The course is 57.9 kilometers in length and as flat as can be. Especially the middle part is suited for high speeds, the long straight road between Pistoia and Florence looks like it’s created just for men like Tony Martin (photo) and Bradley Wiggins.
Tony Martin is the reigning World Champion since 2011 and he won just about every (flat) time trial he participated in this year. This makes him the biggest contendor. Three world titles in a row would not be unique – Michael Rogers did it in the period 2003- 2005 – it would be a top performance nevertheless. Especially after his phenomenal ‘time trial of 175 kilometers’ in the 6th stage of the Vuelta a España of 2013, Tony Martin is today’s main candidate.
Bradley Wiggins is not the rider he was in 2012. Starting as one of the riders to watch in the Giro – if not thé rider to watch, he ‘dropped out’. But at least his time trial in Italy was phenomenal. And after a rest, Fabian Cancellara was declassed in the Tour of Poland. Sir Bradley is current Olympic Champion time trial, the discipline’s world title is still lacking on his record.
In recent years emerging as a classic specialist, Fabian Cancellara used to be the best time trialist of the pack. Yet he is still strong. Was absent in this year’s Tour de France and won the (hilly) time trial in the Vuelta. Is four times winner, his last world championships title in this discipline is from 2010.
Taylor Phinney is the youngest of the candidates. Last year the 23-year-old American won silver at the World Championships time trial in Valkenburg, only 5 seconds behind Tony Martin. Winning a stage in the Tour of Poland, Phinney showed he is ready and willing. He won the individual time trial in the Giro d’Italia of 2012, after which he wore the pink jersey for a few days.