World Cycling Championships 2017 Bergen, Norway: Favourites road race – men

michal kwiatkowski - World Cycling Championships 2017 Bergen, Norway: Favourites road race – menThe road race at the World Cycling Championships in Bergen takes place on a hilly course of 276.5 kilometres. The riders face more than 3,800 vertical metres, while the finale consists of a technical descent and then 8 kilometres on the flat. Cyclingstage.com brings you the favourites to win the rainbow jersey. (Slideshow route/profile)

The route of the road race at the Worlds in Bergen is downright hard. Following a gently undulating intro of 40 kilometres the riders hit a local circuit that’s covered twelves times. Every loop takes in 4.7 kilometres of climbing and 261 vertical metres. The intro taken into account, the riders face more than 3,800 vertical metres. This is similar to a mountain stage in the Tour de France, although the route at the Worlds is much longer than your average mountain stage in a Grand Tour. Yet, if you want to win the rainbow jersey in Bergen, you got to have climbing legs.

The short climb of Salmon Hill is bound to play a pivotal role. The 1.5 kilometre slope is averaging 6.4%, which should help the whittling-down process. At 2.4 kilometres, the Salmon Hill descent is rather technical before an 8.2 kilometres section on the flat runs to the line. In the ultimate lap, the hill could be acting as an ideal launchpad for a race-winning move.

The course is perfect for Peter Sagan. If he is to win his third rainbow jersey in a row, that would make him stand out even more than he already does, as nobody did it before. Alfredo Binda, Rik Van Steenbergen, Eddy Merckx and Óscar Freire – they all wore the rainbow jersey for three seasons, but not in a row. If Sagan wants to pull it off, he has to deal with the likes of Michal Kwiatkowski, Michael Matthews and Edvald Boasson Hagen. All three strong descenders with a lethal finish. Three years ago, in Ponferrada, Kwiatkowski powered to the rainbow jersey afters striking on the final descent. Moreover, the Pole is in the form of his life in 2017. Not only did he win Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and Clásica de San Sebastián, he played a vital role in helping Chris Froome win his fourth Tour de France, too.

Favourites World Championships road race 2017

***** Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews, Michal Kwiatkowski, Greg Van Avermaet
**** Matteo Trentin, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Philippe Gilbert, Wout Poels, Rigoberto Uran
*** Bauke Mollema, Niki Terpstra, Julian Alaphilippe, Diego Ulissi
** Rui Costa, Tom Dumoulin, Tim Wellens, Primoz Roglic, Fernando Gaviria, Lars Boom
* Alexander Kristoff, Daniel Martin, Jarlinson Pantano, Tony Gallopin, Michael Albasini

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World Cycling Championships 2017 Bergen, Norway: Route-, profile maps and more

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