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Heavy rain forecast for the men's world championship road race

Stephen Farrand
September 29, 2013, 02:30,
September 29, 2013, 03:30
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, September 29, 2013
UCI Road World Championships, Elite Men road race
Heavy rain may play a role in determing who wins the elite men's road race world championship on Sunday

Heavy rain may play a role in determing who wins the elite men's road race world championship on Sunday

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Sciandri: "Racing on wet roads will make the race so much harder"

This year's UCI Road World Championships have enjoyed warm, dry conditions so far but heavy rain, thunder and lightning is forecast for much of the day on Sunday for the elite men's road race. Forty-five minutes of rain is expected to fall mid-race, with forecasters claiming there is a 95 percent probability of inclement weather.

The effects of the conditions on the outcome of the 272km race could be devastating, ruining the chances of success for many but boosting those of the likes of Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) who excel in the rain thanks to their excellent bike handling skills.

BMC sports director and former Great Britain Under 23 national coach Max Sciandri lives close to Florence and predicts that rain will have a major influence on the road race.

"We don’t often get rain that falls all day in Tuscany, it'll more likely be showers with possible thunder and lightning. Whatever happens, it'll make the race much harder and affect the chances of several riders," he told Cyclingnews.

"People like Peter Sagan and Fabian Cancellara will be okay and probably even like the conditions. I think it also lifts Vincenzo Nibali back up the list of favourites. He's a great bike handler and will be a lot more comfortable on the circuit.

"However it could affect people like the Spaniards and the Colombians who are used to racing on dry roads and the sun. It could also affect Gilbert's chances. I'd also say rain would be a huge blow for someone like Pozzato. I don’t honestly think he's on form anyway and don't think he will do anything."

Sciandri tips Fabian Cancellara to win, whatever the conditions.

"People in the peloton are saying he's very strong and very determined. When he's like that, he's almost unbeatable," Sciandri warned.

HappyJoe More than 1 year ago
Cancellara must stay upright, even though he is a great bike handler. His crash in the Olympics was careless and cost him certain victory there. Patience will win this race, it's awful long and any efforts made before the final lap will weaken a rider. Cancellara, Valverde, Sagan, winner from these 3! It's a classics course not a climbers course, so no Quintana or Froome or Contador. Look for the Tour of Flanders and Lombardy riders to shine.
rocket man More than 1 year ago
It sounds like the rain dance Nibali has been doing for the last couple of weeks has paid off!
kevinzamora More than 1 year ago
Hope that rain falls during the whole last lap so that Nibali has a little chance on the descent and make the race good to watch!
Dry Booger More than 1 year ago
Yes, but Nibali has to distance Sagan uphill. Downhill it is almost impossible to shake off Sagan, They are ex-teammates from liquigas, they know each other well and usualy they distanced peloton downhill together. Sagan is verry succesful ex MTb and cyclocross rider with an excellent bike handling skills.
kubla khan More than 1 year ago
This will be an amazing race, anyone know where I can watch it? (online)
BadScreenWrtr More than 1 year ago
Try cyclingfans - 3w in front and then the usual ending. My post will be blocked if i provide the direct link unless I'm one of those spammers who seem to post ads with impunity. Cycling fans has links to web streams, but some are geo restricted. Good luck!
Rossco8 More than 1 year ago
yes, cycling fans on Facebook or on the web is the go to place for links, videos and photos.
BadScreenWrtr More than 1 year ago
Also try Steephill( )tv there's feed that's not geo restricted for America there. I hate the announcers NBC Universal Sports bring in with there soap salesman voices. They call races by the color of the Jerseys they see because they're absolutely ignorant and can't recognize most of the riders in the pro-peleton. On uTube UCI channel has the excellent Anthony McCrossan. That just a recap though.
maplethedog More than 1 year ago
Actually, Todd Gogulski does commentary in Universal and is very knowledgable, I have grown to enjoy his analysis...
BendGoat More than 1 year ago
I think people are forgetting that the Brits and the Italians are going to be flying for the first two hours. Then, after all that, the riders will climb 9,000 feet on the circuits. This is going to make Angliru look like a ride to the ice cream shop. This is the hardest course since Sallanches and Duitama.
BigBoat More than 1 year ago
Yeah a tough course indeed....would be insanely tough to ride the full distance route by yourself with no draft and no team cars to hang on to!
barn yard More than 1 year ago
nibali/rodriguez/valverde - too much climbing for fabu imo
Pedal Pusher More than 1 year ago
Sciandri didn't mention one of the BMC riders who rides well in the rain - Evans - and that he is part of a very strong 9 rider team - not to mention Evans win at Mendrisio which is course not too different to this year's course. Does this say something about Evan's lesser importance at BMC. Spanish & Italian teams notorious for being poorly organised. Sagan less chance if its wet. Maybe Cancellara but don't right off Evans or even another Aussie rider.
WilGirod'Italia More than 1 year ago
Pedal Pusher: I suggest you take a look at which team has won the most medals in the Worlds road race.... I think you'll be surprised... Today the race will pass by the cemetery where the late Franco Ballerini is buried - he's one of the main reasons for the Italian successes in the past decade.
Pedal Pusher More than 1 year ago
In the last 4 years there has been no Italian on the podium. Then look at the Italian riders, (Ballan, Bettini, Cunego, Paolini, Cipollini, Bartoli, Pantani) ,who made podium between 1995 and 2008. All have been linked to the use of PED's, doping or illicit drugs. Not sure that equates to a decade of Italian success!
WilGirod'Italia More than 1 year ago
If you want to discuss about cyclists who've been LINKED to PEDs, from any nationality, we can stay here all day long. Tactically the Italians have traditionally been able to ride as a team and maximise their chances of success - Chris Boardman on BBC, not an Italian fan as me, was saying precisely that yesterday about both the men and women team. With some notable exceptions of course, like 2001.
Pedal Pusher More than 1 year ago
So what - doesn't change the response to your comment - the Italian riders who made podium between 1995 and 2008 were ALL linked to the use of PED's, doping or illicit drugs. Not sure any other country was successful at cheating as Italy!
Pedal Pusher More than 1 year ago
But if Pinotti won that would be great - amazing cyclist and super guy - would be great to see him the rainbow jersey
Pedal Pusher More than 1 year ago
Despite being towed after crashing Nibali did not podium not did any Italian rider - I rest my case - Italian teams tend to stuff up tactics! How great that a Portugese rider won and a super ride for Simon Clarke who rode without a team mate for most of the race and took 5th place.
maplethedog More than 1 year ago
Evans has no chance against this field.
Pedal Pusher More than 1 year ago
Until he crashed,. (like 50+ other riders and abandoned he was doing well). And Yeh - he has beaten many in this field several times!
ellenbrook2001 More than 1 year ago
the one going too win his the one going to used his brain in a such hard circuit every extra doing will pay a the end just go with the flow every laps the peloton will become only a 12 men so just follow then see what happen the last 2 laps or the last one on the last hill they will sprint to the top only the strongest will survived hope wont be a sprint finished but if rain grrrr that will spoil the race.
Shallves More than 1 year ago
And the winner of the "Stating the bleeding obvious" award goes to Sciandri for this little chestnut. "Racing on wet roads will make the race so much harder"
Sean Hanna More than 1 year ago
Oh no, rain! Froome has just lost a valuable lieutenant on the very first downhill corner then, eh Mr. Wiggins?
Pedal Pusher More than 1 year ago
Yes yes yes - and the question is will Sir Brad chuck a wobbly, throw his bike and jump in the team car if it starts to rain hard!
Pedal Pusher More than 1 year ago
Yes he did.....he abandoned once it rained!