Tony Martin versus the World? Last year he was so fast his average speed was superior to many of the teams in the team time trial event. His win seems certain, cycling’s answer to cosmological constant.
But if time trials rarely make for good TV new production techniques are helping and even with old school broadcasting there’s a race on for the other podium places.
The Route: 47.10km. It’s held a mix of the team time trial course, some new roads and the road race circuit. There is one steep descent, you can spot it on the profile above and you’ll see it on TV with the road dropping to the dam with a short tunnel just before the lake. But overall there are few surprises. The majority of the course is on wide roads and given riders have had plenty of time to check the course they should be able to pick their line to perfection.
Tony Martin is the obvious choice, as if the only uncertainties relate to the margin of victory and who will stand next to him on the podium. It might seem boring but that’s the price of excellence as he tries to take his fourth rainbow jersey. Martin’s win is probable but not certain.
Bradley Wiggins is the next pick. He’s got the experience needed for long distance and even if he’s heavier these days, still suited to the final climb. The Briton could and should repeat his visit to the podium from last year especially as Fabian Cancellara isn’t riding. Can he win? If needs equalled performance perhaps the Briton is the hungrier, especially if his contractual position is still up for negotiation.
It’s the third pick that’s harder. Rohan Dennis has never won a solo time trial at the pro level but he’s finished second eight times and was close in the Vuelta. Adriano Malori won that Vuelta stage and has had a solid season on the road and his Movistar team mate Alex Dowsett has come into form late in the season. Tom Dumoulin is having a great season too and could one day be World Champion when Tony Martin surrenders the crown, the 23 year old’s time will come as time trialling is a skill that can be improved over the years. Tejay van Garderen is the final pick of podium possibilities, he’s already got a medal and has the ability to thrive on this long course.
would be a higher pick but illness pushed him out of the Vuelta so there’s a question mark and he’d prefer a hillier course too isn’t starting. Sylvain Chavanel is a stealth pick, nobody seems to be talking about him but a medal is one of his objectives this year and he’s in form with a second place finish in the Tour of Britain’s time trial. More stealthy is Rasmus Quaade, the Dane surprised last year but he’s back in form and if this course is a little more hilly, it’s still one for the power riders and his success has been no fluke, he’s reigning Danish champion now, aged 24. A more experienced contender is Jan Bárta, was third in the Périgueux time trial of the Tour and fourth recently in Britain. Another heavy-set TT specialist is Svein Tuft, the Canadian’s one of the strongest specialists in the world but often comes up against someone stronger; his glory in the Giro was a deserved moment. Last but not least, Sky’s Vasil Kiryienka is in good condition and he should make the top-10 and possibly much better.
|Adriano Malori, Tom Dumoulin, Rohan Dennis, Tejay van Garderen|
|Alex Dowsett, Sylvain Chavanel, Jan Bárta|
|Quaade, Kiryienka, Tuft|
Weather: the tables from the race shows the forecast for the last rider, there’s little change expected during the day.
TV: the UCI are using geo-location and GPS technology to help place and time riders on the course. It’s for TV purposes rather than official chronometry but if used well could help tell us more about what’s happening on the course rather than wait for the intermediate checkpoints.
As for the channel it’s very dependent where you live. Look up what is local to you on the PDF on the UCI website which has provisional listings and if it’s not on TV you can follow via the UCI Youtube channel or find a link from cyclingfans.com.
Here are the start times (CET), it’ll take an hour or less for them.
44 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus) 14:56:00
45 Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark) 14:58:00
46 Andrew Talansky (United States) 15:00:00
47 Dario Cataldo (Italy) 15:02:00
48 Matthias Brandle (Austria) 15:04:00
49 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain) 15:06:00
50 Svein Tuft (Canada) 15:08:00
51 Rasmus Quaade (Denmark) 15:10:00
52 Kristof Vandewalle (Belgium) 15:12:00
53 Maciej Bodnar (Poland) 15:14:00
54 Sylvain Chavanel (France) 15:16:00
55 Alex Dowsett (Great Britain) 15:18:00
56 Jesse Sergent (New Zealand) 15:20:00
57 Tejay van Garderen (United States) 15:22:00
58 Jan Bárta (Czech Republic) 15:24:00
59 Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) 15:26:00
60 Rohan Dennis (Australia) 15:28:00
61 Adriano Malori (Italy) 15:30:00
62 Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) 15:32:00
63 Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) 15:34:00
64 Tony Martin (Germany) 15:36:00