Jalabert agrees with predictions that a sprinter will win 2011 world championships
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jalabert agrees with predictions that a sprinter will win 2011 world championships

by Conal Andrews at 11:59 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
French selector completed reconnaissance of road and time trial route in Copenhagen

Laurent JalabertNational selector and former world number one Laurent Jalabert will have the task of deciding who will best represent France in the world road race championships in Copenhagen, and is now sure on what characteristics will be needed to fight for the title.

The Frenchman travelled this week to see the courses for both the road race and the time trial. “It's not a difficult route, but there are not many places where it goes straight on, so the field will be stretched out,” he explained to Cycleworld, referring to the twists and turns of the 14 kilometre road race circuit. He believes the tactics that will most likely be employed will lead to a set outcome. “I believe that it will end with a mass sprint, as many nations will come with sprinters and therefore will have an interest that it will finish that way. The uphill finish, however, will ensure that it is not a normal bunch gallop.”

As might be expected, Jalabert nominates Mark Cavendish and Tyler Farrar as those he regards as most likely to do well, even if he would take huge satisfaction from a strong French showing.

Neither rider made the cut this year, being left behind on the tough circuit. Cavendish was a non-finisher, while Farrar was 81st, almost 14 minutes back.

However next year’s course is considerably flatter than the Geelong circuit, and this should play to their strengths. Defending champion Thor Hushovd is also very fast, but may find it difficult to beat his two rivals if it is a straight sprint to the line. As a result, the Australian and British teams are likely to take responsibility for controlling the race.

While Jalabert never won that event, he did triumph in the time trial world championship. He took the rainbow jersey in 1997, beating Serhiy Honchar and Chris Boardman, and also used his time trial strength in winning the 1995 Vuelta a España.

He believes that the Copenhagen course is going to produce some rapid times. “It is an entirely flat route that is near-perfect for specialists,” he said. “There is not a dangerous turn in the route and it will be raced with an average speed of 51-52 kilometres per hour.”


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