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UCI Road World Championships 2012: Elite Men time trial


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Worlds time trial in Valkenburg.

The time trial to decide this year's world title is about to start. 58 riders are set to contest with Tony Martin (Germany) the last rider set to roll out of the start house. The Omega rider is the defending champion but with Alberto Contador, Taylor Phinney  and Fredrik Kessiakoff in the field he'll face stiff competition to retain his title.

Apologies for the delay from the last post: Today's 43.6 km course has three main climbs, the Sint Remigiusstraat, the Bundersburg and the Cauburg.

We already have a number of experienced TT riders on the course, Sam Bewley started a few minutes ago and should be worth following during the early intermediate splits. Zoidl currently leads at the first check at 14km.

There's some light rain out on the course, both at the start and and the finish, with organisers sweeping the water off the start ramp right now.

We've had a worlds tt her before: back in 1998, in even wetter conditions, Abraham Olano took gold with Mauri and Gonchar taking the silver and bronze. Gonchar was here a few days ago, he's part of the Russian coaching team. Lance Amstrong was 4th that day, with Chris Boardman in 11h. The American went on to finish 4th in the road race a few days later.

As for the contenders; Martin maybe the favourite, 'it's his race to lose', according to a Dowsett but the German was 11th in his last individual time trial at the Vuelta a few weeks ago. Kessiakoff won that day and has been resting up at home over the last week. Contador, a rider who will look to use the climbs to his advantage today, followed a similar programme.

Rensburg is the latest rider to start:  the rain is coming down a lot heavier and the South African is forced to slow during the opening few corners. It's still relatively dry at the finish but there are a number of grey clouds overhead.

Giro podium placer, Thomas De Gendt, starts his time trial. He should feature in the results today, having come out of the Vuelta with decent form. The course suits him too.

Alex Dowsett is the next rider to start. After Froome dropped out of the event, Dowsett is the only rider for GB in the event.

Maroli is next to start the TT, while at the finish the wind is starting to pick up, which will give the riders a strong cross wind/head wind as they approach the finish line.

Wilco Kelderman is next to start, and the sun is out for the Dutchman who takes the first corner in confident fashion.

Gruzdev sets the fastest time at the first time check, while Bewley was back in 5th, 28 seconds down.

Gusev is the next rider to start. The Russian and he;ll be followed by Kangert from Estonia.

The rider from Estonia quickly settles into a decent rhythm as he heads along one of the flat sections in the race. He angles around a tricky bit of road furniture - we're in Holland after all - as Fuglsang gets ready in the start house. He'll be starting in a few minutes.

Former Italian TT champion Marco Pinotti, had this to say about the course:

Second intermediate time check:

Up ahead and De Gendt is churning away in his own diminutive way as he tackles the first climb. Brajkovic watches on as he warms up under cover.

Brajkovic jumps off the bike and makes a beeline for the start house, adjusting his race helmet as he makes his way over. Fuglsang adjusts his shoes just before he rolls down the start ramp. The pre-race favourites are starting to appear.


Kelderman can only manage 10th at the first time check.

The rain has eased and the sun is out, all over the course, but the roads remain wet as Koren comes through the second time check with the fastest time check.

Cameron Meyer is the next rider to start. The Australian will be looking to add to the bronze medal he won as part of the GreenEdge team earlier this week.

Jesse Sergent follows Meyer, the RadioShack rider a good prospect for a top 15 place today.

Second intermediate time check:

Just 14 riders left after Peter Velits is the next ride to leave the start house. He won gold in the TTT with Omega Pharma this week.

Former worlds medalist Larsson is next.


Jonathan Castroviejo, who wore red at the vuelta,  and finished 10th in the individual time trial has just started too.

Brajkovic is coming up to the first time check, as Bert Grabsch, the 2008 world champion starts his race.

The roads are starting to dry off, which will late these late starters.

Gruzdev comes to the line and is a full minute up on second place.

Luke Durbridge who took a medal in the u23 tt last year starts.


Tuft, another former medallist at the worlds starts his TT.

Phinney and van Garderen are in the start house, sitting next to each other. Both are good shouts for the podium here, although the course perhaps suits van Garderen a bit more, judging by how he tackled the Cauberg in the TTT.

Dowsett, 6th at the second time check.

Contador is warming up. Pinotti is the next rider to start.

Kessiakoff, winner of the TT in the Tour  de Suisse, and the Vuelta starts. Tony Martin has made his way to the start.

Dowsett has moved up to second at the third time check but he's still 42 seconds off the lead.

