Monday, 21 September 2015

After a long break which was caused by both a lot of work and long awaited holidays, I'm back right in time for the most important junior event of the year, World Championships in Richmond, Virginia.

The route


Juniors will tackle two laps of 15 kilometers circuit in the city of Richmond. As the official document describes "Racers will head west from downtown to Monument Avenue, a paved-lined historic boulevard that’s been named one of the “10 Great Streets in America.” From there, the course makes a 180-degree turn and continues in the opposite direction. The race then cuts through the Uptown district before coming back through Virginia Commonwealth University and then crossing the James River. After a technical turnaround, the race comes back across the James and works its way through downtown Richmond, eventually heading up the 300-meter-long climb on Governor Street. At the top, riders will face a false flat 680 meters to the finish"


Time trial lap map (photo: richmond2015.com)

Time trial lap profile (photo: richmond2015.com)



The Governor Street (avg. 7%, max 8%) will definitely soften the legs, especially at the second passing right before the finish. As I expect pretty close battle for the win, this might be the crucial point of the race. The route is described as technical but apart from few difficult turns riders will pass mostly across wide, almost highway like, roads where pure power and aerodynamics will be the most important.


The favorites


Obvious is obvious. Brandon McNulty won every time trial in junior category he entered this year. The big wins was for sure at Course de la Paix where he crushed the opposition including Adrien Costa and won with a big gap and at Driedaagse van Axel where he has beaten some of the other favorites like Mader and Storer. He is also current US champion in time trial where he won just a seconds ahead of Costa. Same goes with Tour de l'Abitibi Desjardins time trial where he also won ahead of his team mate and the biggest rival. I could tell you a lot about how versatile rider Brandon is but let's keep that for the road race preview. Can he handle the pressure ? If yes, and if his form is as good as we already seen few times this year, McNulty is the hot favorite. The only disadvantage I can find is that this will be the longest TT he rides this year and he doesn't have the experiance from last year's Worlds like the other favorites has.


Adrien Costa is silver medalist in time trial from Ponferrada and for sure is a hot favorite to win another medal this year in Richmond. Apart from three second places behind McNulty this year, he also finished second in Trofeo Karlsberg where only Niklas Larsen was fastest and won the time trial during Tour du Pays de Vaud beating Mader by quite a margin. Costa is one year older, more experienced and for sure motivated to win. If someone is going to beat McNulty it will probably be Costa.

The only rider that was able to beat Costa this year and wasn't named McNulty was Danish rider Niklas Larsen. Apart from his big win in Trofeo Karlsberg, Niklas also won time trial during Grand Prix Rüebliland earlier this month showing signs of good form right before the Worlds. But it's also worth to note that Larsen won the same TT in Rüebliland a year ago but few weeks later wasn't able to ride that fast in Ponferrada and finished twelfth. He will be up there with the top10 being almost certain but form of the day will decide if he can fight for the medals.

Last year third, Michael Storer is another strong contender for the podium. Current Australian road race champion showed strong form lately winning the queen stage in Aubel - Thimister - La Gleize just a day after he was second and won the sprint of elite group in the previous stage. He was also second in time trial during Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt only beaten by local star, Bastian Flicke. Earlier this year he was third in Driedaagse van Axel just behind McNulty and Mader.

The last from the biggest favorites for the time trial is Swiss rider Gino Mader. Swiss champion in time trial was close to win in all three big time trial tests he entered this year. He was second in Driedaagse van Axel, second in Tour du Pays de Vaud and fourth in Grand Prix Rüebliland lately proving he's in shape right before the Worlds. Last year in Ponferrada he was nineteenth as first year junior but I am sure that Mader is able to finish on podium this time.

Other names to watch: Nikolay Ilichev, Tobias Foss, Matteo Sobrero, Pavel Sivakov, Anthon Charmig, Leo Appelt and Michael O'Loughlin.

Prediction?


