It’s the same route that the TTT followed on Sunday.
The last time all the big guns competed in such a long ITT was the 2012 Olympics.It was over 44km and it finished like this:-
2.Tony Martin 0:42
8.Bert Grabsch 2:38
2013 has seen Tony Martin deliver some great ITTs.He did the fastest ever Tour de France ITT,setting an average speed of 54.27km/h.It was wind asisted apart from the final 2km,that was into a head wind.He has won ITTs at the Tour of Algarve,Tirreno-Adriatico,Tour of the Basque Country,Tour of Romandie,Tour of Belgium,Criterium du Dauphine and the Tour de France .
He lost his last ITT to Cancellara at the Vuelta but that was up a hill and then down a hill,not like here.
Bradley Wiggins has had an indifferent season,but still performed well in ITTs,winning Giro del Trentino,Tour of Poland and Tour of Britain.He finished 2nd at the Giro,due to a bike change and 5th at the Eneco where he went very carefully round the corners.
Crucially he and Martin haven’t raced against each other this year in this discipline.
In 2012 they competed against each other 4 times and Wiggins won every time.That was at the Olympics,Tour de France,Criterium du Dauphine and Tour of Algarve.
Wiggins seems to have got his mojo back and is focused on this event.His poor,early season form,was mainly due to him not training as hard as usual and losing his motivation.Both these things are back.His motivation now is to prove people wrong,this is very powerful for someone like Wiggins.
Cancellara has to be considered but with the road race on Sunday will he put the necessary suffering on his body?
His results this season have been:-
Tirreno-Adriatico 4th,Tour of Belgium 77th,Tour de Suisse 16th and 65th,Tour of Austria 1st,Tour of Poland 2nd and 1st at the Vuelta.
He lost to Wiggins by 56 seconds in Poland.
Taylor Phinney has only competed in 3 ITTs this season.He finished 72nd in the Giro,3rd in Poland and 6th at the Eneco.This has been a poor return for him.In the TTT on Sunday he said he had a bad day,I don’t see it going any better for him by himself.
The other quoted riders are Pinotti,Malori,Grabsch,Dennis,Kiriyenka,Dowsett,Chavanel,Porte,De Gendt,Westra,LL Sanchez and Castroviejo.
The Vacansoleil DS said this after Sunday’s TTT,
“Really good team time trialists are rare and De Gendt is not up to par.Half September there are also other circumstance to take into account.For example,you do not want to overtax a rider in order to let him focus on the road race next Sunday”.
Westra had this to say,
“I felt quite strong today.Flecha was more than okay too.I’ve done my homework in Spain and that was noticeable today.It’s a good sign for the ITT on Wednesday”.
This being the case I backed Westra v De Gendt in a match bet at 11/10.This bet is now unavailable!
I think Wiggins will win the race,with Martin 2nd.The problem is the odds.
The best on Wiggins is now 8/5 with Martin at 11/10.So no value to be had.Looking at the top 3 is a little better.If you bank on Cancellara taking it a bit easy and Phinney under-performing a space on the podium is open.
I think Sylvain Chavanel looks over-priced at 28/1.He is not riding the road race,so he can focus on this.He won his last ITT,at Eneco.At the French championships he averaged 48km/h over a 45.5km course.
Another interesting rider is Patrick Gretsche.He was 2nd to Tony Martin at the German TT championship.This ride seemed to come from nowhere,if he can match it he could go top 5-10.
Vasil Kiriyenka is the type of rider that goes well over a long TT course.He has a good chance of going top 5.
The start times are interesting for the race:
Patrick Gretsch 13:30(:00very early)
LL Sanchez 13:43:30(very early)
Rohan Dennis 14:19:30
Jeremy Roy 14:40:30
De Gendt 14:49:30
The riders are out at 1:30 intervals and I fully expect Wiggins to put Phinney under serious pressure and probably catch him.
Westra is chasing his teammate De Gendt.
Tony Martin will have time checks and know what he has to do to win.
I think Wiggins wins with Martin 2nd.The battle for 3rd will be close but I fancy Chavanel!