If there was ever a cycling event which made a preview or prediction redundant, it is surely today’s 47.1km World Championship Individual Time Trial. The route offers the riders wide open rides to pick the perfect lines and should keep all technical worries to a minimum as they reach speeds only us mortals dare dream of. Beyond a rather rapid descent, the only other noticeable task for the competitors will be the uphill sections, though these do not seem enough to prevent the seemingly inevitable outcome.
Tony Martin is a thoroughbred and precision engineered machine who has dominated the competition in recent years, making him the favourite for today by a country mile. Barring disaster, it seems the only question here today is a case of just how large Martin’s winning margin will be by the day’s end.
With Fabian Cancellara focusing on the Road Race instead, Bradley Wiggins seems almost guaranteed to be the next fasted man home after the title defending German. Wiggins is always a good bet in a time trial and this distance and terrain should allow him to slip into his superb cadence and then slip into a silver medal.
The battle for Bronze might just be the most fascinating aspect of the afternoon, with many riders having a strong claim to the final podium place, the list of contenders is long. Adriano Malori, Tom Dumoulin, Tejay van Garderen, Vasil Kiryienka, Rasmus Quaade and Jan Barta all performed well in last year’s World’s and have looked solid throughout the year in the same discipline. Riders such as Dumoulin and Barta have made impressive leaps forward during the season and Malori is another who has really hit form as a time trialest recently. Many were surprised by Quaade’s placing last year and the same could be said for Kiryienka; with both Fabian Cancellara and Taylor Phinney absent dark horses’ hopes of a podium are increased greatly.
1st Martin 2nd Wiggins 3rd Dumoulin