Welcome to Cycling Weekly live coverage from the time trial at the 2021 Road World Championships in Flanders
1. Filippo Ganna (Italy), in 47-48
2. Wout van Aert (Belgium), at 5s
3. Remco Evenepoel (Belgium), at 43s
Check below for the latest updates:
Good afternoon folks!
Cycling Weekly digital news editor Alex Ballinger here. I'm bringing you live coverage for today's thrilling elite men's TT at the World Championships in Flanders.
The race is wide open, as reigning champion Filippo Ganna tries to defend his title against challengers like Stefan Küng, Wout van Aert, and Remco Evenepoel.
We should be set for an explosive TT.
For the all important timings, the race will get underway at 1.40pm BST with Christofer Jurado Lopez of Panama, with the final rider set to push off at 3.05pm BST.
Here are the names to look out for:
1:55:00 - Daniel Bigham (Great Britain)
2:07:00 - Remco Evenepoel (Belgium)
2:44:30 - Ethan Hayter (Great Britain)
2:58:00 - Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia)
2:59:30 - Remi Cavagna (France)
3:01:00 - Kasper Asgreen (Denmark)
3:02:30 - Stefan Küng (Switzerland)
16:04:00 - Wout van Aert (Belgium)
16:05:30 - Filippo Ganna (Italy)
Here is the official course preview for the men's elite TT in Flanders.
This year riders face a 43.3km-long run from Knokke-Heist to Bruges, on a mostly flat course, albeit with a gradual rise to the finish line (according to the profile at least).
The course is also pretty technical, with some really sharp turns and a winding loop in the middle section, so watch out for some sketchy cornering. This will definitely suit riders who spent a lot of time on the TT bike and aren't afraid to lean it over in the turns.
Men Elite ITT | Course Preview 🗺 🕒 Start Time: 14:30 CEST 🏁 Distance: 43.3 km📈 Elevation: 78 m#Flanders2021 pic.twitter.com/8xIa5YIacASeptember 19, 2021
The UCI World Championships are a celebration of everything that is great in our sport, but this weekend we have also had a tragic reminder of the dangers that follow when riding your bike out on the road.
Former professional rider Chris Ankers Sørensen has died after he was hit by a driver while cycling on the World Championships time trial course on the eve of the race.
The Dane, who retired from the peloton in 2018, was a hugely respected broadcaster working with Danish television, who had been covering the 2021 Worlds in a year that Denmark is expected to flourish.
You can read tributes from the cycling world to Sørensen here.
Right ladies and gents, we are under way out in Belgium! We have the first riders out on the course.
Christofer Robin Jurado from Panama was the first rider to set off, followed by Matteo Sabrero (Italy) and Ali Jawaid from Pakistan.
Fans are lining the roads on this technical course - we're set for a great day of racing.
Ireland's Marcus Christie is out on the course, and a fascinating bit of trivia from our columnist Dr Hutch, who is currently on broadcast duties with GCN - Christie is actually riding a bike that used to belong to Sir Bradley Wiggins, having bought the Pinarello online from the retired British Grand Tour rider.
Marcus Christie 💪🏻#Flanders2021 pic.twitter.com/gktSWwT1VQSeptember 19, 2021
The USA's Brandon McNulty has hit the start ramp, the UAE Team Emirates rider looking super aero in the winding early part of the course. He is being supported by staff from EF Education-Nippo (a US-based team), including the team car which is following behind.
We've not yet seen him out on the course on the TV broadcast, but GB's Dan Bigham has started his ride. Hopefully we'll get some updates from his ride.
Matteo Sobrero is on a good ride, he's just caught the Panamanian rider who started 90 seconds in front.
Sobrero will now be the first rider to finish and should set the early benchmark time.
Sobrero currently has the fastest time at the first intermediate check, 16-25, followed Marcus Christie of Ireland with a time of 17-02.
One of the big favourites is on the start ramp - Remco Evenepoel looks ultra-focused as he starts his run on the coast in Knokke-Heist.
Evenpoel is one of the home stars in this Belgian World Championships, but this is a pan-flat course so can he keep up with the big riders like Ganna and Küng.
Woahhh Dan Bigham is on a flyer! He's just set the fastest time at the first intermediate time check, 16-05, 20 seconds quicker than Sobrero.
