Skip to main content

2006 Salzburg World's "for complete rider"

The 2005 season hasn't even ended but already news is leaking from the parcours of the 2006 World Championships, which will be held in Salzburg, Austria. This year, a Belgian sprinter/classics rider won the famous rainbow jersey, but in 2006, the Belgians will struggle to find a competitive squad for the road race - said 1976 Tour de France winner Lucien Van Impe, who now directs MrBookmaker.com.

"The World Championship in Salzburg 2006 is not for a Belgian rider," Van Impe told Belgian Het Nieuwsblad after reconnoitring the parcours. "This is for a complete rider. I'm thinking of Alejandro Valverde, Alexander Vinokourov and Paolo Bettini."

In the famous city of classical composer Mozart, the circuit to race twelve times will be 22.15 kilometres long, which amounts to 265.8 km in total - just a few clicks shorter than the road race in Madrid this year, where all of the above mentioned played a part in the event's finale, and Tom Boonen took the victory in the end. Spaniard Alejandro Valverde was particularly close to the honours, getting second for the second time after 2003 in Hamilton, Canada.

"There's a three-kilometre-long climb that will be crucial. Halfway through the race, it's certainly going to explode on that hill," continued Van Impe, who won the Polkadot jersey of best mountain rider at the Tour de France in the '70s, so he should know. "A sprint is excluded. I can't see how the bunch could reel in a breakaway on such a parcours," he added.

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