Skip to main content

Big guns scrap it out for Gold

Image 1 of 37

Defending champion Fabian Cancellara

Defending champion Fabian Cancellara (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 2 of 37

Svein Tuft (Canada)

Svein Tuft (Canada) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 3 of 37

The Dutch do some motorpacing

The Dutch do some motorpacing (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 4 of 37

The mayor of St Wendel, Germany which hosts 2010 Marathon Worlds, and UCI President Pat McQuaid

The mayor of St Wendel, Germany which hosts 2010 Marathon Worlds, and UCI President Pat McQuaid (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 5 of 37

Gestev's Chantal Lachance with UCI President Pat McQuaid

Gestev's Chantal Lachance with UCI President Pat McQuaid (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 6 of 37

The winning 2010 Road Worlds bid team from Australia, with UCI President Pat McQuaid

The winning 2010 Road Worlds bid team from Australia, with UCI President Pat McQuaid (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 7 of 37

CDN team bikes stolen from locked van. Not a mark on the van body - the thieves carefully cut out the window and unlocked the door.

CDN team bikes stolen from locked van. Not a mark on the van body - the thieves carefully cut out the window and unlocked the door. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 8 of 37

Gerolsteiner really stepped up to the plate in providing road and TT bikes to replace those stolen for the Canadian U23 squad

Gerolsteiner really stepped up to the plate in providing road and TT bikes to replace those stolen for the Canadian U23 squad (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 9 of 37

Brad Fairall was one of the U23 riders who had his bike stolen

Brad Fairall was one of the U23 riders who had his bike stolen (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 10 of 37

French rider checks out TT course

French rider checks out TT course (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 11 of 37

Alex Wrubleski (Canada) takes a spin

Alex Wrubleski (Canada) takes a spin (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 12 of 37

Christian Meier (Canada) on his borrowed bike

Christian Meier (Canada) on his borrowed bike (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 13 of 37

Svein Tuft (Canada)

Svein Tuft (Canada) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 14 of 37

Anne Samplonius (Canada) heads out on the TT course for a practice lap

Anne Samplonius (Canada) heads out on the TT course for a practice lap (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 15 of 37

Ben Day, Adam Hansen and Cameron Wurf from Australia

Ben Day, Adam Hansen and Cameron Wurf from Australia (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 16 of 37

The Americans were warming up as well

The Americans were warming up as well (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 17 of 37

Swiss ridertakes a spin

Swiss ridertakes a spin (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 18 of 37

Colombians practice

Colombians practice (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 19 of 37

David Veilleux (Canada) practices on his borrowed Gerolsteiner Specialized TT bike

David Veilleux (Canada) practices on his borrowed Gerolsteiner Specialized TT bike (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 20 of 37

David Veilleux (Canada)

David Veilleux (Canada) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 21 of 37

Ryder Hesjedal (Canada)

Ryder Hesjedal (Canada) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 22 of 37

The last uphill to the finish

The last uphill to the finish (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 23 of 37

Ryder Hesjedal prepares for his last race as a member of Health Net presented by Maxxis

Ryder Hesjedal prepares for his last race as a member of Health Net presented by Maxxis (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 24 of 37

Getting to know the course.

Getting to know the course. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 25 of 37

The Dutch do some motorpacing

The Dutch do some motorpacing (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 26 of 37

Defending champion Fabian Cancellara

Defending champion Fabian Cancellara (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 27 of 37

Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)

Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 28 of 37

It's important to study all the corners.

It's important to study all the corners. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 29 of 37

Tinkoff riders

Tinkoff riders (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 30 of 37

Estonian team

Estonian team (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 31 of 37

Britain's David Millar is one of the favourites

Britain's David Millar is one of the favourites (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 32 of 37

Russian rider

Russian rider (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 33 of 37

Christian Thorburn

Christian Thorburn (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 34 of 37

Anne Samplonius (Canada)

Anne Samplonius (Canada) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 35 of 37

Alex Wrubleski

Alex Wrubleski (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 36 of 37

Defending Champion Kristen Armstrong

Defending Champion Kristen Armstrong (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
Image 37 of 37

The legendary Viatcheslav Ekimov was out for a spin

The legendary Viatcheslav Ekimov was out for a spin (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Worlds timetrial preview, September 27, 2007

Tough parcours makes for big showdown

As is habitually the case, the road world championships got underway with the time trial events coming first in the schedule. Since the junior races were moved from the main programme after 2004, the number of such races has dropped to three. The under 23 and elite women’s TTs were held on Wednesday, covering 38.1 and 25.1 kilometres respectively, and the 44.9 kilometre elite men’s test follows one day later.

