What's Cool In Road Cycling

Roadside PEZ: 2018 European Time Trial Championships!

Roadside: The European championships on the track and road have been held in Glasgow, Scotland this last week. The big event will be the men’s road race on Sunday, but we sent Callum MacGregor the short distance from home to check-out the time trial as a warm-up for the weekend action. Roadside – Callum roamin’ in the gloamin’ wae a camera by his side!

A great Scottish back-drop for Victor Campenaerts to do the double

Roadside at the European time Trial championships was not a high octane event. The crowds were sparse when the race left Glasgow but the backdrop of the Campsie fells ensured a picturesque setting. The rolling roads an adequate test.

Not much flat and with a technical finish

The time trial, a test of individual strength and ability to suffer is an art, today’s championship saw only thirty-four men on the start sheet, chrono artists committed to their art.

I was solo at the roadside with Ed unwell and watching live on television. I could have done with his insight as I tried to figure out who was up on who. The field was slightly light on stars with neither Dutch world champion Tom Dumoulin present, likewise no Froomedog or Geraint. We’ll see who turns up for the road race on Sunday.

Victor Campenaerts, defending his title in the European Time Trial Championships by the narrowest of margins

The defending champion Victor Campenaerts was last man in a field of thirty-four. His effort was enough to retain his title by the narrowest of margins, winning by less than a second from Jonathan Castroviejo, the Spaniard a past winner who came so close to regaining the title.

Jonathan Castroviejo, Spain beaten by the narrowest of margins into silver

The podium was completed by the German Max Schachmann less than half a minute behind the winner.

Schachmann catches Bialoblocki for a minute, en-route to bronze

The course only really offered the opportunity to view the participants once. The start list appeared on the website mid evening the night before the event, which must have added to the riders stress levels if this was when they found out their start time.

The small number of riders setting off at minute intervals meant that the race would be over quickly, unlike time trials in the grand tours or indeed many British time trials where up to 120 riders can take to the start.

Roads closed everywhere and all day

Apparently the roads were closed from 2am and given the women’s race started at 09.00 and the men’s at 13.00 it seemed the organisers had overestimated the length of time the roads needed to be shut. Alternatively they could have run the races closer together and reduced greatly the disruption.

Gediminas Bagdonas, Lithuanian road and TT champ, first man off

The men’s field was not short of quality though and first man on the road Lithuanian champion in both time trial and road race Gediminas Bagdonas looked powerful.

The threat of rain having held off for him at least where I watched north of Torrance village. Third man off Tiago Machado, Portugal was looking smooth with Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar in hot pursuit.

Tiago Machado, Portugal

The Irishman Eddie Dunbar flew by and looked smooth but he would not be the Irishman in contention for a medal today.

Eddie Dunbar

Next up was Rasmus Quaade, Denmark storming after his German minute man Marco Mathias.

Rasmus Quaade catching Marco Mathias

Rasmus Quaade

Riders were appearing thick and fast and there was no time to check if the photos looked okay. Harry Tanfield was next along, looking super aero and giving his all but would finish outside the top ten.

Harry Tanfield

Victor De La Parte, Spain, Dylan Van Barle, Netherlands and Yoann Paillot, France were next along. Van Barle would finish tenth on the day after setting the early pace.

Victor De La Parte, Spain

Dylan Van Barle

Yoann Paillot, France

Yves Lampeart, the Belgian Road Champion, having a top year was next along. Looking good but I had no idea how he was compared to others. He would finish fourth only thirty seconds down. Moreno Moser was similarly looking very good but I figured he had lost time to Lampeart so wasn’t going to visit the podium today.

Yves Lampeart, the Belgian finished fourth just out of the medals

Moreno Moser, the Italian with the famous name and family heritage

Tobias Ludvigsson, Sweden was on it, having caught and passed minute man Ramunas Navardouskis.

Tobias Ludviggson, Sweden, out the saddle going for it

Navardauskas watches Ludviggson disappear up the road

Andrey Grivko, the cool Ukrainian flew by and looked like he was giving his all. None of these guys look like this was new to them, just what you would expect really.

Andrey Grivko, Ukraine, class on a bike

Swiss BMC rider Stefan Kung was next along in pursuing Austrian chrono man Mathias Brandle.

Stefan Kung, Switzerland 7th place

Matthias Brandle, Austria

Next along, Marcin Bialoblocki, the Polish rider based in Britain and on fire in domestic time trials. The tussle with Maximillian Schachmann, I thought was going Marcin’s way. Wrong! Caught for a minute and it wasn’t over yet! I couldn’t believe it. There was quality a plenty here today.

Schachmann, stage winner at the giro this year and fourth in the German time trial champs would be good enough for third on the day, taking bronze thirty seconds back.

Max catching Marcin

Not a team time trial!

We were into the final ten riders now and Martin Madsen, Denmark flashed by, with Alex Dowsett in hot pursuit. The British rider rock solid on the bike finished fifth only four seconds behind Lampeart. This was a close race.

Martin Toft Madsen, the Dane finished 11th

Dowsett heading for fifth place

Spain’s TT champion for the fourth time Jonathan Castroviejo was pushing hard and pulling faces. He was clearly on it and as a former winner he was looking to get that title back.

Castroviejo flying

The Dutch had Jos Van Emden looking for a medal but today he was a little off the pace finishing eighth and only three tenths of a second in front of Quaade. Incredible.

Jos Van Emden

Filippo Ganna, Italy twelfth on the day

Ryan Mullen, sixth place for Ireland

Ryan Mullen second last off had caught and passed Italian Filippo Ganni who had in turn caught and passed his minute man Alexis Gougeard, France.

Alexis on the Slick Factor, nice

Campenaerts on his way to defending his title

Taking a different line from all the other riders and confusing the photographer, Campenaerts appeared looking like he was up on everyone but I had no way of telling if this true at the time. As it turned out, he was, but by the narrowest of margins. An impressive defence of his title.

As a spectacle it lacked something, as a sporting test it was spot on. The riders arrival into Glasgow and at the finish would have lifted their spirits despite the wet conditions.

Looks like Russian rider, Alexander Evtushenko, didn’t want his picture taken

Roll on Sunday for the men’s road race.

European Men’s Time Trial Championships Result:
1. Victor Campenaerts (Belgium) in 53:38
2. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain) at 0:01
3. Maximilian Schachmann (Germany) at 0:27
4. Yves Lampaert (Belgium) at 0:31
5. Alex Dowsett (Great Britain) at 0:35
6. Ryan Mullen (Ireland) at 0:40
7. Stefan Küng (Switzerland) at 0:44
8. Jos Van Emden (Netherlands) at 0:55
9. Rasmus Christian Quaade (Denmark) at 0:56
10. Dylan Van Baarle (Netherlands) at 1:03.

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