Sprinters planning to take to the startline of the 2018 Commonwealth Games road races will be buoyed by the routes which appear to lend themselves to bunch sprints.
Taking place in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, the parcours for men’s and women’s road race and time trial events at next year’s Games were released earlier today by organisers.
Road races will start and finish on the seafront at Currumbin Beach, with the men tackling nine laps of a 18.7km circuit, and the women riding six laps.
The laps takes riders throughout Currumbin, Currumbin Waters and Elanora, and although organisers have described the route as “challenging”, graphics and Strava segments appear to contradict that, with just the occasional incline and decline.
That will be good news to the sprinters who were thwarted in Glasgow three years ago, when biblical weather put paid to their chances and Geraint Thomas memorably won; the Welshman announced in December that he won’t be trying to defend his title in Australia, and his Team Sky and compatriots Luke Rowe and Owain Doull would also probably not ride
On first glance, the time trial looks a little bit tougher for the men, who make an out-an-back detour away from the urban sprawl, before returning to finish by the sea. Their distance is 37.8km, and the women’s 24.5km.
The biggest issue for organisers is how many high-profile names they will attract.
The road race takes place on Saturday, April 14 – either six days after the end of Paris-Roubaix, or the day before. The time trial falls on Tuesday, April 10, so riders face a choice of sacrificing the Spring Classics for the Commonwealths.
Along with Thomas, Mark Cavendish has already ruled himself out of competing in either the road or track events due to the clashes in the calendar.