WORLDS’19 Time Trial: The PEZ Preview
Worlds ITT Preview: The 2019 World cycling championships start this Saturday with the Para-Cycling International before moving onto the time trial events, all set in Yorkshire, North England. Ed Hood will be there ‘Roadside’ for all the time trial and road race action, but before he heads south, he has a good look at the course and main protagonists.
Fast-man against the clock – Jacques Anquetil
When I think about the Elite World Time Trial Championship, I always ponder how many of these titles Anquetil, Merckx and Indurain would have won between them, had this event existed, ‘back in the day?’ Perhaps 25, maybe 30 rainbow jerseys? But there’s no real red hot favourite this year; it strikes us as a pretty open race.
‘Big Ted’ does TT
By current standards it’s a long one at 54 kilometres over a spiky parcours from Northallerton to Harrogate with 684 metres of elevation it’s not one where you can drop it into the 11 and stare at the power meter; it’s a technical course as the riders’ first training rides will reveal.
Northallerton to Harrogate
Here are our dozen names to conjure with but there’s always a surprise, someone in good shape, still motivated and on a ‘plus’ day with great legs. But do remember that it’s a long season and more than a few riders will be looking forward to the off season, riding because the Federation needs them to protect Olympic slots.
Edoardo Affini [Mitchelton-Scott and Italy] a graduate of the SEG Racing Academy and last year’s Italian and European u23 Champion against the watch. He was fourth in his National Champs, third in the Euro TT, second in the BinckBank TT to compatriot, Filippo Ganna and won the time test in the Tour of Britain. Well worth watching.
Kasper Asgreen [Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Denmark] second in de Ronde tells it’s on story of this man’s talent and he rides a strong time trial; he wears the National Champions jersey in the TT and was second to Evenepoel in the Euros as well as second to Lampaert in the Suisse Tour TT.
Paddy Bevin [CCC and New Zealand] was second to Roglic in the Spanish Tour chrono, having won the National Title way back in the Southern Hemisphere summer – a podium is possible, that Vuelta result will have been a major boost to his morale.
Victor Campenaerts [Lotto Soudal and Belgium] is not the same raging bull who won the 2018 Euros time test in Glasgow. Yes, he took the Hour record but that would have used up a lot of motivation and that disastrous TT in the Giro which was his but for an appalling bike change after mechanical problems, which gifted victory to Roglic didn’t help his head either. He finished a disappointing fourth in his National TT Championship, was DNF in the Road Nationals on June 30th and hasn’t finished a UCI race since. But it would be disrespectful not to mention last year’s bronze medallist and he just might be prepping for it in a yurt out on the Steppe?
Rohan Dennis [Bahrain-Merida and Australia] another man who has vanished, DNF on Stage 12 of le Tour then . . . nada. The man who can wear the rainbow jersey in time tests until Wednesday climbed off the day prior to his speciality stage amid stories of his discontent with his team’s approach to time trials, in particular his ‘materiel’ as they say on the continent – specifically his bike and clothing. Has he been in a monastery with just a watt bike and a connection to the Australian Institute of Sport – and Merida’s top aero dynamists working around the clock? We’ll know come late afternoon, Wednesday.
Remco Evenepoel [Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Belgium] not yet 20 years-old but a Classic winner and European Time Trial Champion. ‘No further questions, Your Honour.’ But the Euros were over 22.4K; and 54K is a long way for a young man, but I’m the one who said Pogacar would fade in the last week of the Giro. . .
Filippo Ganna [Ineos and Italy] the three time World Individual Pursuit Champion gets a little better each year – and he’s still only 23 years-old. Winner of chronos in the BinckBank Tour and La Provence as well as his National TT Title he was fifth in the recent Coppa Sabatini; very classy but again the distance may prove a stumbling block.
Chad Haga [Sunweb and USA] that Giro TT win showed he knows how to get it right on the big day, that ride apart he has no real TT palmarès but the course will suit him and he didn’t win that test in Italy because he’s a dud.
Stefan Kung [Groupama-FDJ and Switzerland] another former pursuit champion of the world and a big, strong, classy guy. Reigning Swiss TT Champion, in the last few days he’s won the tough Tour du Doubs in France and taken the time test in the Tour of Slovakia – he’s ready.
Yves Lampaert [Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Belgium] another of Patrick Lefevere’s ‘Men in Blue,’ the versatile Belgian won the time test in the Suisse Tour, was second in his National Championship TT to Wout Van Aert and second to Kung a few days ago in the Slovakia TT. And he’s a man for whom the distance will hold no fears for.
Primoz Roglic [Jumbo-Visma and Slovenia] except for the Giro (two time trial wins), where he was third, he’s won every stage race he’s ridden this year: UAE, Tirreno, Romandie (two time trial wins) and the Vuelta (time trial win). If he’s recovered from la Vuelta he should win it but the Spanish race will have used up a lot of adrenalin and he might well still be tired.
Geraint Thomas [Ineos and GB] has announced that he will not participate in the Worlds time trial on Wednesday: “I’ve tried to get back into shape after my post-Tour break, but unfortunately I don’t feel in good enough shape to perform my best. So, the decision was made with my coach and [team coach] Matt Brammeier at British Cycling to skip the TT and commit to the team for the road race,” he said in a British Cycling press release.
2018 UCI Road World Championships – Men Elite Time Trial
Some would say you should be drinking a ‘room temperature’ Real Ale as you watch – I’m not one of them. . .
# PEZ will not only be roadside but behind the scenes, in the pits at Northallerton to bring you the best pictures and gossip. For live action go to SteephillTV. #
It was November 2005 when Ed Hood first penned a piece for PEZ, on US legend Mike Neel. Since then he’s covered all of the Grand Tours and Monuments for PEZ and has an article count in excess of 1,700 in the archive. He was a Scottish champion cyclist himself – many years and kilograms ago – and still owns a Klein Attitude, Dura Ace carbon Giant and a Fixie. He and fellow Scot and PEZ contributor Martin Williamson run the Scottish site www.veloveritas.co.uk where more of his musings on our sport can be found.