The World Championships road race is the best opportunity for a British rider to triumph over the Dutch, according to Lizzy Banks.
Italy will be hosting a challenging women’s road race on Saturday (August 26), with riders facing laps of a tough undulating course for a total distance of 143km.
Despite the continued dominance of Dutch riders at World Championships level, Banks believes this course is the best possible opportunity for the British squad, including former world champion Lizzie Deignan.
Banks, a stage winner in the 2020 Giro Rosa, said: “I think that the course here really suits the British Cycling riders and I messaged Lizzie [Deignan] yesterday when I got back saying this is the perfect course for you.
“I truly believe that we can achieve something here. The Dutch are always hard to beat, but I think this is the best course possible for us in terms a course where we have a chance to beat the Dutch.”
Both Banks and Deignan are in great form this year, as the pair scored a one-two in the GP Plouay (Deignan taking the win), with Deignan then winning La Course a few days later.
Banks said: “So I’m just coming from the Giro Rosa and I think I showed there that I had pretty good form. I think I’m climbing the best I’ve ever climbed in my life as well. So I would say my form is pretty good.”
The 29-year-old also raced the World Championships time trial on Thursday (September 24), which was won by Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen.
Banks finished 15th in the TT, which is a huge result for a rider relatively new to time trialling.
She said: “So for me the time trial is definitely more of a learning experience, and I am not a time trial specialist, but I do believe that in the future [I could be].
“I know that I have the raw power, and I need the time and the investment into the aero side of it.
“It’s really a learning experience, but I truly believe that in 2024, I see no reason why I wouldn’t be one of the riders who is competitive at the highest level in the Olympics.
“And so for me it’s about taking these small steps to get there.”
Looking ahead to the road race, Banks said: “Lizzie Deigian and I are both very similar riders, and we’ve got a really strong team here.
“I think the fact that our characteristics are both quite similar puts us in a really good position for this race, and makes it more challenging for our rivals actually, and I’m sure our coach will come up with a great plan at the end of the day, but Lizzie is a proven winner, she’s won this race before she knows what it takes to compete at the highest level, and whatever happens, I’ll be fully in the service of the Great Britain team.”
On how to beat the Dutch, she added: “You’re gonna have to wait and see on Saturday, you’re gonna have to watch the race.”