2013 UCI World Championship ITT preview

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The 2013 edition of UCI Road Cycling World Championships is currently underway in Tuscany, Italy. This year’s men’s individual time trial, held tonight Melbourne time, looks set to be a hotly contested affair where a few rivalries will be settled. At least for now.

The World Championships are back in Italy after five years. Last time the event came to Italy it was held in Varese and Bert Grabsch was the champion against the clock in the absence of Fabian Cancellara. In that era, Cancellara was the undisputed king of time trial but things have changed since then. Cancellara has lost some power and the likes of Tony Martin and Bradley Wiggins have come to the fore.


The profile of the 57.9km long course looks straightforward barring a short climb to Serravalle Pistoiese right at the beginning. It is meant to be blisteringly fast which will suit heavier time trialists who can generate enormous power over long durations. The map further indicates that the course is largely free of tight twists and turns and was designed with the fast rouleurs in mind.


The starting point, the Montecatini Terme district in the province of Pistoia, is famous for its spas. In the first section of the route, the race heads towards the Tuscan town of Pistoia following the A11 highway. When the route hits the town in the latter part of this section, we will see couple of tight corners but nothing too difficult to disturb the pace.

In the middle section, the race moves on to the SR66 going towards Florence. Along this road, we should be able to see the beautiful scenery of the Tuscan countryside. The riders will have no time to appreciate their surroundings though and will look to generate high watts over this long straight section. Crosswinds could also play a big role in this exposed section.


In the final section of the route, the riders will enter the city of Florence and will have to negotiate a few speed humps, cobbled patches and tight corners. Some time can be made up here with good bike-handling skills but most damage will be done in the middle section of the course and that is where power riders will come into picture.

The contenders

Fabian Cancellara won his first UCI World time trial championship as a junior in 1998 at Valkenburg. Over the years, he has displayed his talent against the clock by winning Grand Tour prologues, time trials and four rainbow jerseys. But things changed in 2011 when Tony Martin dethroned Cancellara and became the World time trial champion, taking his first of the two rainbow jerseys.

In 2011 Martin had already beaten Cancellara against the clock at the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. He capped off a stellar season by repeating the feat at the World Championships held at Copenhagen where Fabian missed out on the silver medal after overshooting on a corner. But Cancellara is once again on the rise and has beaten Martin in the past few weeks, in the 38.8km time trial at the 2013 Vuelta a Espana.

Worldchampionships  TT Elite men 2012

Bradley Wiggins was second in the 2011 time trial World championship and will once again look to spoil the duel at Florence. Wiggins has had a patchy year after winning the Tour de France in 2012. He has recently won a short time trial stage at Tour of Britain (and the general classification) but it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to match it with Martin and Cancellara.

He won a gold medal in the discipline at the 2012 London Olympics by beating Martin but this year it will be very difficult for him to upstage either of Cancellara or Martin. Apparently, Wiggo has beefed up considerably over the last few months to increase his ITT chances at the Worlds.


Alex Dowsett surprised everyone when he won the 54.8km time trial stage at this year’s Giro d’Italia beating an out-of-sorts Wiggins by a margin of 10 seconds. Dowsett has also won the British national time trial for the last two years and will definitely give it a proper go at Florence against the big boys.

Taylor Phinney finished second in the 2012 World Championship behind Tony Martin but the young American has not been in similar form this year. He hasn’t raced as much and will be fresher than others at Florence. This and his growing belief make him a dark horse for the rainbow jersey.

Sylvain Chavanel is the French national time trial champion and also winner of a few time trials in smaller races throughout the season. He will be foregoing the road race for a full tilt at the time trial. Chava certainly doesn’t lack a fight and his devotion to this event surely makes him one to watch out for.

Stage 5 of the Eneco Tour 2013

Richie Porte has always been a good time trialist. This year he won the individual time trial on the uphill Col d’Eze route at Paris-Nice. Another victory came in the prologue of Criterium International where he bettered the time set by the likes of Chris Froome and Tejay Van Garderen. He doesn’t normally fare as well over longer routes and it will be interesting to see how he performs at the Worlds.

