World time trial champion Tony Martin and defending champion David Millar (Garmin-Cervélo) will top the bill at the Chrono des Nations, which takes place at Les Herbiers on Sunday. The 30-rider line-up for the season-ending time trial was announced on Tuesday evening, with Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) confirmed among their number.
The Chrono des Nations will be Martin’s last race as an HTC-Highroad rider and his final chance to showcase his rainbow jersey before ending his season. The German enjoyed a hugely successful first outing as world champion at the Tour of Beijing, where first place in the opening time trial paved the way for his final overall victory.
Millar was second in the Beijing time trial but he knows that he will have his work cut out against the on-form Martin to repeat his dominant Chrono des Nations success of twelve months ago. On that occasion, Millar was the only rider to complete the 48.5km course in less than an hour.
While Martin and Millar will be expected to shine, there are a number of other in-form time triallists in the 30-strong field. British champion Alex Dowsett (Sky) won the under 23 version of the Chrono des Nations last year and can offer a further confirmation of his recent progress with a solid showing on Sunday, while former elite winners Stef Clement (Rabobank) and Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Type 1) are always reliable performers.
The race will also see Alexandre Vinokourov make his return to competitive action after suffering a broken femur at the Tour de France. The Kazakh had previously planned to make a comeback at the Tour of Lombardy, but has instead opted for the French time trial.
Another rider with a doping past in the field is Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Chipotle). The Dutchman has delivered some solid time trialling performances since his return to the sport this summer following a two-year suspension, and he will be looking to impress Garmin-Cervélo manager Jonathan Vaughters in a bid to secure a contract with the WorldTour squad for next season.
Chrono des Nations starters:
|Rider Name (Country) Team|
|Sébastien Duret (Bretagne-Schuller)|
|Nicolas Baldo (Atlas-Personal)|
|Nicolas Rousseau (BigMat-Auber 93)|
|Paul Poux (Saur-Sojasun)|
|Arnaud Courteille (FDJ)|
|Yuriy Krivtsov (Ag2r-La Mondiale)|
|Oleg Chuzhda (Caja Rural)|
|Anthony Charteau (Europcar)|
|Mickaël Delage (FDJ)|
|Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil)|
|Dimitri Champion (Ag2r-La Mondiale)|
|Fabio Felline (Geox-TMC)|
|Alexander Wetterhall (Endura Racing)|
|Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil)|
|Yoann Offredo (FDJ)|
|Markel Irizar (RadioShack)|
|Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil)|
|Rubens Bertogliati (Team Type 1)|
|Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil)|
|Jérémy Roy (FDJ)|
|Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Chipotle)|
|Ioannis Tamouridis (Greece)|
|Tomasz Marczynski (CCC Polsat)|
|Alex Dowsett (Sky)|
|Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank-SunGard)|
|Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Type 1)|
|Stef Clement (Rabobank)|
|Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana)|
|David Millar (Garmin-Cervélo)|
|Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad)|