September 23/05 5:02 am - Elite Men's ITT Story, News & Notes
Posted by Editor on 09/23/05
On Thursday Michael Rogers (Australia) became the first rider to win the elite men's time trial title in three consecutive years. He did it by watching how riders in the Espoir race who went out too hard, too early, faded in the latter part of the race.
""I tried to ride the first lap within myself, and save it for the last third of the race. I studied what happened yesterday and took my strategy from that."
Rogers was only fifth fastest after the first split, then picked it up to second fastest at the end of the first lap and finally pulled away in the final lap with the fastest time for each of the remaining splits.
Jose Ivan Gutierrez gave Spain its second silver medal in two days, finishing 23.77 seconds down on Rogers, and a mere 0.12 seconds ahead of Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) Gutierrez started out fast and faded in the final kilometres, recording only the fourth fastest time in the final half lap.
Ryder Hesjedal, attending his first Road Worlds, finished a credible 22nd, with Eric Wohlberg a little further back in 34th spot. Hesjedal only found out that he would be doing the time trial on September 9th, after national champion Svein Tuft pulled out with an injury.
"I can't be too disappointed with 22nd against the level of competition that was there. This was only my third time trial ever at such a long distance, so I didn't have too much to compare it to or plan for. I'm not really a time trial specialist, more of an all rounder, so I just tried to settle into a consistent steady rhythm and do a solid ride throughout.
I definitely think that I could have done better with more preparation. Physically I felt really good, but yesterday (Wednesday) and the day before were the only times I had been on a time trial bike since the Tour of Germany."
- Discovery had to cobble together a time trial bike for Hesjedal, since his personal one had already been stripped in preparation for the end of the season after Germany.
- As has already been announced by Phonak, Hesjedal will be joining them for 2006. The Phonak team is rebuilding with young riders such as Hesjedal. "It's a good team, a perfect time for me to make this move. They are looking primarily for me for the early season classics at this point, the one days, but it will change as the season goes and I get a chance to see what i can do. I'm not expecting the Tour at this point, but it is always a goal, of course. Phonak is interested in me as a developing rider." Hesjedal confirmed that his season ends after the road race on Sunday, but will be back in Spain in mid-October for the first training camp with Phonak.
- Rogers' win was his first of the season, and comes after a disappointing Tour. "It has been an up and down year for sure, but this makes up for it. Overall, I had some good results - seconds, fourths - but no wins, so this is the first victory. The Tour didn't work out the way I wanted, but that's life.
It did make the last couple of months hard, since I didn't achieve my Tour goals, but I am already thinking towards next year."
- The UCI announced that the Road Worlds will move back to northern Italy in 2008, in the town of Varese near the Swiss border. The 2008 BMX Worlds will be in Taiyuan, China.
- The fans are finally starting to come out, with four to five thousand at the elite men's time trial. Most were clustered on the climb or in the finishing area, but long sections of the circuit were still bare. The racing moves to the centre of Madrid for the road races Saturday and Sunday. Today the UCI holds its annual Congress, where the big story will be whether or not Pat McQuaid - the candidate endorsed by the UCI Management Committee and the current president Hein Verbruggen - wins the presidency. If he does (and he is still considered to be favoured), then he will have a huge amount of fence mending to do after the acrimonious last few years Verbruggen has had with the Grand Tour organizers (France, Italy, Spain), teams, national and rider associations, and WADA.