World Championships Time Trial Preview

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.

The Contenders
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.

Rigoberto Urán 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.

Tony Martin
Bradley Wiggins
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

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

44 thoughts on “World Championships Time Trial Preview”

  1. No love for Svein Tuft? He just absolutey crushed the flats during the TTT for Orica and the final climb does fall into his wheelhouse. He seems to be on form and could rate a top 10, maybe higher.

    Surely a 1 ring darkhorse, more so than Uran.

    • He’d be less of a surprise to me but his time will come, he was second in Périgueux in the Tour de France, won the Eneco Tour TT stage etc, twice second in Switzerland.

      Unless you’ve got him confused with Sam 😉

  2. Silly question perhaps, but why isn’t Cancellara riding? And a comment: it seems like the post makes it look like Martin is a category above Fabian in re. TTs. I always though it was the other way around…

    • Cancellara is focusing on the road race title, one of the few races missing from his palmares and one that he has repeatedly said he wants to win. As for Cancellara vs. Martin, Tony Martin has been the superior time trialist over the past 3 or 4 years as Cancellara has focused on classics and road racing. Its rare (Vuelta 2013 I think?) when Cancellara beats Tony Martin in a time trial these days.

      • So what I gather from this is that Fabian, when focusing on TTs was beating Tony more often than not. Now that he has focused on classics he still sometimes beats him in TTs….

          • Cancellara won ITT titles between 2006 and 2010, in 2009 and 2010 he has beaten Tony Martin at the Worlds, until then he had the upper Hand in other TTs (Grand Tours) as well. But Since 2011 Tony Martin is consistently faster than him and holds all world titles of that period.
            and since around 2010 cancellara shifted to the spring classics where he won a lot. Maybe Tony Martin will do the same thing later in his career? would be exciting.

          • Tony Martin has famously expressed zero appetite for the cobbles, Anonymous. Doesnt like them, has no desire to try to like them. Drives the like of Rolf Aldag madas he reckons Martin would be awesome at P-R.

          • “Tony Martin has famously expressed zero appetite for the cobbles”

            Not only that, he said he doesn’t really like riding in a group (!). That helps to explain why he prefers ITTs, solo breaks, or the front of the leadout train.

            His longtime TT personal trainer, Lars Teutenberg, also rode the TT today, finishing 48th (he was 3rd at the German national TT). And he’s older than Jens Voigt or Chris Horner.

  3. I am a bit concerned by 2 min intervals for the big favourites – high chance that there could be a bit of drafting going on. I recall one year where Larsson (and, I think Wiggins, who gave up in disgust?) was caught by Cancellara and promptly latched on for a medal. The distance is long enough for 2 mins to be insufficient.

    I am a bit disappointed that Durbridge isn’t in the form to compete. I thought he was seen as the “next big thing” in this area but is it just that he hasn’t been able to hold his form?

    • Durbo’s progress – or lack of – is a strange one. Supposedly the next big thing on the scene after winning the Worlds U23 TT title, and later on doubling up on the Aussie Nats TT and RR.

      But he’s stalled. Been overtaken by countrymen like Hepburn and Dennis, and by likes of Malori and Dumoulin

      • Durbridge has been a big part of the OGE TTT team which as everyone knows has been winning a fair bit, and has also raced 2 grand tours this year so his absence from the ITT perhaps shouldn’t be surprising.

    • I assume that there is no ‘no drafting’ rule, as there is in Triathlon?. Wouldn’t it be easy to add that to the rulebook, and then send them off at 1 minute intervals? I quite like seeing the top guys blasting past the non-experts (must be pretty demoralising tho… there you are, a top pro doing your bit, and Martin/Wiggins flies past like you’re moving backwards…)

      • There is but you’re better off spacing the riders out. In an event that can be decided by one hundredth of a second a rider having to pass a slower rider with the wrong line is having to complete a slightly longer course. Better to put more time so this is avoided.

      • There is a “no drafting rule”; art. 2.4.017-21.
        Basically you are not allowed to draft upon catching up or being caught , the car must be at leat 10 m. behind the rider and riders shall pass with a distance of at least 2 m.
        If drafting takes place, a time penalty is (should be) imposed based on the penalty schedule found in art. 12.1.041.

  4. I tried TM’s “slack jaw” the other day and it does seem to relax your head a bit more, even if the result is drooling on the bars.

    At the Vuelta he apparently he tucked his cable outer into the rear wheel lever.

    The road’s Master of Marginal Gains?

    • +1

      Another notch on an increasingly varied palmares. If he can time it right he is also in with a great shout of adding an Hour record. He’ll be dreaming of a Paris-Roubaix in 2015 to add a Monument to the list too, but I think that will end up being a step too far – I would back him to finish top-5 there, though.

  5. Another feather in Sir Wiggo’s burgeoning cap. What a palmares the man has!

    He’ll blitz the hour record next year – he and big Tony have the capacity to push it up over 54km I’d say. As for P-R, a bit of a lottery that one but of course he can win it – anyone who has managed a top 10 clearly has the ability.

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