Join me from 10pm AEST for the Mens Team Time Trial from the World Championships in Tuscany, Italy.
Benvenuti a tutti to The Roar‘s coverage of the 2013 World Road Cycling Championships from Toscana, Italia.
Over the coming week, The Roar cycling team will be bringing you all the action, commentary and analysis of the Championships, starting with tonight’s Elite Men Team Time Trial.
The team time trial was introduced into the World Championships last year and is the only race at the Worlds where riders will race for their trade teams rather than for their country.
Tonight’s race will be raced over a 57.2 kilometre, mostly flat course. Starting in the historic town of Montecatini Terme, the teams will ride a generally straight course to the capital of Tuscany, Florence.
The race will finish at the Firenze Mandela Forum and, as with most events over the coming week, the course will see riders go past the beautiful, grand and magnificent Duomo.
If you’re looking for things to add to a bucket list, may I recommend putting this grand building number one.
The course has some small lumps early on, with an early climb to Serravalle Pistoiese. The next 42 kilomteres is straight and flat, but it is the last three kilometres that will provide the riders with some challenges.
As the race closes in on the Duomo, the teams will have to contend with cobblestones, speed humps and tight turns.
Those of you who follow the Grand Tours will be familiar with the team time trial format, although the teams for the Worlds will consist of six, not nine riders.
Teams can drop two riders with the time taken from the fourth rider to cross the line.
Last year Omega Pharma QuickStep won the event, with BMC second and Orica-GreenEDGE third.
This year’s podium placings could quite easily be between these three teams.
Omega Pharma will have the time trialling skills of German Tony Martin, who is one of the favourites for Wednesday’s Individual Time Trial.
He will be joined by Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel and the Belgian team could easily win back-to-back titles.
BMC will have Taylor Phinney and Teejay van Garderen as the team’s main workhorses.
With a bronze at last year’s Worlds in this event and victory in the Team Time Trial at this year’s Tour de France, Orica-GreenEDGE are also strong contenders.
Svein Tuft, Brett Lancaster and Daryl Impey, who were a part of the Tour de France stage winning team, will be leading the Aussie outfit tonight in Italy.
Australia’s current National Time Trial Champion, Luke Durbridge, will also ride along with Jens Mouris and Michael Hepburn. Impey is South Africa’s National Time Trial Champion and Tuft has won Canada’s National Time Trial on eight occasions.
RadioSchack will have Swiss time trialling master Fabian Cancellara leading them and Sky have named six of their Tour de France team.
Tonight’s race should be a cracking opener to the 2013 World Road Cycling Championships in Tuscany, Italy.
Join me from 10.00pm AEST for live coverage.