The weather in Geelong, Australia, was unforgiving today and promises to be the same for the first round of the World Championships time trials tomorrow.
The weather changed throughout today, going from clear and cool to windy and rainy several times. This affected the cyclists as they previewed the circuit today from 13:00 to 15:00, the time the organisers closed it to traffic.
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Several times in the day, the barriers were blown down due to high wins, forcing the cyclists to pay attention and not ride so close to the edge of the road.
The local Australian team plans to adjust accordingly.
“It’s pretty hard to predict the weather so it’s probably best to go for a more consistent tyre, one you know is going to get through the race,” said Cycling Australia’s national performance director Shayne Banning. “If we knew the conditions were going to be good then you go for a fast tyre, but not knowing what it’s going to be like, we’ll go for consistency.”
Predicted conditions tomorrow are 13°C and clear, though winds and rain may appear at anytime as with today. The under-23 men race their 31.8-kilometre time trial in the morning and the women will race their 22.9-kilometre time trial in the afternoon.
The first rider off is at 10:00. USA’s Taylor Phinney races at 11:58 and Britain’s Alex Dowsett at 12:46. On the women’s side, Britain’s Emma Pooley races at 15:45, Australia’s Alexis Rhodes at 15:54 and, the last rider, Germany’ Judith Arndt at 15:55.
The elite men race on Thursday, but they were some of the cyclists testing the course today. Two cyclists are going for their fourth title: Swiss Fabian Cancellara and Australian Michael Rogers.
“Today, it was a crazy day with the weather,” Cancellara said via Twitter. “A lot of wind, hard showers and pretty fresh, it was 12 degrees. Koalas and kangaroos stay in bed.”
“The harder the course the better it is for Rogers,” Banning said. “Whether he’s got the same form that he had earlier in the year for the time trial we’ll wait and see on Thursday, but he’s certainly put in a lot of time and effort in the last month in particular.”
Start times for the elite men will be announced tomorrow as well as the 2013 World Championships location.