Marco Pinotti is probably in his last season of road racing and the Italian time trial champion will like to go out with one last hurrah. His recent form has been hampered by injuries and is not expected to trouble the favorites. But Pinotti will look to perform on his home soil while wearing the tricolore.


79. Herbert Mugwanya (UGA)
78. Gustavo Mino (PAR)
77. Nazir Jaser (SYR)
76. Tiago Machado (POR)
75. Jose Ragonessi (ECU)
74. Hyeongmin Choe (KOR)
73. Nikolay Mihaylov (BUL)
72. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ)
71. Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU)
70. Ahmed Elbourdainy (QAT)
69. Patrick Gretsch (GER)
68. Serghei Tvetcov (MDA)
67. Ioannis Tamouridis (GRE)
66. Aleksejs Saramotins (LAT)
65. Meron Russom (ERI)
64. Samuel Pokala (FIN)
63. Andrei Nechita (ROU)
62. Andriy Vasylyuk (UKR)
61. Uri Martins (MEX)
60. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (ESP)
59. Kristijan Koren (SLO)
58. Mykhaylo Kononenko (UKR)
57. Matej Jurco (SVK)
56. Gert Joeaar (EST)
55. Nelson Oliviera Simoes Santos (POR)
54. Reinardt Janse Van Renseburg (RSA)
53. Spas Gyurov (BUL)
52. Zhupa Eugert (ALB)
51. Jiyong Kang (KOR)
50. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS)
49. Maciej Bodnar (POL)
48. Sam Bewley (NZL)
47. Rogers Balikudembe (UGA)
46. Gediminas Bagdonas (LTU)
45. Elchin Asadov (AZE)
44. Cavaliere Albos (AND19840731)
43. Riccardo Zoidl (AUT)
42. Rafaa Chtioui (TUN)
41. Kanstantsin Siutsou (BLR)
40. Jay Thomson (RSA)
39. Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)
38. Vladimir Gusev (RUS)
37. Segundo Navarrete (ECU)
36. Rohan Dennis (AUS)
35. Nicolas Roche (IRL)
34. Matthias Brandle (AUT)
33. Bert Grabsch (GER)
32. Leandro Messineo (ARG)
31. King Cheung (HKG)
30. Carlos Ivan Guinez Oyarzun (CHI)
29. Daniel Teklehaymanot (ERI)
28. Muradjan Halmuratov (UZB)
27. Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ)
26. Alex Rasmussen (DEN)
25. Kristof Vandewalle (BEL)
24. Reto Hollenstein (SUI)
23. Rafael Abreu Infantino (COL)
22. Jeremy Roy (FRA)
21. Gustav Larsson (SWE)
20. Jan Barta (CZE)
19. Niki Terpstra (NED)
18. Bob Jungels (LUX)
17. Jesse Sergent (NZL)
16. Thomas De Gendt (BEL)
15. Lieuwe Westra (NED)
14. Alex Dowsett (GBR)
13. Rasmus Christian Quaade (DEN)
12. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL)
11. Andrew Talansky (USA)
10. Vasil Kiryienka (BLR)
9. Marco Pinotti (ITA)
8. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (ESP)
7. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA)
6. Richie Porte (AUS)
5. Adriano Malori (ITA)
4. Taylor Phinney (USA)
3. Bradley Wiggins (GBR)
2. Fabian Cancellara (SUI)
1. Tony Martin (GER)


Rain could play a key role in deciding the outcome of the time trial. Although most of the route lacks any tight twists and corners the final few kilometres are rather tricky and wet roads could be a factor in winning or losing. Currently, there’s no rain predicted and its supposed to be rather warm but it could all change quite dramatically on the day.


The men’s individual time trial at the world championships will be broadcast tonight on Eurosport (Foxtel channel 511) from 7:15pm (AEST) and from 10:30pm on SBS2. SBS will also be streaming the event live on its website from 8:50pm (AEST).

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