WORLDS’22 Highway Race Preview: Who Will Take the Rainbow Jersey?

Worlds Race Preview: There are in all probability 4 ‘High Favourites’ for Sunday’s males’s street race, however that is the World championships and the strangest issues can occur, a ‘no one’ by no means wins the rainbow jersey… there may be surprises. Ed Hood appears to be like on the course and who could be the protagonists for the rainbow race in Wollongong.

The rainbow jersey, maybe to ‘civilians’ the yellow jersey is extra well-known; and naturally most Italians would sooner win a Primavera than a Worlds [I can relate to that, it’s the most beautiful race in the world] – while the Worlds is a poor second to de Ronde when you’re Flemish. However for a lot of riders it’s the top.

Nonetheless a giant factor… Even in Flanders

For an entire yr you get to put on that lovely jersey that offers you mega respect within the peloton, which elements just like the Pink Sea once you need to transfer up – no helmet butts, shoulder leans or pointy elbows for le maillot arc-en-ciel.

Australian World street champion – Cadel Evans

This yr we journey to the opposite facet of the globe to a rustic which has bred some nice riders BUT just one Worlds winner, ‘Tremendous Grump’ Cadel Evans who wasn’t shy in telling us how little he owed to his crew on that well-known day. Shifting on. . .

With no due to his crew… Apparently

The Elite Highway races begin in Helensburgh, about 30km north of Wollongong earlier than a 34km loop round Mount Keira (climb size of 8.7km, common gradient of 5%, most incline of 15%). The race will finish for some right here, earlier than it’s even develop into critical.

Map and profile

The Elite Highway races then absorb a dozen laps of the Wollongong Metropolis Circuit. This 17.7km circuit has 220m of climbing elevation every lap together with the incongruously titled Mount Nice climb (climb size of 1.1km, common gradient of seven.7%, most incline of 14%).

Mount (un)Nice circuit

Elite Males will climb 3,945m – the identical as a Grand Tour mountain stage however in plenty of small doses, that means it’s not one for the ‘pure’ climbers – over a race distance of 266.9km (one Mount Keira loop, 12 x Wollongong Metropolis Circuit). It’s a race for ‘puncheurs’ or a person with a giant end who can survive all that altitude achieve.

Mount Keira circuit

Let’s have a wander via the nations I feel will likely be within the combine. . .

Australia: Appropriately, let’s begin with the house nation, who’ve, as I discussed above, have gained the title as soon as with Mr. Evans – simply don’t step on his canine. . . Who isn’t right here has been getting lots of consideration, specifically small however very fast Caleb Ewan, he can recover from the climbs however the Aussie selectors should suppose that carrying on for 4,000 metres of altitude achieve is an excessive amount of for him. Or is it they need no divisions throughout the crew, ONE chief, NO confusion? Their man then is Michael Matthews, a good selection for this circuit; that magnificent Tour stage win this yr and a current second place in hilly Quebec – a race he’s gained twice previously – endorse his credentials. Buoyed by large residence help and a really skilled and targeted crew, a podium may be very attainable.

Michael Matthews – Australian hope

Belgium: Regardless of their 26 wins making it probably the most profitable on the Worlds – albeit a decade since final they gained – just like the nation, the crew at all times has divided loyalties, the administration has to cope with having two of the world’s largest abilities on the identical crew with each coveting that beautiful maillot – WVA or Remco? Each can be good worthy winners however solely ONE can win. . . When discussing your ‘common’ high line professional one would possibly suppose that Remco could also be ‘worn executed’ from his Vuelta exertions? However Remco isn’t common, he’s ‘particular’ – however then so is Wout. Each have the ‘tremendous favorite’ stamp on their PEZ information.

evenepoel van aert
Wout and Remco – Frosty?

Denmark: Their man who would have been a crimson sizzling favorite – and gave Denmark their one earlier win within the occasion – for this race hasn’t made the lengthy journey to the Antipodes. However then Mads Pedersen thinks that stage wins within the Étoile des Bessèges, Paris-Good, Circuit de la Sarthe, Excursions of Belgium, France and Spain – the place he netted three, is sufficient for one season. Their man then will likely be Tour de France baroudeur and stage winner, Magnus Cort. A podium is tough to see although.

tdf22 st3
Magnus Cort – Denmark’s finest?

Eritrea: A yr or two in the past I might by no means have thought I’d be writing that nation’s title in a Worlds preview; however a sure Biniam Girmay has modified all that. A Basic and Grand Tour stage winner, his current type is superb – sixth at Plouay, fourth within the Tour du Doubs, third in Quebec and second in Wallonie. His crew will work till the drop for him however he’ll be alone late within the day – nevertheless, the person is ‘particular.’

Biniam Girmay – A high favorite

France: Third within the checklist of winners with 10 successes, behind Belgium and Italy, there’s a giant query mark round their line up this yr. . . Has crash inclined double and reigning Campione, ‘Ala’ recovered from his final encounter with the tarmac? If he has then the parcours fits him to a tee; if not look to males on type Valentin Madouas and Tour stage winner, Christophe Laporte. If I used to be a French selector then I feel I could have discovered room for Quebec winner, Benoit Cosnefroy?

