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World Championship Time Trial Preview

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When I think about the Elite World Championship time Trial I always ponder how many of these titles Anquetil, Merckx and Indurain would have won between them, had this event existed, ‘back in the day?’

Perhaps 25, maybe 30 rainbow jerseys?

But there’s no real red hot favourite this year; it strikes us as a pretty open race.

By current standards it’s a long one at 54 kilometres over a spiky parcours from Northallerton to Harrogate with 684 metres of elevation it’s not one where you can drop it into the 11 and stare at the power meter; it’s a technical course as the riders’ first training rides will reveal.

World Championship Time Trial

Here are our dozen names to conjure with but there’s always a surprise, someone in good shape, still motivated and on a ‘plus’ day with great legs.

But do remember that it’s a long season and more than a few riders will be looking forward to the off season, riding because the Federation needs them to protect Olympic slots. 

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World Championship Time Trial
Edoardo Affini. Photo©CyclingPhotographyLive

Edoardo Affini [Mitchelton-Scott & Italy]

A graduate of the SEG Racing Academy and last year’s Italian and European u23 Champion against the watch.

He was fourth in his National Champs, third in the Euro TT, second in the Binck Bank TT to compatriot, Filippo Ganna and won the time test in the Tour of Britain.

Well worth watching.

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World Championship Time Trial
John Archibald. Photo©Martin Williamson

John Archibald [Ribble Pro Cycling & GB]

Following the withdrawal of Geraint Thomas, Archibald gets his chance on one of the biggest stages – only the Olympic TT is bigger.

A talented pursuiter, silver medallist in the Commonwealth Games and author of a world’s best at sea level for four kilometres he’d be wearing the jersey of British Champion in the TT were it not for a dropped chain.

His silver behind Dowsett in the BC TT was followed by bronze in the British Road Race Championship behind Ineos heavy artillery Swift and Stannard.

For us Scots, watching him in action at The Worlds is an exciting prospect.

* * *

Kasper Asgreen. Photo©Unipublic / Luis Angel Gomez

Kasper Asgreen [Deceuninck QuickStep & Denmark]

Second in de Ronde tells it’s on story of this man’s talent and he rides a strong time trial; he wears the National Champions jersey in the TT and was second to Evenepoel in the Euros as well as second to Lampaert in the Suisse Tour TT.

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Patrick Bevin. Photo©Getty Images

Paddy Bevin [CCC & New Zealand]

Bevin was second to Roglic in the Spanish Tour chrono, having won the National Title way back in the Southern Hemisphere summer – a podium is possible, that Vuelta result will have been a major boost to his morale.

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Victor Campenaerts. Photo©Martin Williamson

Victor Campenaerts [Lotto Soudal & Belgium]

Campenaerts is not the same raging bull who won the 2018 Euros time test in Glasgow.

Yes, he took the Hour record but that would have used up a lot of motivation and that disastrous TT in the Giro which was his but for an appalling bike change after mechanical problems, which gifted victory to Roglic didn’t help his head either.

He finished a disappointing fourth in his National TT Championship, was DNF in the Road Nationals on June 30th and hasn’t finished a UCI race since.

But it would be disrespectful not to mention last year’s bronze medallist and he just might be prepping for it in a yurt out on the Steppe?

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Retro
Rohan Dennis. Photo©Martin Williamson

Rohan Dennis [Bahrain & Australia]

Dennis is another man who has vanished, DNF on Stage 12 of le Tour then … nada.

The man who can wear the rainbow jersey in time tests until Wednesday climbed off the day prior to his speciality stage amid stories of his discontent with his team’s approach to time trials, in particular his ‘materiel’ as they say on the continent – specifically his bike and clothing.

Has he been in a monastery with just a watt bike and a connection to the Australian Institute of Sport – and Merida’s top aero dynamists working around the clock?

We’ll know come late afternoon, Wednesday.

* * *

Remco Evenepoel. Photo©Sigfrid Eggers

Remco Evenepoel [Deceuninck QuickStep & Belgium]

Evenepoel is not yet 20 years-old but a Classic winner and European Time Trial Champion.

No further questions, Your Honour.’

But the Euros were over 22.4 K; and 54 K is a long way for a young man,

But I’m the one who said Pogacar would fade in the last week of the Giro…

* * *

Filippo Ganna. Photo©Martin Williamson

Filippo Ganna [Ineos & Italy]

The three time World Individual Pursuit Champion gets a little better each year – and he’s still only 23 years-old.

Winner of chronos in the Binck Bank Tour and La Provence as well as his National TT Title he was fifth in the recent Coppa Sabatini; very classy but again the distance may prove a stumbling block.

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Chad Haga. Photo©Fabio Ferrari / LaPresse

Chad Haga [Sunweb & USA]

That Giro TT win showed he knows how to get it right on the big day, that ride apart he has no real TT palmarès but the course will suit him and he didn’t win that test in Italy because he’s a dud.

* * *

Stefan Küng. Photo©Okolo Slovenska

Stefan Küng [Groupama FDJ & Switzerland]

Another former pursuit champion of the world and a big, strong, classy guy.

Reigning Swiss TT Champion, in the last few days he’s won the tough Tour du Doubs in France and taken the time test in the Tour of Slovakia – he’s ready.

* * *

Yves Lampaert. Photo©Martin Williamson

Yves Lampaert [Deceuninck QuickStep & Belgium]

Another of Patrick Lefevere’s ‘Men in Blue,’ the versatile Belgian won the time test in the Suisse Tour, was second in his National Championship TT to Wout Van Aert and second to Kung a few days ago in the Slovakia TT.

And he’s a man for whom the distance will hold no fears for.

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Primož Roglič. Photo©PhotoGomez

Primož Roglič [Jumbo Visma & Slovenia]

Except for the Giro (two time trial wins), where he was third, he’s won every stage race he’s ridden this year: UAE, Tirreno, Romandie (two time trial wins) and the Vuelta (time trial win).

If he’s recovered from la Vuelta he should win it but the Spanish race will have used up a lot of adrenalin and he might well still be tired.  

* * *

VeloVeritas will not only be roadside but behind the scenes, in the pits at Northallerton to bring you the best pictures and gossip.

Some would say you should be drinking an English ‘room temperature’ Real Ale as you watch but I’m not one of them…

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

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