Latest previews, snippets and gossip ahead of the 2014 Road World Championships road races
Sir Bradley Wiggins celebrated a ‘job done’ at the world championships on Wednesday night, although by the looks of it his time trial after party was a restrained affair.
“Having a 1man party,” Wiggins wrote on his Instagram feed, accompanied by a photo of him in his rainbow jersey with one small bottle of beer.
With over 11,000 ‘likes,’ it was a great bit of unexpected publicity for his Spanish lager of choice, too.
Juniors aim for top tens
Great Britain has high hopes for the junior men’s and junior women’s road races on Friday and Saturday respectively.
“We’re capable of a top ten finish in both races,” said Matt Winston, Great Britain’s junior coach and manager in Spain.
Matt Gibson took a tenth in the junior men’s time trial earlier this week, and he’ll be the GB rider should the junior men’s road race end in a sprint. James Shaw, who signed for Lotto-Belisol U23 for next season, will be looking to make the breakaway.
Winston predicts the junior women’s race might be raced less aggressively, and GB’s best option if the race comes down to a sprint will be Grace Garner. The younger sister of double junior champion Lucy has been suffering from illness this week but Winston is optimistic she will be fit for the road race on Friday.
“We’ve got options in the junior boys, and it’s the same with the girls,” he added. “We’ll have a good plan but we’ve got a team where everybody will have a chance.”
Junior men’s road race team: Gabriel Cullaigh, Nathan Draper, Matt Gibson , James Shaw , Steve Williams .
Junior women’s road race team: Megan Barker, Grace Garner , Beth Hayward , Mel Lowther.
“I’ll be back”
Tony Martin’s preparations for the 2015 world championships time trial started as soon as his 2014 bid was over, it seems.
The dejected German, who finished second on Wednesday, picked up a full results sheet on his way out of the press conference and studied it closely as he sauntered out of the press room.
The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain…
Riders in the men’s time trial (and Cycling Weekly reporters) have been treated to clear blue skies and sunny weather this midweek in Ponferrada after regular deluges affected the junior, U23 and women’s TTs earlier this week.
However the rain is forecast to return on Sunday in time for the elite men’s road race. With cool mornings and daytime highs seldom over 20 degrees Celsius, conditions could suit the tough, classics hard men of the peloton.
Will Ben Swift be one of them? He did finish third in Milan-San Remo, remember…
Nutella, breakfast spread of champions?
The popular chocolate-hazelnut spread brand Nutella has teamed up with the Italian team at this year’s world championships.
Squadra Azzurra member Dario Cataldo tweeted a picture of his 5kg customised jar of the stuff, although according to reports he and the rest of the riders will only be able to tuck in after the road race on Sunday.
U23 road race
Great Britain should benefit from a pressure-free role in the U23 men’s road race, which takes place on Friday afternoon, according to Great Britain’s U23 manager Keith Lambert.
The team again has a number of options; Tour de l’Avenir stage winner Dan McLay will look to sit tight in the wheels over the lumpy course while Owain Doull, who came fourth in U23 Tour of Flanders, will have a free role to attach himself to any good looking moves.
The pair will be supported by Tao Geoghegan Hart, Scott Davies and Alex Peters.
The Shark’s teeth
Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali is out in Ponferrada as part of the Italian team once again after coming fourth in Florence 12 months ago.
‘The Shark’ is one of three Tour de France winners who will ride the road race on Sunday, accompanying Chris Froome (Great Britain) and Cadel Evans (Australia).
The course ought not to be hard enough for Nibali to reprise his role as potential race winner, however his gear choice shows the hills in Spain aren’t to be sniffed at.
The Italian’s bike was fitted with a 28-tooth rear sprocket to go with his 39-tooth standard inner chainring. Both Campagnolo Super Record 11-speed, of course.