Tonight, the UCI will crown a new elite Men’s World Champion, as the final event of 2013 UCI Road World Championships week concludes with the biggest race of them all, the Elite Men’s Road Race. Join us for live updates from 9.00pm AEST.
The race gets underway in the Tuscan city of Lucca and heads towards Florence, arriving after just over 100 kilometres of racing but the race is far from over as the riders tackle 10 laps of a 16.6-kilometre loop.
The loop takes in a 4.3 kilometre climb up to Fiesole at an average gradient of 5.2 percent and a shorter but tougher climb of Via Salviata, only 600 metres in length but a maximum gradient of 16% with an average of 10.2 percent.
Neither climb is significant if encountered once, but the riders will make the ascent of each climb 10 times, sure to test the legs come the end of the race.
The main contenders are the unsurprisingly those who have competed for GC honours in the Grand Tour this season.
Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain, Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi of Italy, Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain, while Australia’s hopes rest with Richie Porte and Cadel Evans, though Evans has stated he doesn’t feel his form is good enough to challenge for the title.
Reigning world champion Philippe Gilbert of Belgium can’t be ruled out if he times his attack right, while the Colombian’s could spring a surprise with Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Uran both likely to be suited by the course and never shy to attack their rivals.
It should be a fascinating race and it’s certainly wide open, so join me for all the live action from 9:00pm AEST.