Martin and Contador stand next to each other. There's a shake of hands as Phinney begins.

Phinney won the U23 in the TT in Geelong two years ago but wasn't in top shape last year. He was fourth in the London Olympic Games.

And Contador starts, Tony Martin will set off in two minutes.

At the third time check Kiryienka is second, Dowsett third, with Barta 4th.

And Dowsett finishes in second +29.62 down.

Meanwhile Martin tries to pick a dry line whenever he can. Up the road and Chavanel takes a right hand bend before the first climb.


Grabsch and Westra are both off the pace at the first time check, around a minute down for both men. Gruvdev is still the fastest rider at the finish and each time check.

Chavanel comes through 4th at the first time check as Kiryienka takes the lead, by 11 seconds.

Kiryienka was between 5-8 seconds down at each of the intermediate time checks but finished strongly.

van Garderen approaches the first time check... he's 3rd, 9 seconds off the lead.

Pinotti is out of the saddle but looking good and sets the 9th best time at the first time check.

Kessiakoff 11th, 20 seconds down at the first time check.

Brajkovic is way off the pace, over two minutes down after 38km.

Contador could be in trouble, 40 seconds down at the first time check. Martin is already on the climb.

It's very early in the race but gold at this stage looks to be between Martin and Phinney. As the German comes over the first check in 19:22, four seconds off Phinney.

Has Contador decided to start slowly and then turn things around in the second half of the race? At 14km he's already lost 40 seconds on Phinney, and 36 on Martin. It's a big ask to  turn that kind of time around.

From the faces he's pulling it doesn't look like Contador is holding anything back. Phinney is one second ahead of Martin.

Phinney now two seconds ahead of Martin with Pinotti, Kessiakoff and Chavanel all close. The American takes a few tricky bends in his stride as he begins the second climb of the day.

Martin now leads by 3 seconds from Phinney but it's too close to call.

Everyone else is around 30 seconds or more down.

Martin sweeps through a right-hander but doesn't break from the tri-bars as he pushes again on a rare flat straight. He's lost some time though, and Phinney is 4 seconds up. Pinotti is next, 26 seconds down.

Van Garderen 3rd fastest at the 3rd time check.

First intermediate time check:

Westra is at the top of the second climb but he's 2:21 down on the lead.

And Pinotti has crashed. He's up again and riding but that's a big blow for his chances. He lost his wheel on a left hand bend.

The team car is next to him now.. He's slowed right down and it could be all over for the Italian.

It seems like a problem with his left arm. Bettini gets out of the car, Pinotti stops. The BMC rider is understandably upset. It could be his left collarbone. What a shame for the Italian.

He was third in the TT just before the crash.

Meanwhile Phinney is fastest at the 2nd time check and has put over a minute into Chavanel, Westra, and Kessiakoff.

But the big news is that Martin is about 100 meters behind Contador. The Vuelta winner is about to be caught for two minutes.

We've not raced 30km yet and Martin is less than 50 meters back on Contador. That's  incredible.

We've not raced 30km yet and Martin is less than 50 meters back on Contador. That's  incredible.

At the second check, Martin was 13 seconds faster than Phinney.

And he's caught. Martin sweeps by Contador with ease. The Spaniard keeps pushing though and looks to keep the gap as small as possible. Martin is riding to victory now.

Kessiakoff is 4th at the 3rd time check.

Phinney moves into the lead at the third time check. He could catch Kessiakoff by the finish.

Tuft and Chavanel are both set to miss out of medals. It looks to be between Phinney and Martin for gold, with the German leading by 15 seconds. Kirienka could still take bronze.

Martin has lost some time, and the gap is 8 seconds at 38km. It's all going to come down to the Caugberg.


Van Garderen crosses the line 2nd so Kiryienka holds a place on the podium for now. He looks set for 3rd.

Phinney is closing in on the Swede but the real battle is for gold and a rainbow jersey. It's going to be slow close for the win.

1km to go for Phinney.

Kessiakoff is third at the finish.

And Phinney finishes to take the lead as Martin starts the climb to the finish.

It's all on Martin's shoulders as he starts the climb of the Caugberg.

Martin is pushing that big gear but he looks smooth as he heads towards the line. 58:44 is the time to beat.

Martin has 1 minute to cover 1km.

It's going to be so, so close.

30 seconds to go

He does it. Martin wins by 5 seconds and retains his rainbow jersey.

Phinney takes the silver with Kiryienka in third.

Thanks for joining us today!  We'll be back with more live coverage from road Worlds, so stay tuned.

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