After the fall-out of Firenze-Pistoia, the Chrono des Nations is the only UCI Cat. 1.1 individual time trial left on the international calendar at the end of the cycling season. After competing the Tour of Lombardy, Philippe Gilbert, Alexandre Vinokourov, Thomas Voeckler, Maxime Monfort and Rubens Bertogliati will head to the west of France to race against the clock on the 48.5km course of Les Herbiers in the Vendée province on Sunday, October 18.
Belgium's Monfort and Bertogliati from Switzerland are amongst the national time trial champions lined-up for the event. Also racing are Raivis Belohvosciks (Latvia) who won the race in 2006, Andriy Grivko (Ukraine) who is the very last winner of Firenze-Pistoia, Alexander Wetterhall (Sweden) and France's Jean-Christophe Péraud, the Olympic MTB silver medallist who dominated Sylvain Chavanel in June and came 12th at the World's TT in Mendrisio. Tour de France stage winner Brice Feillu and Tour of Spain stage winner Anthony Roux are some of the participating French up-and-coming riders whose aim is to improve their time trial capabilities.
"I'm still hungry racing although the season has been long," said Gilbert, who scored for the third time in one week when he won the Giro del Piemonte on Thursday after the Coppa Sabatini and Paris-Tours. "I love the great cycling atmosphere of Les Herbiers. The crowd is usually very supportive, that's why I like to finish my season there. It's also a way for me to improve my time trial abilities." The Belgian finished sixth in the last time trial of the Vuelta a España. He targets a top five in the Chrono des Nations on Sunday.
The 2009 Chrono des Nations has registered 128 cyclists. Every race (Junior women, Junior men, U23 Men, Elite Women and Elite Men) will be contested by the French national champion for time trial in each category.
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