England's Dan Bigham is looking to bounce back from a disappointing track campaign at the Commonwealth Games when he takes on the time trial on Thursday.
Bigham will be earmarked as one of the favourites to take home gold. In October 2021, Bigham broke the British national hour record when he rode 54.723 kilometres to beat the distance previously set by Bradley Wiggins.
He also finished second to Ethan Hayter at the National Championships time trial in June.
Bigham told Cycling Weekly that the technical course suits him: “I would say my strengths are definitely in courses that are varying and technical, which is exactly what this is.
"You’ve got descents, corners, sketchy roundabouts, all manner of everything, and lots of it. There are some big climbs too, which will be significant. You’ll need a lot of power, whichever way you look at it.
"I’m not Rohan Dennis or Geraint Thomas, I’m not going to be doing silly numbers, but I’m looking forward to it.”
The 30-year-old admitted that his track performance earlier in the week wasn’t what he had hoped. Bigham said that after two days off, he’s ready and prepared to put in a performance, he added “the last 36 hours I’ve re-focussed on the TT and I’m feeling confident about it. It’s not going to be easy, that’s for sure but I’m ready. There’s going to be a lot of pain and suffering with how variable the course is, but I’m confident I’ll recover and am looking forward to it.”
KEY ROUTE INFORMATION
Riders will begin their hunt for a medal in West Park, Wolverhampton before then heading out on a loop around the city before reaching the finish in the park. The women will tackle a 29km route whereas the men’s is slightly longer at 37 kilometres.
As they travel round the loop, the men and women will head past Dudley’s historic castle before coming back to West Park. The park, which opened in 1881, is widely considered as being one of the finest examples of unspoilt Victorian parkland in England. Within the grounds of the park, you’ll find a Grade II listed bandstand, conservatory, tennis courts, bowling greens and a lake.
EXPECTED TIMINGS (ALL TIMES IN BST)
Start time: 10:01
Finish time: 10:55
Wave one start: 12:01
Wave one finish: 13:04
Wave two start: 14:01
Wave two finish: 15:04
RIDERS TO WATCH
Rohan Dennis of Australia and Wales’ Geraint Thomas will go into the race as the two out and out favourites for the gold medal in the men’s race. Both riders will be expected to go well on the 37km course and finish in the podium positions.
Other riders who will be looking to spring a surprise will be Dan Bigham, Aaron Gate of New Zealand and Scotland’s John Archibald.
Gate comes into the time trial in a rich vein of form after already turning in several impressive performances on the track over the weekend. The rider from New Zealand has already won three gold medals in the points race, team pursuit and individual pursuit. Another outsider who could well be in contention is Australia’s Luke Plapp.
In the women’s race, Australia will be the strong favourites for the medals particularly through Grace Brown and Georgia Baker. Baker proved herself to be in good time trial form in the Giro Donne, where she was second in the prologue.
Joss Lowden of England will be looking to challenge for the home nations as well as Anna Shackley of Scotland. Shackley is known as a climber but was fifth at the time trial National Championship in June.
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