Summer Olympics 2016 Rio: Favourites ITT – men
The individual time trial of the Summer Olympics in Rio is played out on a hilly 24.2 kilometres circuit, which is raced twice. So Tom Dumoulin has been dreaming in olympic colours for months. The Dutchman is a rare breed specialist like Bradley Wiggins, who climbs just as well as he powers on on the flat. Other major contenders?
But, let’s face it: chances are Dumoulin is going to succeed Sir Bradley. In the 2016 Tour de France he was in a class of his own in stage 13, a hilly time trial on a course similar to the Olympic ITT. He put more than 1 minute into number two Chris Froome, which was all the more significant as the route was merely 37.5 kilometres, while the race in Rio totals 54 kilometres.
The route in Rio features two climbs. The Grumari is a 1.2 kilometres ascent at 7% with steepest sections at 13%, and the Grota Funda is more regular. At 2,1 kilometres, the average gradient is 4.5% and the maximum gradient 6%.
One could argue Tom Dumoulin is akin to Bradley Wiggins. While most ITT specialists are not too fond of climbing, both the reigning Olympic champion and Dumoulin are an exception to the rule. In theory Chris Froome is Dumoulin’s biggest rival. The Briton is a good climber and a descent time trialist, but he is not a specialist like the Dutchman. That said, at the Olympics in London he powered to the bronze medal.
Primoz Roglic is another major contender. He took the hilly 40 kilometres ITT in the 2016 Giro and missed out on the maglia rosa in the short ITT of stage 1 by a few hundredths of a second.
Favourites ITT Summer Olympics:
*** Tom Dumoulin, Chris Froome, Primoz Roglic
** Rohan Dennis, Nelson Oliveira, Ion Izagirre, Vasil Kiryienka, Geraint Thomas
* Michal Kwiatkowski, Taylor Phinney, Fabian Cancellara, Tony Martin
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