. The French media are tipping Sylvain Chavanel but he’s never reached this level before although his Tour prologue back in June was a sign. Others to watch for are Belgium’s Thomas de Gendt and his Vacansoleil-DCM team mates Gustav Larsson and Lieuwe Westra, so strong in the Tour of Denmark. Plus the likeable Marco Pinotti is always worth a cheer.

Weather: this matters today. Cool temperatures of 14°C (57°F) and a gusting wind of 20-25km/h from the west means seeking shelter from buildings, hedges and other features helps. It also means a headwind up the Cauberg and for the finish line too.

TV: 2.30-5.00pm Euro time, be sure to tune in for at least the last hour as Tony Martin is due in before 4.20pm.

Startlist
13:32:00 57 ALBOS CAVALIERE David AND
13:34:00 56 ASADOV Elchin AZE
13:36:00 55 OYARZUN Carlos CHI
13:38:00 54 LENGYEL Gabor HUN
13:40:00 53 BORGERSEN Reidar Bohlin NOR
13:42:00 52 KANG Jiyong KOR
13:44:00 51 HUTCHINSON Michael IRL
13:46:00 50 THOMSON Jay Robert RSA
13:48:00 49 ZOIDL Riccardo AUT
13:50:00 48 JURCO Matej SVK
13:52:00 47 SARAMOTINS Aleksejs LAT
13:54:00 46 RAGONESSI Jose ECU
13:56:00 45 KONONENKO Mykhaylo UKR
13:58:00 44 KRASILNIKAU Andrei BLR
14:00:00 43 KOREN Kristijan SLO
14:02:00 42 BEWLEY Sam NZL
14:04:00 41 WACKER Eugen KGZ
14:06:00 40 GRUZDEV Dmitriy KAZ
14:08:00 39 TAMOURIDIS Ioannis GRE
14:10:00 38 BODNAR Maciej POL
14:12:00 37 SMUKULIS Gatis LAT
14:14:00 36 FIRSANOV Sergey RUS
14:16:00 35 KONOVALOVAS Ignatas LTU
14:18:00 34 JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt RSA
14:20:00 33 TAARAMAE Rein EST
14:22:00 32 DE GENDT Thomas BEL
14:24:00 31 DOWSETT Alex GBR
14:26:00 30 MALORI Adriano ITA
14:28:00 29 KELDERMAN Wilco NED
14:30:00 28 KIRYIENKA Vasil BLR
14:32:00 27 BARTA Jan CZE
14:34:00 26 GUSEV Vladimir RUS
14:36:00 25 KANGERT Tanel EST
14:38:00 24 DYACHENKO Alexsandr KAZ
14:40:00 23 GRIVKO Andriy UKR
14:42:00 22 NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas LTU
14:44:00 21 FUGLSANG Jakob DEN
14:46:00 20 BRAJKOVIC Janez SLO
14:48:00 19 GRETSCH Patrick GER
14:50:00 18 VANDEWALLE Kristof BEL
14:52:00 17 ROY Jeremy FRA
14:54:00 16 MEYER Cameron AUS
14:56:00 15 SERGENT Jesse NZL
14:58:00 14 VELITS Peter SVK
15:00:00 13 LARSSON Gustav SWE
15:02:00 12 CASTROVIEJO NICOLAS Jonathan ESP
15:04:00 11 WESTRA Lieuwe NED
15:06:00 10 GRABSCH Bert GER
15:08:00 9 DURBRIDGE Luke AUS
15:10:00 8 CHAVANEL Sylvain FRA
15:12:00 7 TUFT Svein CAN
15:14:00 6 VAN GARDEREN Tejay USA
15:16:00 5 PINOTTI Marco ITA
15:18:00 4 KESSIAKOFF Fredrik Carl Wilhelm SWE
15:20:00 3 PHINNEY Taylor USA
15:22:00 2 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto ESP
15:24:00 1 MARTIN Tony GER

Evan September 19, 2012 at 11:02 am

contador’s insight: it “will be necessary to use high power” [1]

[1] http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/12889/Worlds-Contador-uncertain-how-hell-time-trial-outside-of-a-stage-race.aspx

The Inner Ring September 19, 2012 at 11:05 am

Er, thanks Alberto! Sadly he’s not always the best source of quotes.