We've still not seen any of him on the broadcast, but it looks like he's in great form for this event.
Bigham is a star of the domestic time trial scene back in the UK and is an expert in all things aerodynamics, making him a dangerous rider, even if he is an unknown quantity at this level.
Spoke too soon, Bigham has been knocked off the top spot at the first intermediate time check, Max Walscheid of Germany is now quickest with a 15-59, six seconds faster than the Brit.
Matteo Sobrero is still the leading rider out on the course and is about to hit the second time check. He's set a time of 38-56, but with Walscheid, Bjerg, Bigham and McNulty all faster than him at the first time check he is not likely to hold the top spot for long.
Remco Evenepoel is through the first time check, around 13km into his ride, and he is already on an absolute flyer.
The home favourite sets a 15-48 at the first check, 11 seconds faster than the next quickest rider.
It's a storming ride from the diminutive Deceuninck - Quick-Step rider so far.
Matteo Sobrero is the first rider to finish his ride.
The Italian sets a time of 50-53 for the 43.3km-long course.
First sign of Bigham on the TV broadcast!
He just came through the second time check with the fastest time so far, 38-11, about 40 seconds quicker than the next fastest Sobrero.]
Max Walscheid (Germany) has just come through the second timing check and is slower than Bigham.
But we still have some serious names following behind, including Remco Evenepoel.
A slightly unexpected change in conditions as we're seeing some wet roads on parts of the course.
It doesn't look like enough to dramatically change the result just yet, but if we get more rain that could seriously help these earlier riders.
The second time check and Remco Evenepoel is absolutely crushing this course.
He is still the fastest rider in the final part of the course with a time of 37-17, 37 seconds quicker than the next fastest rider Stefan Bissegger (Switzerland).
Dan Bigham crosses the finish line and is provisional fastest rider!
Great ride from the Brit, who set a time of 49-58, almost a minute faster than Sobrero.
But Bigham doesn't even make it to the hot seat, as Max Walscheid from Germany has gone quicker by 17 seconds to set the new fastest time.
Here are the preliminary results from the first 10 riders to finish:
1. Max Walscheid (Germany), in 49-41
2. Daniel Bigham (Great Britain), at 17s
3. Matteo Sobrero (Italy), at 1-12
Incredible ride from @DanBiggles22 who have absolutely everything to that 👊🇬🇧49:58.45 good enough for second position at this stage! ⏱ @ethan_hayter is on course 🔥#Flanders2021 pic.twitter.com/ErFg07RypkSeptember 19, 2021
Stefan Bissegger comes to the finish with plenty of time in hand and he sets the new fastest pace, 49-13.
Rapid time from the Swiss rider, but Remco Evenepoel is not far behind.
wow, what a ride from Remco Evenepoel (Belgium). He crosses the line ANOTHER 42 seconds quicker than Bissegger.
Evenepoel is the fastest rider by a huge margin and takes the provisional lead.
Phenomenal stuff for the Belgian crowds.
Here are the provisional results after 17 of the 58 riders:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Belgium), in 48-31
2. Stefan Bissegger (Switzerland), at 42s
3. Max Walscheid (Germany), at 1-10
Cycling superstar Tadej Pogačar is out on the course, just two months after he won the Tour de France.
Despite his phenomenal powers against the clock, Pogačar is not the favourite to win on a pan-flat course like this.
But he is likely to still put out a very strong time against this field, it's going to be an exciting ride to watch.
We're now into the sharp end - Stefan Küng, the newly crowned European Champion is out on the course.
Can he beat Ganna again?
Wout van Aert is on his way!
The Belgian superstar is among the favourites, but hasn't been involved in any high profile TTs since the Tour de France, where he won the stage 20 time trial.
He's in front of home crowds - how will that help his performance?
And now the final rider on the start ramp, reigning champion Filippo Ganna.
Ganna was on fire in the early part of the season, but hasn't been riding at his best in the second half of 2021 out on the road.
Can he pull it back here?
Woah! We've not seen him on the screens yet, but Ethan Hayter from Britain is tearing around this course.
He is just three seconds slower than Remco Evenepoel at the first timing check.
Can he hold onto that time in the middle section of the course?
