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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Sunday, September 28, 2014

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Elite Men's World Road Cycling Championships

Today is the Elite Men's World Road Cycling Championships.

I have posted complete results for every edition of the World Championships.

Here is my 2014 World Cycling Championships results page.

Lotto-Belisol has 6 riders in the race. Here's their press release:

Six Lotto Belisol riders will be at the starting grid for the world championships road cycling on Sunday. Two Belgians, a Frenchman, a German, an Australian and a New Zealander. Each one with another goal, this one time serving their country instead of the Lotto Belisol team. Although we’re hoping the victory stays within the Lotto Belisol family.

In the Belgian selection, consisting of nine riders, there are places for Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens. The possibility to go for their own chances is rather small. The Belgian selection is strong in the width, with leading riders like Boonen, Gilbert and Van Avermaet. The France selection is another story. With Bouhanni they have a fast sprinter and Barguil and Chavanel are the strong punchers in the team. But also Tony Gallopin will get his chance. Our Frenchman is preparing himself since a long time for the world championships and the route should suit him.

Our André Greipel makes part of the German selection. John Degenkolb is basically the leading man of our Eastern neighbours. But what if the Degenkolb isn’t fit after his visit to the hospital and there is yet a bunch sprint? Adam Hansen defends the Australian flag. Together with Matthews but in particular Gerrans the Aussies could have two protagonists in the race. New Zealand can take three riders to the start and they have chosen for Bauer, Bennet and the experienced Greg Henderson.

Jelle Vanendert: “We arrived Tuesday after a long travel day. Wednesday we had a long five hour and half training. Thursday and Friday we left together but everyone has done his own training kilometers, which suited one itself. Depending on habits and races of the last past weeks, everyone loves to train in a personal and specific way. There was no need for a real acquaintance. All riders are professional for several years and already raced with or against each other in finals of big races.”

“The route and tactics are matters which people chitchat about. It’s a pretty fast route, the climbs are not that steep, but the distance and the altitude meters could decimate the peloton. A race which stays steady for a long time is always in the advantage of the quick riders. But countries like Spain and Italy have advantage with an early open race. France but also Belgium have got the right riders for both situations.”

“We have more than one leading man in our team, but I believe that each rider will get in a situation where he can play his part of importance. Sep, Jan, Tim and I will have to be alert if the big formations try to break open the race in the final. I think Gerrans and Valverde are the favourites, because they have a chance to win in every race circumstance. Degenkolb and Kristoff can be dangerous when there would a bunch sprint.”.

Tony Gallopin: “If I can be world champion (laughs)? Yes, just like every other rider who starts this race. My role in the French selection will come down to being one of the protected riders and get chances to go my own way. Racing in laps is always something special and it’s pretty hard to predict whether a puncher or a sprinter will be victorious. It’s in our favour to have different types of riders at our disposal. The distance makes this race a part of the classic races, and I think that the decision will be on the last climb. For the remainder it will be a race by elimination, like every year.”

“Indeed, the world championship is running through my mind for quite a long time. At the beginning of this year I already talked about it, among others with the national coach, who said the route could be suiting for me. Lotto Belisol has also offered me the opportunity to prepare myself towards this race. The ideal situation? Joining a small group from 10 k to the finish, that lasts until the end.” 

Numbers:

29. Tony Gallopin
47. Adam Hansen
57. Jelle Vanendert
60. Tim Wellens
82. André Greipel
176. Greg Henderson

Tony Gallopin

Tony Gallopin in yellow during stage 10 of the 2014 Tour de France. Photo ©Sirotti

Daniele Bennati on Italy's chances

This came from Tinkoff-Saxo:

The big tactical playbook has been written, the riders are focused and the material is ready for tomorrow morning, when the World Championship Road Race gets underway on a 255-kilometer route in Ponferrada, Spain. Tinkoff-Saxo’s locomotive Daniele Bennati represents “the Azzurri“, the Italian national team consisting of 9 riders, which makes them one of the biggest teams at the World Championships. But, according to Bennati, they’re not favorites to take the win.

“There are other teams that are bigger favorites than us. We’re big team, because Italians have performed well in 2014, but we’re not the team to beat. So there’s less pressure on us than previous years. With that said, we’re not planning to take it easy tomorrow. We’re ready to try our very best – we always have to try. And a lot can happen at the World Championship. It’s a strange race, so if you make a move at the right time you can suddenly find yourself in a very good position”, says Daniele Bennati.

The Italian Tinkoff-Saxo rider has had a long season since his season started in February. He embarks on the 255 k route of the Men’s Road Race with 12.839 race-kilometers in the legs, but Daniele says that he’s still feeling fresh and ready to support Italy’s chances.

“I’m still in good condition. I have recovered pretty well from the Vuelta and a long season in general and I felt that I had a lot of power at the TTT last Sunday”, Bennati adds and continues:

“I’m here to help Nibali but I also think that Sonny Colbrelli is a potential outsider. He’s a strong finisher and his current shape might be better than Vincenzo’s, since he peaked at the Tour. I will try to save energy for the last two laps, where I can set a high pace on the flat sections. The last climb on the circuit is not very long, but after 250 kilometers it will be difficult just like the spring classics”, Bennati concludes.

Daniele Bennati

Daniele Bennati at the 2013 Eneco Tour. Photo ©Sirotti

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