Perfect time trial course for Contador at 2014 world championships?
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Perfect time trial course for Contador at 2014 world championships?

by Shane Stokes at 8:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
Details of Spanish courses emerge

Alberto ContadorA course which seems tailor made for a rider like Alberto Contador to become world champion has been designed for the time trial at the 2014 world championships in Ponferrada, Spain.

Spanish publication Desde la Cuneta has released details of what it says will be the time trial course in three year’s time. It covers 39 kilometres and while the first 30 of those are on mainly flat roads, the conclusion is something which will suit TT riders who are also strong on climbs.

Those final nine kilometres rise from an altitude of approximately 550 metres to 1100, providing ample opportunity for riders like Contador to make up any time they might have conceded to the pure time trial riders in the early part of the test.

The final climb of San Cristobal de Valdueza averages 9.5 kilometres and ramps up to 17 percent in places. It has appeared twice in recent editions of the Vuelta a España, acting as the platform for climbers Roberto Heras and Alejandro Valverde to win road race stages.

While Contador is much lighter than recent championship winners Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara, he has beaten both in the past and is a better climber.

The Spaniard has won three editions of the Tour de France, two Giri d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana. Two of those Grand Tour victories remain to be confirmed, though, as the Court of Aribitration for Sport will next week hear an appeal by WADA and the UCI relating to his positive test for Clenbuterol.

The route for the road race will also please Spain’s riders, although it could suit puncheurs of any nationality. The circuit will include two climbs along its 20 kilometre lap distance; the first of those comes six kilometres after the start, and begins with a ramp of 250 metres at seven percent gradient. A stretch of 5.1 kilometres follows to the top of the Col de Montearenas, averaging 3.5 percent.

After that, the riders drop down and begin the 1.1 kilometre, six percent climb of the Col de Compostilla, which includes segments of ten percent. The finish is on flat ground and has a straight of 800 metres to the line.

This year’s Elite world titles were won by Tony Martin (Germany) and Mark Cavendish (Great Britain), while their HTC Highroad team-mate Judith Arndt (Germany) and Giorgia Bronzini took the women’s time trial and road race.


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