London 2012 Men’s Olympic Individual Time Trial: live updates, blog
Join The Roar later this evening for the second and final part of the men’s road disciplines in these London 2012 Olympic Games. Live coverage of the Olympic Time Trial will begin at 11:00pm AEST with updates throughout.
Thirty-seven cyclists from around the world will compete for the title of Olympic Time Trial Champion. A title they can carry for the next four years, and perhaps in the style of Samuel Sanchez, have gold chains, bike and helmet to match.
The defending champion, Fabian Cancellara will be the last to start, with other favourites preceding before him.
The first rider will be off at 2:15pm London time, and Cancellara will leave the gate at 3:09pm London time. Due to the length of the TT and the short start list, there is a chance that only a handful of competitors will have finished by the time Cancellara starts.
The TT course will cover 44km of flat ground, but will have plenty of twists and turns to make bike handling ability count. Something that will certainly favour specialists like Cancellara and Tony Martin.
The favourites: If you asked me a week ago, Fabian Concellara would be my pick for another gold medal. Not only is he coming in as the defending champion, he also left the tour early because of the birth of his second child and had more time to rest and adequately prepare. However, he crashed hard with 15km to go in the men’s road race, and it’s uncertain how much the injury will impact him.
Bradley Wiggins is not to be counted out. He performed spectacularly in all of the TTs in the TdF and had beaten all other favourites on the start list.
Two things going against Wiggo are the fatigue from the Tour and the men’s road race, where team GB did more than its share of work trying to deliver Cavendish to the line… and failed.
Chris Froome is another rider who could be in contention for a medal. He time trialed very well in the tour, and I’m very excited to see what he’s able to do riding a TT for himself with a few days of rest.
Others in medal contention are Tony Martin, current world champion in the discipline, Taylor Phinney, an American with a few gold medals to his name, tho all on the track, and Bert Grabsch of Germany.
The name missing from the TT start list is that of Cadel Evans, who would have been one of my favourites to medal had he not pulled out of the event. This leaves the lone Australian, Michael Rogers, to compete in the TT.
The reason cited for Evans’ withdrawal is insufficient recovery. Who can blame him? After racing a three-week tour as one of the GC contenders, a little over a week isn’t nearly enough to be performing at one’s best in the Olympic TT.
But was it ultimately the right decision for Evans? Most of the favourites racing the TT have also raced the long tour and the 250km road race last week. And Cancellara, who left the tour early, is now potentially going into the TT injured.
Perhaps Evans should have given it the good old try? We’ll never know, but what we do know is that this is likely his last chance at the Olympic games.
Even if he does follow in the footsteps of 41-year-old Horner, it is unlikely he will be the same force at the 2016 games as he is now.
Here are my picks for gold, silver, bronze (in that order): Wiggins, Cancellara, Froome.
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