Madouas, Laporte or… Alaphilippe for France?

Germany: They’ve two wins nevertheless it’s a good distance again to 1966 and Rudi Altig.
At time of writing I’m shocked to not see Messrs, Schachmann and Politt on the beginning checklist – nevertheless it’s an extended season and a few guys are already on the seashore of their heads.

Tom Simpson, Jacques Anquteil, Rudi Altig and Eddy Merckx – Three World champions out of 4

Nice Britain: My hero, Tom Simpson was just a bit bit earlier than my time in 1967 however I used to be there when Cav and GB dominated the race in Denmark in 2011 to present GB their second rainbow. They area a really sturdy squad with versatile and proficient Ethan Hayter the chief; however in Fred Wright they’ve in my eyes a practical podium contender, if he’s recovered from his large Vuelta exertions. They’re backed by a really sturdy crew with the likes of Swift’s, Ben and Connor and Ben’s, Turner and Tulett.

Podium for Fred Wright?

Italy: Solely Belgium have gained this race extra occasions than, la Bella Italia, 19 victories; however time is rolling on, 2008 and Alessandro Ballan looks as if a distinct period.
Matteo Trentin has been second and fourth on this race and while at 33 years-old, he’s no spring rooster, the shape is there, sturdy in Limousin and Luxembourg he has few friends in relation to foxiness and it’s not tough to envisage him on the rostrum. Then there’s Alberto Bettiol, a person who’s both common or superior, which can or not it’s? And in contrast to some nations the Italian crew is legendary for unity and driving as a TEAM – while there are ‘I’s’ within the Belgian spelling of ‘crew.’

Matteo Trentin
Matteo Trentin has a superb World’s report

The Netherlands: The orange jersey has triumphed seven occasions however ‘Joopie’ and 1985 is historical historical past when you’re not a dinosaur like me – and ‘sure’ Dave and I had been there. One other massively sturdy crew; MVDP is coming again to boil with three straight wins in his final three races – Gerardsbergen, Izegem and Wallonie and should be considered as a ‘tremendous favorite.’ However then there’s huge Bauke Mollema, the tougher the higher for that Dude. And don’t neglect Paris-Roubaix winner, Dylan Van Baarle, he wasn’t doing a few hours which included huge efforts on the Vuelta relaxation days as a result of he’s a sadomasochist.

Mathieu van der Poel – Should be one of many high favourites

Norway: The final time the Worlds was held in Australia, it was a Norwegian who gave the nation it’s one win within the occasion – Thor Hushovd in 2010. I’ve checked the climate for Wollongong and there’s no likelihood of snow, gales and solely a low proportion likelihood of rain – all of the issues that make Alex Kristoff a contented camper. Nonetheless, he’s one other ‘tougher the higher’ man and 12 laps over that city circuit will likely be tremendous powerful and selective – a podium? It’s attainable.

The climate will likely be too good for Alex Kristoff:

Slovenia: Have one Worlds medal, courtesy huge sturdy Andrej Hauptman who took bronze in 2001 in Lisbon. BUT this may very well be the yr that adjustments, Tadej Pogačar introduced his return by beating WVA in Montreal; with the likes of Tratnik, Polanc and Novak he has sturdy help. Mark that man down as a ‘tremendous favorite.’

worlds20 mrr pogacar
‘Tremendous Favorite’ Tadej Pogačar

Spain: Six occasions winners with the newest in 2018, courtesy Alejandro Valverde – this Worlds gained’t be the identical with out the race’s most constant performer with 4 bronze, two silver and a gold medal to his title. However Movistar want them UCi factors, BAD. Marc Soler must be their man if they’ll calm him down and get him to keep in mind that the Worlds is ALWAYS in regards to the final lap.

Soler isn’t any Valverde, however…

Switzerland: The nation that gave us cuckoo clocks, Toblerone and Fabian Cancellara has huge ‘Classicer/Chronoman’ Stefan Küng as their man, the crew is sweet with expertise in Silvan Dillier and power in Stefan Bissiger. Küng was on the rostrum in Harrogate, don’t neglect.

Stefan Küng – He’s huge and he’s sturdy:

United States: Have gained thrice, 1993 with that Dude from Plano being the newest. They’ve two useful males of their line-up, fifth within the Worlds final yr, Neilson Powless and precocious 20 years-old INEOS expertise, Magnus Sheffield who has already gained a Belgian semi-classic in Brabantse Pijl.

Neilson Powless – fifth within the 2021 Worlds

4 tremendous favourites then: Remco, Wout, Mathieu and Tadej; BUT you realize what the French say about ‘le troisieme larron,’ – the ‘third thief’ – who grabs the jewels whereas the large villains squabble over the spoils. . .

worlds22 favourites
Might one among these riders be within the rainbow jersey on Sunday?

# Keep PEZ for all of the information and race experiences from Wollongong and catch-up in EUROTRASH Thursday and Monday. #

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