World Cycling Championships 2014 Ponferrada: Route TTT
Sunday, September 21 – The 2014 TTT World Championships are on a 57.1 kilometres course in the surroundings of Ponferrada. Omega Pharma-Quick Step is the reigning champion, winning two times in a row. Edition 2012 saw them win with a 3 seconds gain over Sky and last year it was even tighter with 1 second over Orica GreenEdge. Are they heading for the triple?
The team time trial starts at exactly the same spot the individual time trialists will begin their race against the clock in three days time. The first 15 kilometres also are identical and then the routes differ. In the individual chronorace go straight ahead to Cacabelos, today the teams don’t cross the E-6 but they turn left to Carracedelo.
The first 10.9 kilometres are definitely speeding terrain since it’s a false flat down (-0.6%) and that speed can be maintained in the next sector, which is completely flat for a little under 6 kilometres. From kilometre 16.7 to the first intermediate checkpoint at 23.6 kilometres the read goes slightly uphill. First a false flat, but upon approaching the checkpoint a 700 metres 5% section lays waiting. By now we are in the village of Villafrance del Bierzo.
With 27.7 kilometres done Alto Pieros is the first serious hurdle. The 600 metres climb goes up by an average grade of 8.3%, directly followed by a steep descent in around 2 kilometres. We are halfway the TTT.
Up to the second intermediate checkpoint (in Camponaraya) the teams are bound to suffer. This is the terrain to go full gas and produce inhumanly speeds – the road is fairly flat when riding for Carracedelo and next Ponferrada. Little bends until a few kilometres from the finish line.
Starting at kilometre 42 the road is going false flat up (0.7%) for the next 10 kilometres, partly on the N-VI, a smooth highway tailor made for speeding.
Entering Ponferrada a 2 kilometres climb at 3.7% takes the riders to the highest point (603 metres) of the route. Only 2.8 kilometres left to the finish line – first half descending, second half flat.
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