All three are held on variations of the same course and just shy of two complete laps. The start will take place approximately 500 metres past the finish line, meaning that the second lap is fractionally shorter in each case

The women’s race was held on a loop of 12.8 kilometres and went to triple world cyclo-cross champion Hanka Kupfernagel of Germany. She beat defending champion Kristin Armstrong (USA) and the Austrian Christiane Soeder by 23.47 and 41.53 seconds respectively, a performance which she attributed in part to her racing background and the nature of the parcours.

“Cyclo-cross has been very good preparation for this time trial, because the course was very good for me,” she stated. “There were downhills with a lot of bends, and also climbing, so it was something like a cyclo-cross circuit.”

The under 23 riders used the same course but also had to do an out and back stretch of 6.5 kilometres each time, bringing their lap up to 19.3 clicks. Lars Boom (Netherlands) was quickest, taking the first gold medal of the championship ahead of Russian rider Mikhail Ignatiev and Jerome Coppel (France). They were 9.06 and 45.59 seconds back respectively.

Thursday’s Elite men TT will head even further along the Wildpark Strasse dual carriageway, adding on an additional 3.4 kilometres and thus covering 22.7 each time. Last year’s winner Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) is the clear favourite, while Dave Zabriskie (USA), David Millar, Bradley Wiggins (both Great Britain), Vladimir Karpets (Russia), José Ivan Gutierrez (Spain) and Marco Pinotti (Italy) are amongst those looking to go quicker and take gold.

Despite some flattish, fast sections, the general consensus about the time trial course was that it is a very hard one. The overall undulating nature plus the scattering of steep sections means that motivation will have to be high amongst the elites on a day when the average speeds will be relatively low.

The race of truth gets off to a fast start with a gradual downhill soon after the riders leave the ramp. The road starts to level off and then after 2.6 kilometres, stats to climb again. It then returns to a gradual descent. After approximately 4 kilometres, the women hung right and headed off on the circuit. The Under 23 men continued on from there as will the elites, hitting the steepish climb of Birkenhopf, which rises to a height of 450 metres and tops out 5.1 kilometres into the time trial. The speed will rise again due to the short descent, after which the tree-lined route becomes wider and flatter.

Under 23 riders took a hard right turn approximately 6.8 clicks after the start, their course taking them under the original road and then back onto the far side. They climbed the Birkenhopf in the reverse direction, then descended, swung right and branched left under that road to move onto the circuit.

The elite men will however continue on for a while longer [1.7 kilometres, to be precise], heading up a gentle false flat climb to the turnaround point. The sweeping turn over the dual carriageway is wide enough to be safe, although if it rains the paving stones at the edges may become slippery.

The big guns of time trialing will then thunder back in toward the Birkenhopf climb, following the under 23 men in scaling the other side and crossing the summit, descending down to the turn-off point and making sure to balance out speed and skill on the technical section which follows.

After 14 kilometres of racing they will enter the village of Botnang, where the course runs alongside the tram tracks for some time. The elite men will take a sharp right and head up a steepish climb which is a couple of hundred metres in length.

Once over the top the riders can get a respite with a fairly long, gradual descent, allowing them to pick up speed once more. The road gradually curves right and straightens out again, continuing on a level surface for some time and passing by some scenic wooded areas. The road then becomes more undulating around the 18 kilometre point, with a short sharp drag serving to stretch the legs.

The race passes through a populated area in Stuttgart-Feuerbach and becomes a little more technical with narrow roads and some turns to be negotiated there. The course reaches its lowest point around about 20 kilometres [approximately 270 metres in altitude], then a gradual climb up towards the finish area kicks in. This section is quite testing, with the tough drag up past the line and on to the start of the second lap really testing the legs.

From there it will be eyeballs out all the way. The final lap will determine who is in the medals and, more importantly, who will end the day clad in the maillot arc-en-ciel of world champion. Will it be a past winner? Will it be a new name? All will be revealed in a few hours.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1