Rooto September 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

Sorry to ask something so obvious, but is Wiggins still ill after dropping out of the TofGB? Or was he never picked due to the hilly course / fatigue / other reasons?

Salsiccia September 19, 2012 at 11:15 am

He said he didn’t want to ride it unless he was on top form, but he’s not, so he decided a few weeks ago to give it a miss. He’s riding the road race though IIRC.

Tom September 19, 2012 at 11:30 am

Sergent for Bronze!

The Inner Ring September 19, 2012 at 11:45 am

Why not? It’s open and he’s starting to get some good results.

Alex September 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Along the same ilk, I’m hoping Jonathan Castroviejo is in with a shot of a medal too

Dachs September 19, 2012 at 11:53 am

I think it’s for Contador. He might take extra satisfaction when the UCI give him the jersey.

Salsiccia September 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I ‘ve got a sneaky feeling he might do the double this week.

Salsiccia September 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Maybe not, then…

Still fancy him for the road race on Sunday though.

Ablindeye September 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Chavanel was going very well just before and then into the first week of the Tour but it all went pear shaped after he got sick and had to abandon. If he can get back to that peak maybe he can push for the podium given the course but admitedly it’s a big ask.

beev September 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm

One rider who i feel has been overlooked completely is Dr Hutch. Little over a week ago he set a national 25 TT record at an average speed of 52.75kph – which i think i’m right in saying is faster than the average speed of any World TT champ ever….

John September 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Not taking anything away from Dr. Hutch, but from what I understand that was on a course tailored to a record. With a downhill start, a longer out-leg than return-leg, with the return finishing before the now uphill drag comes into play. I bet he had the wind on the longer out-leg as well.

beev September 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm

agreed – the R25/3L course is somewhat “cheeky”. that said, his national record in the 10 from last month on a fair (but flat) course (V718) @ 54.4kph show he’s flying right now. the lumps of valkenburg will matter though, making it far tougher for him, but i still expect an excellent result is possible for him….

Tom September 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm

46th @ 5:22

beev September 20, 2012 at 8:39 am

Not far behind Sergent then (who had a dry course)….

El Gato de la Cala September 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm

TT is about who wants is the most (amongst the best, obviously) and from what Tony Martin is showing at the moment and from what he is quoted to say about the return of ex-dopers at the Worlds, he might be both mental and physically fired up, and ready for some serious suffering! AC is home-safe for the season with his brilliant La Vuelta win and will of course give it a go, but in terms of who wants it the most no one beats “Luftwaffe” today. GAME ON!

Bundle September 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I don’t see Contador winning… By the way, how is the order in that startlist decided

Jason September 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I’d say TV..

Big Mikey September 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Wow, Taylor Phinney is the new Poulidor. Two fourth places at the Olympics, and second in the World’s ITT.
Pretty safe to say that the kid might have a successful future…..

mhensen September 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm

+1

Patrick September 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm

he looked heartbroken at the end there, Tony Martin only further confirmed what a gentleman he is by his very generous praise of Phinney. A really entertaining TT today, and it was nice to see other riders have a chance to shine.

Patrick September 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Rob Hayles suggested (perhaps tongue in cheek) that Tony Martin was riding a 56 with 58 printed on it, any evidence of this?

rhys September 20, 2012 at 6:59 am

I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a 60 with a 58 printed on it. The way Panzerwagen rides with his mouth open reminds me of jet propulsion. Really glad to see him win today, I think he is a pretty positive person to be standing atop the podium. If anyone other than Fabian is going to win, I’m happy it was Tony Martin.
Any ideas on why the start list was so bare? A lot of ‘no-names’ in the top 10-15. The road race is going to be very interesting and I cannot wait to watch it.

Rob September 20, 2012 at 9:29 am

Such an awesome pic of Martin up there, perfect form! Well done too.

hoh September 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm

That ITT jersey is simply ugly. Do they have to have that huge stop watch? The icon could do with some redesign and the size is purely wrong.

No wonder Martin never actually wore it anywhere.

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