Fans make a race special. They add the colour, the spice. They make you laugh, shake your head and sometimes their dedication amazes you. It's not fair to grade them, travelling down from Finland deserves as much of a mention as nicking life-size Tom Boonen cut-outs from your local supermarket in Gent then taking them to Austria.
‘Il Grillo’ himself, Paolo Bettini, has completed his set of one-day honours with a brilliant victory at the Worlds in Salzburg. After a couple of attacks to get away, Bettini was in the right place at the right time, profiting from Spain’s attempt to set up Alejandro Valverde.
It has been a long week already for PEZ-Man in the trenches, Edmond Hood, but it's all been a mere prep for the big day: the Elite Road World Championship. After a refreshing night's rest, it was on to the big business of the biggest one-day bike race around.
A lady that loved the World Champ’s stripes so much she just had to have two candy striped jerseys this year took home the gold in the Women’s Road Race. Marianne Vos, this year’s World Cyclocross Champion and only 19 years old added another jersey to her wardrobe in a strong display in Austria today.
Today we will find out what the road course is really like, the under 23 men’s race usually starts fast to split things up and then slows down, the Pros/Elite race starts slow then gets faster, but looking at the hills there will be a big group sprint tomorrow.
No need for anything else in our headline today. Fabian Cancellara produced a scintillating ride to destroy the rest of the elite mens’ TT field. The CSC man, resplendent in his classic red and white national kit, put 90 immaculately precise Swiss seconds into the best of the rest.
It almost seems commonplace now, the World Time Trial Championship, but it was only a little over a decade ago when the first Worlds TT took place with a certain Boardman coming out on top. PEZ's Ed Hood is in Salburg and takes a look at the brief history of the Worlds Chrono and previews what's coming tomorrow.