The 2018 European Time Trial Championships didn’t produce a surprise winner, or runner-up but there were a few surprises lower down the order, men who we’d expected to go a tad faster.
But the parcours was pretty technical and not one for the pure ‘Boulevard Blasters.’
Here’s the VeloVeritas rap on the top 15.
‘Why top 15’ you ask?
Because we had to include the British 10, 25 and 50 mile record holder in our musings…
15Marcin Bialoblocki (NOPINZ & Poland)
VeloVeritas pundit, Viktor wasn’t long in getting on the phone to me; ‘what happened to your man Marcin? – It’s obvious he’s no use at international level.’
I had to remind the man who can always be relied upon to keep us romantics at Velo Veritas from getting too sentimental that it took ‘Bison’ Bodnar to beat Bialoblocki for the Polish time trial title this year with Kwiatkowsi – leader of the Tour de France’s final time trial until the three final podium finishers came home – in third place.
But all that prep for English time trial courses, grinding huge gears on non-technical parcours can’t have helped in preparing for tricky Scottish roads.
And bronze medallist Schachmann caught him – ouch!
14 Marco Mathis (Katusha & Germany)
Who? I hear you ask.
Only the 2016 u23 World Time Trial Champion – Katusha signed him for 2017 but since then the results have been thin on the ground with sixth in the Baloise Belgium Tour TT as good as he’s got in 2018.
13 Jan Barta (Czech & Elokov-AuthoR Cycling Team)
At 33 years-of-age he’s into the autumn of his career but is still a strong man; runner up this year in both the Czech National Road Race and Time Trial Championships – the later an event he’s won five times, over the years.
His best years were with NetApp for whom he won the Coppi Bartali stage race and Rond Um Koln.
12 Filippo Ganna (UAE & Italy)
The slim ‘chronoman’ from beautiful Verbania on the shores of Lake Maggiore is reigning Elite World Pursuit Champion; he started with the Italian Junior Championship in 2014 and by 2016 had won his first world title, adding a second, this year.
Against the watch he has some nice results like the Chrono Champenois and u23 National Title – but lest we think he just races clocks, he won the u23 Paris-Roubaix in 2016.
Perhaps we could have expected more from him on the roads around Glasgow but he was in the victorious Italian team pursuit squad.
11 Martin Toft Madsen (BHS Almeborg & Denmark)
Madsen is in possession of the second furthest recognised distance ever for ‘the hour’ with 53.630 kilometres to Sir Wiggo of Kilburn’s 54.630 [albeit Toni Rominger rode to 55.291 K some 24 years ago].
He’s not a bad tester with three consecutive Danish Elite titles to his credit not to mention last year’s Chrono des Nations – clearly another man not enjoying the technical parcours.
10 Dylan Van Baarle (Sky & The Netherlands)
The fact that Sky picked him up from Cannondale says much about the man, say what you like about Sir David, he doesn’t sign many duds.
DVB is reigning Netherlands Time Trial Champion, beating the likes of Terpstra and Van Emden to the jersey.
He was also top 12 in Flanders and top 20 in Paris-Roubaix – quality rides.
09 Rasmus Quaade (BHS Almeborg & Denmark)
The man in the peloton who spends most time on his moustache; he was runner-up to Luke Durbridge in the u23 Worlds TT in 2011 and used to be ever-present at the highest levels in the team pursuit.
But he’s never managed to catch the eye of the World Tour managers – this year has been a good one though with a win in the Classic Loire Atlantique and runner-up spot to Wout Van Aert in the recent Tour of Denmark.
08 Jos Van Emden (Team LottoNL Jumbo & The Netherlands)
A former TT Champion of his home nation, perhaps his biggest result was to beat compatriot and world TT Champion Tom Dumoulin in the final time test of last year’s Giro.
Best known as a ‘tester’ he did win last season’s Johan Museeuw Classic.
07 Stefan Küng (BMC & Switzerland)
Ganna’s predecessor as World Elite Pursuit Champion, taking the title in 2015. He’s a strong time trial rider, Swiss Champion, winner of the Blinckbank Tour TT and a key member of the all-conquering BMC TTT squad.
He’ll be disappointed with this ride.
06 Ryan Mullen (Trek & Ireland)
Reigning Irish TT Champion (his third title) and winner of the TT in San Juan back in January, his finest hours came back in 2016 when he sat in the Worlds TT ‘hot seat’ most of the day until the last four finishers eased him down to a final fifth place.
Another man we’d perhaps expected more from.
05 Alex Dowsett (Katusha & GB)
Five times British Elite Time Trial Champion, European u23 TT Champion in 2010, a brilliant winner of an epic 55 kilometre time test in the 2013 Giro, Commonwealth Games TT winner in 2014, not to mention a spell as world hour record holder – however, his last winner’s bouquet was April 2017 in the Circuit de la Sarthe time test.
But his Russian team have just given him a two year contract extension so they’re obviously happy.
O4 Yves Lampaert (QuickStep & Belgium)
Perhaps not thought of as a TT specialist the current Belgian Elite Road Race Champion was Belgian TT Champion last year and third this year behind a certain V. Campenaerts.
He’s been a world champion in the TTT and top ten in the Worlds individual time trial, so no mug against the watch.
03 Max Schachmann (QuickStep & Germany)
Another of Patrick Lefevre’s ‘wolf pack’ of young men with the desire to win races – we make it 54 victories at time of going to press.
Schachmann was second to fellow German Mathis in the 2016 Worlds u23 TT and this year has really broken through with stage wins in the Tours of Catalonia and Italy.
At 24 years-old he’s another man helping to rebuild German cycle sport’s reputation.
02 Jonathan Castroviejo (Sky & Spain)
A former winner of this race and reigning Spanish champion against the clock – his fourth title.
He rode an outstanding Tour de France for his team and is on the Sky books for another two seasons.
He’s the consummate ‘chronoman’ having stood on the podium of the individual and team trial Worlds podium.
It must fun sitting behind him in the TTT though…
01 Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal & Belgium)
If you like your testers, stylish and rock solid then Vic’s isn’t the fan club to join – a beast of a boy who took all the risks on the wet tar to land his second successive Euro TT title to add to his two Belgian champion’s jerseys.
His sponsors gave him the luxury of a month’s specific training for this one.
It paid off, a nice jersey to attract the big lenses – and 70 tasty UCI points – ‘chapeau’ Victor.