This year’s race will hold its first ever time trial with a summit finish and it should be a corker. The course uses the first 90 per cent of the 2006 TT’s route but with a vicious sting in the tail – the 2.7km, 290m climb up Metcalf Road, averaging a leg-sapping 10.6 per cent.
A closer look at the terrain and weather reveals that this is really two separate time trials in one, and therein lies the dilemma. The first 29km are rolling or flat, then there’s that pesky climb. Then consider that the 12km to the base of the climb will most likely be ridden into a tough headwind and it is clear that aerodynamics will be as important as ever in a TT. But an aerodynamic bike and riding position aren’t ideal for climbing fast, especially on a steep slope.
Look for the top riders to make some very tough decisions, which might include a bike change, to get a maximum result in the TT.