Kasper Asgreen from Denmark is looking phenomenal!
He just seven seconds quicker than Evenepoel at the first time check.
Can he maintain that gap over the remaining 30km to take the hot seat?
Küng is looking outstanding as expected.
The Swiss rider is now the fastest after 13km, setting a time of 15-37.
But wow Wout van Aert is even faster again!
Van Aert is the quickest at the first time check with a 15-19, 17 seconds quicker than Küng and 30 seconds faster than Evenepoel.
There was a tense moment for Van Aert there though, as he lost grip on the rear wheel and slid, but he was able to keep the bike upright and press on.
Can Ganna set the new fastest time at the first checkpoint?
He's not quicker than Van Aert, but is still the second fastest rider out on the course, seven seconds behind the Belgian after 13km.
This is going to be a thrilling final 30 minutes to this TT.
Van Aert is enjoying the home crowds, as the streets are lined with roaring Belgian fans.
This is a special moment for Belgian cycling - can Van Aert take victory to make it even more special?
Ethan Hayter hits the finish.
It's a provisional podium for Hayter in his first elite Worlds TT. He's about 40 seconds slower than Evenepoel, not enough for the win but it's still a great ride after a remarkable season for the Brit.
Tony Martin rides across the line in his final elite Worlds time trial before retirement.
An absolutely stunning career the German has had, including four World Championship TT victories and five stages of the Tour de France.
Küng has lost time in the middle section of the course, he's fourth fastest at the second time check, slower than Evenepoel and Asgreen.
Wout van Aert is fastest now at the second check! His time is 36-46, 30 seconds quicker than Evenepoel.
Ganna is the final rider to cross the second time check, it's going to be close.
Wout van Aert is still fastest but Ganna is less than a second slower!
This is unbelievably close. It's between these two riders now and it call comes down to the final 13km or so of this course.
It's so close! @GannaFilippo is second at the 2nd intermediate, less than one second behind Wout van Aert. Who do you think will come out on top? #Flanders2021 pic.twitter.com/uLLmJRFGCbSeptember 19, 2021
Provisional sixth place for Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia), which is a great time for the double Tour de France winner on a course that really doesn't suit him.
Phenomenal result for Kasper Asgreen (Denmark) who is provisional second place, just two seconds slower than Remco Evenepoel's time at the line.
Stefan Küng now heads into the final kilometre. The Swiss pro appears to be off the pace today, which is hugely disappointing after his dominance in the European Championships last week.
Küng has very nearly been caught by Wout van Aert, this is a fantastic finish.
Küng goes provisional third fastest, 22 seconds slower than Evenepoel.
Wout van Aert is the fastest!
The Belgian has smashed Evenepoel's time by 37 seconds.
Now we wait for Filippo Ganna, the only man who can beat Van Aert. It's going to be a nervous 90 seconds.
Ganna is into the final kilometre.
It's still insanely close, but who will emerge victorious?
He's just a few seconds in hand as the metres tick by.
HE'S DONE IT.
Filippo Ganna wins by just five seconds over Van Aert!
Filippo Ganna wins the 2021 World Championships time trial.
Phenomenal stuff, here are the final results:
1. Filippo Ganna (Italy), in 47-48
2. Wout van Aert (Belgium), at 5s
3. Remco Evenepoel (Belgium), at 43s
Here is your top-10:
1. Filippo Ganna (Italy), in 47-47
2. Wout van Aert (Belgium), at 6s
3. Remco Evenepoel (Belgium), at 44s
4. Kasper Asgreen (Denmark), at 46s
5. Stefan Küng (Switzerland), at 1-07
6. Tony Martin (Germany), at 1-18
7. Stefan Bissegger (Switzerland), at 1-26
8. Ethan Hayter (GBr), at 1-27
9. Edoardo Affini (Italy), at 1-49
10. Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia), at 1-53
Filippo Ganna's response to his World Championships victory
"I woke up this morning with a dream of winning" @GannaFilippo Cycling´s newest World Champion shows that he is a true sportsman. Congratulations Ganna 🌈#Flanders2021 pic.twitter.com/srkWLiCSG1September 19, 2021
Here is the analysis from the elite men's time trial, courtesy of our regular contributor Chris Marshall-Bell: