2012 World Championships, Men’s Road Race: Live updates, blog
The World Championship Mens Road Race is finally here, and riders will tackle a demanding, 265km course featuring a 100km ride through the surrounding areas of Dutch city Limburg. Join us for live coverage and updates.
The final part of the race is ten testing laps around a 16.5km course in the heart of Limburg in search of the coveted, rainbow jersey.
The lapped circuit is set to suit the climbers, with two climbs of total length 2.4km inside the circuit, with the final climb; Cauberg Hill including a steep maximum gradient which is 12%.
However, if you are thinking that the climb isn’t steep enough to rule out a bunch sprint then you should consider that the finish line is only 1.7km from the top of Cauberg Hill; a distance that should be too small for the sprinters to recover from their losses on the final climb.
The favourite is Phillipe Gilbert. The classics specialist is suited perfectly to the course and knows it inside and out, as the Belgian lives very close nearby.
After winning two stages in the Vuelta, the Belgian is back to his powerful best and gunning for his 1st world road title to add to his already impressive, resume.
In his way though will be many other top class contenders.
The style of the race does also suit Victorian Simon Gerrans; clearly Australia’s best chance at this year’s World Championships road race.
Gerrans, 32 who has been tipped by many to claim what would be only Australia’s second ever Gold at the Men’s World Championship road race, could launch a stinging attack a few kilometres out from the finish line to tear the race apart, or could be successful in a strong breakaway group.
Either way, the current holder of Milan-San Remo is Australia’s best hope of a victory, and will be doing all he can to do so.
Plan B for Australia would have to be Simon Clarke. The 26 year old Orica GreenEDGE rider who impressively won the King of the Mountains classification at the Vuelta only weeks ago, could be a threat to securing the Rainbow jersey if he pursues an opportunity in what will be a highly sought after breakaway.
Clarke is in the form of his life, and if he can continue some of the outstanding form he produced at the Vuelta we could be seeing him atop the podium in Limburg, later tonight.
2005 victor Tom Boonen, five time Grand Tour winner, Alberto Contador and the likes of Alejandro Valverde and even Thomas Voeckler are potential threats in tonight’s race. Peter Sagan may also enjoy this course. It is a very open field.
As we saw in the Olympic road race with 38 year old, Alexandre Vinikourov’s surprise victory, upsets do occur. It set to be an intriguing, action packed race, with the entire field leaving nothing in the tank in pursuit of victory.
So, to make sure you don’t miss a beat of what is set to be an incredible race, please join me from 7:45PM AEST for live updates, blog.
All comments, thoughts, and opinions are welcomed as the race unfolds.
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