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September 20/05 1:13 am - Road World Championships Preview


Posted by Editoress on 09/20/05
 

Road World Championships Madrid, Spain

Rob Jones has arrived in Madrid to cover the racing that starts tomorrow.

It is a little less than 16 hours until the start of the 2005 Road World Championships in Madrid. The competition begins tomorrow with the Elite Women's and Espoir Men's time trials. Both races (and the Elite men a day later) take place in the Casa de Campo park on the western edge of the city. This is the same place where the Mountain Bike World Cup races have taken place over the past few years.

The circuit begins with a long out-and-back section heading west. The women go out 7.2 kilometres before turning around. The whole way out is a gradual uphill - only 100 metres of vertical gain, but nowhere to rest. They then turn around and descend the same section before heading north for the only climb of the course - a 900 metre ascent with an average grade of approximately 6.5%. The riders finish by dropping back down and making a sharp 135 degree right before the finish, for a total of 21.9 kilometres.

The Espoir men do almost the same circuit, however, they don't go out as far on the out-and-back portion (only 5.6 kilometres). Instead, they do two laps for a total of 37.9 kilometres. The Elite men do two of the longer circuits that the women will do, for a total of 44.1 kilometres.

The women start at 10:00 am local time (4:00 am EDT), and the men at 1:00 pm local (7:00 am EDT). There are 39 women scheduled to start, with two Canadians - national champion Sue Palmer-Komar (off at 10:06 local / 4:06 EDT) and Felicia Greer (10:31:30 local / 4:31:30 EDT). Canada also has two men in the Espoir event - Ryan Roth at 1:21 local (7:21 EDT) and national champion Christian Meier at 3:15 pm local (9:15 EDT). Because the men are doing two laps, they are being sent off in waves. The last rider is expected to finish at around 5:15 pm local (11:15 am EDT).

The weather shouldn't be a problem - it is 30C and the sun is shining.

For Thursday, Eric Wohlberg and Ryder Hesjedal will represent Canada in the Elite men's competition (national champion Svein Tuft is injured).

Race Notes:

- The Canadian team is gradually arriving - Alison Sydor just arrived from France, along with a number of other riders who were preparing there.

- A large topic of conversation is the construction that is going on around Madrid. It appears that the entire city is under construction, including the main ring road highway which goes right past Casa de Campo. This has made accessing the race site exceedingly difficult for everyone.

- We are already hearing grumblings from riders about the road race course, which makes a 180 degree turn only 600 metres from the finish line.

- The UCI is taking a leaf out of the mountain bike book and instituting a "Hot Seat" in the time trial events. Basically, the fastest rider will stay at the finish in the Hot Seat until his or her time is beaten. The rider who holds onto the Hot Seat the longest gets a Tissot watch.

 


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