Fabian Cancellara scorches to record fourth world championship time trial gold
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fabian Cancellara scorches to record fourth world championship time trial gold

by Ben Atkins at 4:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, World Championships
Swiss rider beats Millar and Martin to take another rainbow jersey

fabian cancellaraPedalling smoothly and gaining time as the kilometres passed, Fabian Cancellara made history today, blasting to a record fourth gold medal in the Elite men’s time trial at the world championships in Geelong, Australia.

The big Swiss rider followed up his victories in 2006, 2007 and 2009 with another gold medal today, setting off last and beating the time of David Millar (Great Britain) by one minute and two seconds. Last year’s bronze medallist Tony Martin had to be content with another third place, covering the 45.8 kilometre distance in a time one minute 12 off that of Cancellara.

Australian Richie Porte finished seven seconds off Martin’s time, and therefore just missed out on a place in the podium on home soil.

“I am really, really happy. I have won now four times and made history,” said a beaming Cancellara afterwards.

Millar showed his best worlds form in years and was actually ahead of his Swiss rival in the early stages. “My tactic was the opposite to Fabian, which was to attack in the first lap and then hang on for dear life,” said the Briton. “The first lap I was going ‘God, this is going to hurt next time around’, and it did.”

Third placed Martin might have gone at least one place better than his bronze of last year, but a puncture towards the end of the first lap cost him valuable time. “It is always hard to keep the motivation when you have a flat because you know every second is counting, especially when you are fighting for the win,” said the German afterwards.

As the test continued, Cancellara gained ground, moving further ahead on the final lap. He took several risks on the more technical sections of the race, appearing to go very close to a barrier on one descent. However he said afterwards that everything was in control.

“I didn’t touch the barrier,” said the Swiss rider. “Every second counts. I tried to go really close [to use the full width of the road], but not so that I would fall, as that is the last thing I want. In every metre of this race, you need to try to find an advantage. In the end, I had a nice result with this fourth win.”

Cancellara won on home soil twelve months ago and then tried to pull off an unprecedented double in the road race. He was one of the strongest but was closely marked, ultimately finishing fifth. He said before this year’s championships that he would once again try to become the first to win two. However, he said today that he didn’t want to think of Sunday’s road race just yet.

“At the moment, I have won four times and made history, and I want to savour this,” he said. “Last year I was riding at home, but I think here I can only look at this…tomorrow morning when I wake up, it will be another day. For sure I won’t put so much pressure on…there are others who can have that pressure. I have won this now and nobody can take it away.”

The 43 riders were to set off in four waves, according to seeding, starting with the slowest and finishing with top-seed and defending champion Cancellara more than three hours after the first rider, James Weekes of St Kitts and Nevis.

The early running was made by Russia’s Vladimir Gusev, setting a time of 1 hour, 1 minute 36 seconds, to go 15 seconds faster than the previous best set by Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spain); three riders later though Maciej Bodnar (Poland) went 27 seconds faster to lower the time further to 1hr 1’09”.

The Polish Liquigas-Doimo rider’s time was to stand up well against a number of better-seeded riders in the third wave, including the USA’s Tejay Van Garderen. The 22-year-old American started well, just 4 seconds behind Bodnar, but faded as the course went on to finish 1’41” behind the current leader.

Finally, after Bodnar had been sitting in the race leader’s seat for more than an hour, his time was eclipsed by Spain’s Luis Leon Sanchez. The Spanish time trial champion was almost 4 seconds ahead at the first checkpoint after 6.6km; this had fallen to just 2 seconds at the halfway point, but Sanchez kept the pressure on over the second lap to finish 20 seconds ahead.

Sanchez barely had time to take his seat in the leaders’ area though, before his time too was beaten. Australian Michael Rogers, himself chasing a record fourth World time trial title, was actually 6 seconds slower than the Spaniard at the first check but went steadily faster and faster over the two lap course. The HTC-Columbia rider went on to post a time of 1hr 0’34”, 19 seconds quicker.

40 minutes behind Rogers, the Australian’s teammate and 2008 champion Bert Grabsch (Germany) was the first of the top-seeded group to start. The big German didn’t find the steep climbs to his liking though and was consistently slower than his teammate. He eventually finished more than a minute behind the Australian, outside the provisional medal positions, in fourth.

Koos Moerenhout (Netherlands), riding his last championship before retirement, started faster than Rogers but he faded to finish 16 seconds slower. Multiple US champion Dave Zabriskie also scorched through the first checkpoint ahead of the Australian; he was consistently slower than Moerenhout though, and faded slightly at the finish to go provisional fourth behind Sanchez.

Even as Rogers had been posting the fastest time at the finish though, Great Britain’s Millar was flying though the first checkpoint in 9’29”; 31 seconds faster than the Australian and 20 seconds faster than Moerenhout, who’d posted the previous best at this point. Unlike the Dutchman though, Millar managed to maintain his speed throughout the course to finish 1’22” faster than Rogers; his time of 59’11” lowered the best time to less than an hour for the first time and set a tough challenge for the four riders behind him.

