How did we do with our Worlds Elite Men Time Trial pre-race predictions? We weren’t sure if slim Aussie Rohan Dennis could come back from his pre-Tour time trial abandon – but it’s amazing what a couple of months with a sport psychologist can do and the tattooed chrono specialist was in a class of his own.
Everyone happy then?
Well, if you’re the biggest bike manufacturer in the world and your ‘marquee’ – to use the Americanism – rider isn’t on one of your creations but rather a rival brand’s machine, would you be happy?
In our preview, I thought maybe the distance would be too much for young Belgian Classic winner Remco Evenepoel, but again he proved how seriously ‘special’ he is.
Our picture of him warming up shows a man with real focus; unfortunately, his team mate who shares the picture, and one of our tips, Yves Lampaert would end up on the tarmac.
Remco apart, a bad day for the Belgian ‘testers’ with Campenaerts also suffering a close encounter with the tarmac.
We said that Sen. Filippo Ganna was a classy individual and the bronze medal proved us correct – he’s not a treble world pursuit champion for nothing.
For the equipment anoraks, in the race he was on a non-Team Ineos issue front wheel, which I took to be a Zipp ‘humpback whale’ job BUT, Messrs. Jamie Davidson and Andrea Rossi inform me that it’s a Princeton Carbonworks Wake 6560. I stand corrected!
Before the start we spoke to our old friend, New Zealand team mechanic, Craig Geater; ‘Paddy will be looking to go top 10, today?’ I ventured.
‘We’re looking to do better than that!’ came the reply.
Bevin finished fourth, just two seconds off the podium.
The first of the placed riders we didn’t mention in our preview; fifth placed GB and Katusha-Alpecin, Alex Dowsett.
Dowsett is a social media master – was he Tweeting or Instagramming during his warm up?
It didn’t seem like a good time to ask.
This is his best time trial in a long while and comes with a healthy helping of UCI points.
EF Education First and USA rider Lawson Craddock is another we missed, he took sixth place – but fourth place in the Vuelta TT was a good hint at his form which we missed.
Not noted as a ‘chronoman,’ seventh for EF Eduation First’s Tanel Kangert at this level is a good ride for the man from Estonia.
We didn’t list eighth placed Portuguese TT specialist, Nelson Oliveira either in our preview; he was cool as a cucumber as he waited to ascend the steps to the start ramp.
The reason we didn’t include Germany’s four time World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin was that we didn’t think he’d have recovered from dragging Roglič around Spain in the Vuelta, topped off with that nasty crash.
Belying his hardman image, there was a wave for the crowd and a cuddle for his mechanic before he started – riding into an eventual ninth spot.
We’d expected a wee bit more than 10th from big, powerful Swiss TT Champion and former World Pursuit Champion, Stefan Küng.
Continuing where he left off in the Giro time test, World Hour Record holder, Belgium’s Víctor Campenerts had another ‘chronomare’ – a medal should have been his but for an encounter with the tar and mechanicals.
The former European Time Trial Champion was 11th on the day.
When I spoke to Shimano’s ex-Belgian Time Trial Champion, Bert Roesems he had Primož Roglič down as favourite – but 12th was as good as the Vuelta winner could do today.
It’s not been a bad year for the man, though…
The former World u23 TT Champion, Aussie Luke Durbridge was 13th today but definitely had the shiniest bike.
Scotland’s John Archibald had the disadvantage of an early start but took 14th spot among the world’s best chronomen, with men like Giro TT winner, Chad Haga and Tour TT winner Maciej Bodnar behind him.
Former Dutch TT Champion, Ineos man, Dylan Van Baarle was down in 15th place.
We’d expected more from Italian former Euro u23 TT Champion Eduardo Affini, but despite having shed the most sweat during his warm-up, 16th was the best he could manage.
In 17th spot, Deceuninck’s Danish TT Champion, Kasper Asgreen was another man we expected more from.
Groupama ‘chronoman’ Pierre Latour took his nice Lapierre to 18th spot.
Giro time test winner Chad Haga couldn’t reproduce his Italian form here and was way down in 19th spot.
But he’s awful skinny for a TT specialist.
Propping up the top 20 is the man they call, ‘The Bison,’ big Pole and Tour de France TT stage winner, Maciej Bodnar.
Of all the field, were we to get into an altercation in a bar he’s the man I’d want by my side.
Good weather, great access to the world’s best time testers and a Scotsman giving us something to cheer about – not a bad old day at the office.