Matti Breschel (Denmark) has been one of the most consistent performers at the World Championships over the years with two podium and four top five finishes. Last year in Ponferrada, Spain the Dane finished a creditable fourth, despite any real form coming into the Championships.
This time around the 31-year-old finds himself a slightly better situation. The course suits his characteristics as a rider with its punchy climbs, cobbles and gradually uphill finish. He has shown signs of form too with two stage wins in his native tour, although his recent outings at the two Canadian races were a disappointment.
"I'm always really motivated for this race and use a lot of energy on it. Hopefully I can make a result," Breschel told Cyclingnews as he recovered from riding reconnaissance over the Richmond course.
"It's fast and it's a little trick in the end. You can back on if you lose a few positions but not in the final but on the last lap it's going to be crucial to be at the front on the last lap. You know how it is. There could be a crash in the wet and everyone is nervous and anything can happen."
"I did really bad races in Canada but I think that the form is there. I don't think that this race is going to be as hard as Canada, for example so it's all about being smart and not wasting too much energy in the beginning."
Breschel puts his Worlds back catalogue of success down the fact he can read a race and save energy – two key aspects once riders move beyond the 250 kilometre barrier. The Dane may not be the bunch sprinter he once was but a compete with the fast men left after a gruelling wearing down process that typically takes place in the Worlds.
"It's all about trying to save energy on the climbs and not panicking. A lot of riders make mistakes are too eager to show themselves in the beginning. It's all about the last lap and it's about being there," he told Cyclingnews.
Brechel of course heads to Cannondale Garmin for next year in a move that sees him leave the Saxo family for the second time in his career.
"I spoke to Jonathan Vaughters a couple of times and it was a pretty easy decision. I liked his ideas and his vision about the team. I'm super happy," he said.
The move may provide the Dane with more opportunities to lead in the Classics: "Yes but together with a few other guys. I guess it will also give me a bit more freedom. It's a team that suits me and it was an easy decision. I just wanted to try something new and this gave me the opportunity."