Last year’s silver medallist Gustav Erik Larsson (Sweden), like Grabsch found the steep hills didn’t suit his powerful style and he slumped to provisional seventh, just 5 seconds faster than the German.

Martin was just 8 seconds slower than Millar at the 6.6km check; the 25-year-old was 10 seconds slower at 14.7km but began to accelerate and may have been faster at the halfway point were it now for a front wheel puncture. Although it was quickly fixed and he was up to speed once more, he was 13 seconds slower as he crossed the line.

The rallied in the second lap and actually covered it 3 seconds faster than Millar, but the damage had been done by that first lap puncture and he finished 10 seconds behind in provisional second place.

Local favourite Richie Porte was the second from last to start, but the young Australian was unable to match either Millar or Martin’s times over the first lap. On the second lap though, the second time up to the first checkpoint on Scenic Road, he crept 5 seconds ahead of the German. He faded over the rest of the course though to slot into provisional bronze medal position.

Porte’s medal prospects looked very slim though, as the one rider left out on the course was Cancellara. The big Swiss rider was actually 6 seconds slower than Millar at the first checkpoint, but once he got his gears turning it looked inevitable that the fourth title would be his.

Dipping just under Millar’s time at the 14.7km check, he was 11 seconds ahead at the halfway point; only an accident, or a botched mechanical incident, could cost Spartacus now it seemed. At the second lap’s first checkpoint he was 24 seconds ahead, and this had increased to 44 seconds by the second with just 8.1km to go.

Cancellara crossed the line, holding four fingers in the air, 1’02” clear of Millar to take an unprecedented fourth World title. Millar took his second career medal, after his silver medal of 2001, while Martin took his second successive bronze.

Result Men’s Elite World Time Trial Championship
1, Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) 45.8 kilometres in 58 mins 9 secs
2, David Millar (Great Britain) at 1 min 2 secs
3, Tony Martin (Germany) at 1 min 12 secs
4, Richie Porte (Australia) at 1 min 19 secs
5, Michael Rogers (Australia) at 2 mins 25 secs
6, Koos Moerenhout (Netherlands) at 2 mins 40 secs
7, Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spain) 2 mins 44 secs
8, David Zabriskie (United States Of America) at 2 mins 51 secs
9, Maciej Bodnar (Poland) at 3 mins
10, Gustav Larsson (Sweden) at 3 mins 1 secs
11, Bert Grabsch (Germany) at 3 mins 6 secs
12, Ignatas Konovalovas (Lithuania) at 3 mins 7 secs
13, Vladimir Gusev (Russian Federation) at 3 mins 27 secs
14, Carlos Oyarzun (Chile) at 3 mins 30 secs
15, Nicolas Vogondy (France) at 3 mins 39 secs
16, Andriy Grivko (Ukraine) at 3 mins 40 secs
17, José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spain 3 mins 42 secs
18, Alex Rasmussen (Denmark) at 3 mins 45 secs
19, Sylvain Chavanel (France) at 4 mins
20, Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia) at 4 mins 4 secs
21, Artem Ovechkin (Russian Federation) at 4 mins 7 secs
22, Dmitriy Fofonov (Kazakhstan) at 4 mins 11 secs
23, Jack Bauer (New Zealand) at 4 mins 17 secs
24, Tejay Van Garderen (United States Of America) at 4 mins 41 secs
25, David McCann (Ireland) at 4 mins 52 secs
26, Svein Tuft (Canada) at 4 mins 55 secs
27, Martin Velits (Slovakia) at 5 mins
28, Raivis Belohvosciks (Latvia) at 5 mins 15 secs
29, Matias Medici (Argentina) at 5 mins 17 secs
30, Kanstantin Siutsou (Belarus) at 5 mins 23 secs
31, Michael Morkov (Denmark) at 5 mins 24 secs
32, Peter Velits (Slovakia) at 5 mins 26 secs
33, Tanel Kangert (Estonia) at 5 mins 30 secs
34, Andrey Zeits (Kazakhstan) at 5 mins 33 secs
35, Dominique Cornu (Belgium) at 5 mins 36 secs
36, Jos Van Emden (Netherlands) at 5 mins 47 secs
37, Jay Robert Thomson (South Africa) at 6 mins 59 secs
38, Jaroslaw Marycz (Poland) at 7 mins 24 secs
39, Gordon McCauley (New Zealand) at 7 mins 46 secs
40, Esad Hasanovic (Serbia) at 9 mins 2 secs
41, Reginald Douglas (Saint Kitts and Nevis) at 22 mins 51 secs
42, James Weekes (Saint Kitts and Nevis) at 23 mins 49 secs


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