Top three against the rest
By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid
The top three that finished on the podium in Verona 2004 are the last three riders for Thursday's Elite Men's time trial in the 2005 World Championships: Alexandre Vinokourov (third), Michael Rich (second) and Michael Rogers (champion).
The Australian Michael Rogers will be the last to start at 16:24 local time, while the first man on road will be Argentina's Matias Medici at 13:00. Rogers is ready to do it again. He was the best in Italy last year, fourth in Athens 2004 and world champion in Hamilton 2003 after David Millar was disqualified.
Vinokourov is a top class rider, capable of the best against the clock and also ready to do battle in other fields. He was third in the two individual time trials in the last Tour de France in stage 1 and 20. The Kazakhstani should be among the top contenders, although his recent form is questionable after he missed the Tour of Poland due to visa problems.
The German Michael Rich is the other from the big trio. The veteran from Freiburg is also German champion against the clock. Let's see how he races this time trial in the capital of Spain, which suits a powerful rider.