Just like last year in Bergen, Norway, the course is perfect for time trialists with climbing legs – yet, to a lesser extent. The riders roll down the start ramp to enter a flat section of some 30 kilometres. So the guys who like to push a big gear are treated. Then they tackle the hardest section of the day and the route climbs to the village of Gnadenwald, which is a 4.9 kilometres slope averaging at 7.1%. The route continues on a false flat until dropping down to the valley again.
Following the downhill the route kicks up slightly two more times. The first is 700 metres at 3.5%, but as the riders just come down a descent they will hardly feel the difference. With 6.6 kilometres to go a 800 metres section slopes at 4%, which could hurt and break your rhythm. The rest of the route is flat.
All in all, it is fair to say that this year’s course is longer but less hilly than last year’s. In Bergen the riders raced a 31 kilometres course with almost 600 vertical metres, while the Innsbruck course amounts to 54.2 kilometres and takes in 495 vertical metres.
Both last year and this year, Tom Dumoulin, Primoz Roglic and Rohan Dennis are the main favourites to power to the rainbow jersey. The Dutchman had super legs in Bergen and he won the race with a clear lead. The only contender who could match him on the intermediate points was Dennis, but the Australian hit the deck and finished eight. Roglic took second place, Chris Froome third.
Arguably, Dennis is top-favourite to win the Innsbruck time trial. With less vertical gain and more sections on the flat the course suits his abilities just perfectly, while Dumoulin and Roglic are strongest on a more demanding ITT route.
Rohan Dennis won all the long time trials that he competed in this season. He pocketed the Australian Championship and took the ITT’s at the Abu Dhabi Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico and Giro d’Italia. Also, he won two ITT’s in La Vuelta. Dennis’ Abu Dhabi and Giro victories were at the expense of Dumoulin, who bested the Australian in the short and hilly opening ITT of the Giro. In addition, the Dutchman won the Tour de France’s ITT (where Dennis didn’t participate).
Favourites World Championships time trial
*** Tom Dumoulin, Rohan Dennis
** Michal Kwiatkowski, Bob Jungels, Maciej Bodnar
* Stefan Küng, Tony Martin, Nelson Oliveira, Victor Campenaerts
World Cycling Championships 2018 Innsbruck-Tirol: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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