2012 sees the team time trial introduced to the Worlds programme, with trade teams rather than national selections taking part. Chavanel is confident that Omega Pharma-QuickStep will prove competitive next Sunday, with the likes of Tony Martin providing real firepower.
“I’ve been looking forward to the team time for a long time,” Chavanel told L’Équipe. “Since I turned pro, I’ve always wanted to be in a team that goes well in time trials, and that’s been the case this year.”
In the individual time trial event, Chavanel is looking for redemption after a disappointing London 2012 Olympics. After winning the French time trial championship in June and performing strongly in the time trials at the Tour de France, Chavanel suffered mechanical problems in London and could only finish 29th.
“I’m not a pure specialist, but I want to take some revenge for the Olympics,” he said. “I had a problem with my equipment there – my rear wheel was touching my frame. I only realised it at the finish because there was no paint left at the point where it had been rubbing.”
Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) is set to lead the French team for the road race on September 23, and while Chavanel is also part of manager Laurent Jalabert’s plans, he insisted that he did not have any designs on leadership himself.
“I’m asking myself if it’s wise to ride all three events. Maybe I’ll need to make a choice,” Chavanel said. “There’s a designated leader in Thomas Voeckler, and that’s logical given what he did in the classics. There’s no rivalry between Thomas and me. I have a free role, Jalabert told me that.”
Chavanel is currently in Canada, where he finished 50th in Friday’s GP de Québec and lines up in the GP de Montréal on Sunday.