Words by Mikkel Condé
Photos by Kramon and Sirotti
While the team time trial was very difficult to call, the elite men’s individual time trial seems to be a bit easier to predict. After winning in Copenhagen in 2011, Tony Martin has won the last three World Championships. Now, he has a chance to be the first one ever to win four years in a row. Luckily for the German, the course suits him very well. The first 30 km are pretty much flat, while the last 15 km are hillier. This means that Martin really can take advantage of his huge engine on the first part. Few, if any, are able to push the same gears as him. Unless he faded completely on the hills in the final, it would be a surprise not to see Tony Martin at the top of the podium Wednesday afternoon.
Bradley Wiggins and Tom Dumoulin will most likely join Tony Martin on the podium. Wiggins’ time on the track this season will benefit him greatly in Ponferrada. This year, the Brit has done four time trials on the road. He has won the last three and claims to be in excellent shape at the moment. Wiggins finished second, behind Tony Martin, in both 2011 and 2013. This time, he’s eager to finally take the gold medal. Tom Dumoulin also knows how it feels to finish second behind Tony Martin. He did so in the ITTs in Belgium Tour, Tour de Suisse and Tour de France this year. Lately, the Dutchman did very well in the Canadian races. There is no doubt that he’s arriving at Ponferrada in extremely good shape. It won’t be easy to beat Tony Martin but I’m sure a World Championship medal will be acceptable for him as well. With only 23 years of age, Tom Dumoulin still has many years ahead of him to become world champion against the clock.
Even though these three riders are the top picks for the podium, it wouldn’t be wise to count out riders like Rohan Dennis, Adriano Malori, Rasmus Quaade and Vasil Kiryienka. They all excel in this discipline and come to Ponferrada with high expectations. On a good day, any of these guys could win a medal. In the men’s U23 time trial, we have three riders about the rest. It would be a big surprise not to see Campbell Flakemore, Stefan Kung and Ryan Mullen on the podium on Monday afternoon. However, the race for gold is very close. All three have a solid chance of winning this time trial.
On paper, Ellen van Dijk is the top favorite for the women’s time trial on Tuesday. She won in front of Linda Villumsen in Florence last year and we could very well end up seeing the same scenario this time in Ponferrada. Hanna Solovey is probably the best outsider pick for the win. The young Ukrainian finished 8th last year. This season, she’s been very strong in the time trials. Last week, she even beat Ellen Van Dijk in Chrono Champenois. It won’t be easy for Solovey to become world champion this year but she should make it onto the podium. This is the schedule for the individual time trials: Monday: Women’s Junior & Men’s U23 Tuesday: Men’s Junior & Women’s Elite Wednesday: Men’s Elite.