UCI Road World Championships 2013
Preview Road Race
The 2013 World Road race is tomorrow. Riders who perform well in Toscana nomally go well at Worlds. Although a number of riders are also keeping a low profile, maybe they are not ready to give away their true form just yet.
The Dutch have a number of cards to play, eight to be exact. 2012 Olympic and World road champion, Dutch superstar Marianne Vos (Rabo Women) is in great form but she may not be their 'ace' to play, maybe their 'joker'. Talking to Vos earlier in the week after her silver medal in the Team TimeTrial, she reflected on the course and how the race might pan out, "Expect it to break up early. The climb is long and with the extra technical descent it will be easy for a lead group to form. The second really steep climb will certainly play a part. I would expect a small select group to form to fight for the win,"said Vos. Vos may not be the one to watch, riders will need to watch the inform, Anna van der Breggen (Sengers), she was climbing well in Toscana recently and could be the dark horse when everyone is watching Vos. They also have other power riders that could cause some damage, Annemiek van Vleuten and Lucinda Brand (Rabo Women), Loes Gunnewijk (Orica-AIS), Amy Pieters and Kirsten Wild (Argos-Shimano) and of course the newly crowned ITT champion Ellen van Dijk (Specialized Lululemon) could all cause damage during the race.
Sweden's Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) will want to ensure she is riding at the front to make it into a break opportunity. Johansson does not have a realy strong team of climbers to support her, so will need to rely on her ability to set the pace for herself.
The Italians will be looking for another win. Like the Dutch they have eight in their team.They have had a number of riders showing recent good climbing legs, in particular, Rossella Ratto and Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products UCK). Longo-Borghini is riding her way into good form and her bronze medal from Valkenberg last year, will certainly have given her a taste for a possible win on hime soil. Tatiana Guderzo (McCipollini Giordana Galassia) and Noemi Cantele (Bepink) are also climbing well on the short power climbs and recently Valentina Scandolar notably a sprinter showed she can also climb. You can also never discount Giorgia Bronzini, if she can get into the front group towards the end she would love to make it 3/4 wins.
The USA are the dark horses. Apart from Evie Stephens and Carmen Small (Specialized Lululemon), who are obviously in great form after their time trial results, the Americans will also be looking to Mara Abbott (winner of the 2013 Giro) and Megan Guarnier to be in the right position on the day.
German Trixi Worrack (Specialized Lululemon) will be supported by a number of strong riders, notably team mate Lisa Brennauer, Claudia Hausler (Team Tibco - To The Top) and Elke Gebhardt (Argos-Shimano). Worrack and Hausler can both climb well so it will really be about positioning when the attacks go.
The Russians will be hoping that Tatiana Antoshina (McCipollini Giordana Galassia) continues her good form, expect the Russians to go on the attack, like they did in the Junior race today.
The Australians have a number of cards to play, Tiffany Cromwell (Orica-AIS) is selected along side Orica-AIS team mates, Shara Gillow, Amanda Spratt, Gracie Elvin and Amy Cure. Lauren Kitchen (Wiggle Honda) should be used to go in the early break along side Carlee Taylor (Lotto Belisol) could be there too and if it sticks, both of these could podium. Martin Barras (Sport Director-Australia) reflected on how the junior women's race unfolded and how the elite women's race might evolve, "What we saw today was that the early group were able to stay away because the rest waited way too long to chase. There were insufficient numbers in the chase to really organise themselves, and no one wanted to take control," said Barras. "Of course letting a group go away will work if you have sufficient numbers back to chase hard, but the Dutch and the Italians have a greater proportion of riders and will therefore be able to play the numbers game better than most. I think it will bean attacking race and it will not be won just on the uphill but also how capable the riders are at descending fast," added Barras.
Luxemburg will be looking to their lone rider, Christine Majerus (Sengers) to be high up in the rankings. She is a good climber and one to watch, Canada have a mix of experience and new blood, their hopes will be on Joelle Numainville. If she can manage to get over the climbs. South Africa will be looking to Ashleigh Moolman. Moolman has proved she can climb well in one day races after her podium at Fleche Wallone earlier in the year.
Road Race:Saturday, September 28 2013 Montecatini Terme - Florence 140.05 km
Expect an early break on the run from Montecatini Terme to Florence. This if managed well by the teams will be closed down by the first time they reach the climb. The climb to reach Fiesole will be a crucial selection point in the race and it isanticipated that the first time the leaders reach the finish line the peloton will be significantly reduced.
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