Latest from UCI Road World Championships 2018
2018 UCI Road World Championships Overview
The 2018 UCI Road World Championships will take place in Innsbruck, Austria, and are set to be one of the hardest in recent years. As ever, there will be 12 gold medals and 10 rainbow jerseys on offer over the nine days of competition between September 23 and 30.
Kicking off the competition will be the women's and men's team time trials, which are set to be the last ridden by trade teams – at least for the foreseeable future. Team Sunweb dominated the competition last year, winning both the women's and men's events, and have again named strong teams for both events this year, with Ellen van Dijk and Tom Dumoulin set to headline their line-ups. Both of the courses for this competition will be considerably longer than what we saw in Norway.
The junior and under-23 individual time trials will showcase the developing talent before the elite women's and men's events on Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26, respectively. In Bergen, 12 months ago, Dumoulin took a second gold medal with a commanding performance. He will be back to defend his title but the other two medallists, Primoz Roglic and Chris Froome, will not be there. However, there will be some stiff competition from the likes of Rohan Dennis.
The Dutch also dominated the women's competition with Annemiek van Vleuten taking the title and Anna van der Breggen in second place. The pair, along with Van Dijk, will be looking for an orange clean-sweep in Innsbruck. With their performances this year, it's not beyond the realms of possibility.
The men's time trial will mark the midway point of the event and the transition into the road races. Following the younger categories, the showpiece road races will take place on the Saturday and Sunday.
First up is the women's event and, at 156.2km, it's the longest road race in quite some time. The lumpy course lends itself to the climbers in the pack, although it's not a pure-climber route.
Once again, it was the Dutch that controlled affairs in 2017 with Chantal Blaak taking home the rainbow jersey. This year's course won't favour Blaak, but her teammates Van Vleuten and Van der Breggen should prosper. Other riders to watch for are South Africa's Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Denmark's Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Amanda Spratt of Australia.
The men's race will close out the World Championships with a 258.5km course that includes the formidably named Hell Climb. The brutally steep ascent means that only the strongest climbers will prosper.
Peter Sagan will race as the three-time defending champion but the Slovakian will find it extremely hard to walk away with a fourth title – not that he won't try. Recent Vuelta a España winner Simon Yates and his brother Adam (Great Britain) will be among the favourites, along with Australia's Richie Porte, Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) and France's Julian Alaphilippe, to name but a few.