I'm on McNulty. He will win again proving to be the best junior rider of the year. Costa and Storer will get silver and bronze, just like last year. If anyone can really surprise and beat this guys it will be my dark horse pick: Keagan Girdlestone.



Start order and times (for Europe time, add six hours)

09:30:00 57 PHONARJTHAN Patompob THAILAND
09:31:00 56 BATSAIKHAN Tegsh-Bayar MONGOLIA
09:32:00 55 MANO Yuttana THAILAND
09:33:00 54 ROSTOVTSEV Sergey RUSSIAN FEDERATION
09:34:00 53 MONTEIRO MARTINS Pedro BRAZIL
09:35:00 52 STANNARD Robert NEW ZEALAND
09:36:00 51 PORTILLA Bryan ECUADOR
09:37:00 50 MANSOURI Oussama ALGERIA
09:38:00 49 SAWADA Keitaro JAPAN
09:39:00 48 EL KOURAJI Mouhcine MOROCCO
09:40:00 47 GORBUSHIN Ilya KAZAKHSTAN
09:41:00 46 DEWULF Stan BELGIUM
09:42:00 45 TAYLOR Joel CANADA
09:43:00 44 MONTOYA Javier COLOMBIA
09:44:00 43 DE VINK Gregory SOUTH AFRICA
09:45:00 42 GAMPER Patrick AUSTRIA

10:20:00 41 BRUNEL Alexys FRANCE
10:21:00 40 APPELT Leo GERMANY
10:22:00 39 CONCI Nicola ITALY
10:23:00 38 O'LOUGHLIN Michael IRELAND
10:24:00 37 SLEEN Torjus NORWAY
10:25:00 36 CHARMIG Anthon DENMARK
10:26:00 35 SIVAKOV Pavel RUSSIAN FEDERATION
10:27:00 34 BISSEGGER Stefan SWITZERLAND
10:28:00 33 SWEENY Harry AUSTRALIA
10:29:00 32 MCNULTY Brandon UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
10:30:00 31 CHUA Merrill Jern-E SINGAPORE
10:31:00 30 YERI MINGO Santiago ARGENTINA
10:32:00 29 D. KOVACS David Gabor HUNGARY
10:33:00 28 PESSOA DE OLIVEIRA FILHO Marcio Jose BRAZIL
10:34:00 27 GAVARS Eriks Toms LATVIA
10:35:00 26 BARAC Antonio BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

11:10:00 25 FOUCHE James NEW ZEALAND
11:11:00 24 ANDERSSON Gustav SWEDEN
11:12:00 23 ALONSO Pablo SPAIN
11:13:00 22 SIERRA Erik ECUADOR
11:14:00 21 MANSOURI Islam ALGERIA
11:15:00 20 OTRUBA Jakub CZECH REPUBLIC
11:16:00 19 ISHIGAMI Masahiro JAPAN
11:17:00 18 SAJNOK Szymon Wojciech POLAND
11:18:00 17 CHOKRI El Mehdi MOROCCO
11:19:00 16 PRONSKIY Vadim KAZAKHSTAN
11:20:00 15 PHILIPSEN Jasper BELGIUM
11:21:00 14 GEE Derek CANADA
11:22:00 13 CARDONA Julian COLOMBIA
11:23:00 12 GIRDLESTONE Keagan SOUTH AFRICA
11:24:00 11 GALL Felix AUSTRIA
11:25:00 10 LOUVET Louis FRANCE

12:00:00 9 SINGER Max GERMANY
12:01:00 8 SOBRERO Matteo ITALY
12:02:00 7 TUOMEY Simon IRELAND
12:03:00 6 FOSS Tobias NORWAY
12:04:00 5 LARSEN Niklas DENMARK
12:05:00 4 ILICHEV Nikolay RUSSIAN FEDERATION
12:06:00 3 MADER Gino SWITZERLAND
12:07:00 2 STORER Michael AUSTRALIA
12:08:00 1 COSTA Adrien UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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