The second event of the men’s Elite European Championships will be the individual time-trial. Won by Stefan Küng last year, it is one of the races that Is most important for the time-trialists all year round, and will see the riders battling for the European stripes.
The route though is surprisingly short, a medium-sized time-trial. West of Munich the riders will be racing on a loop around Fürstenfeldbruck which totals just just little under 24 kilometers. It will be a very fast route, without technical sections and descents, with roads where the purists can lay down their power.
The 24-kilometer route starts with a small hilltop with the riders leaving town, 400 meters at 7.4%. This will not be a crucial point of the course, however it will be crucial to manage this spike well as the riders may go into the red and fail to recover – or in another scenario, they may start off too slow and then have too much time to take back in the rest of the effort.
The remaining 23 kilometers of the route though are fairly simple, with the riders crossing two small towns, but mostly riding through open country roads with no sections that will completely break the rhythm.
The temperatures will soar over 30 degrees and there will be a breeze from the east. This means a slight tail/tail-crosswind for the first two thirds of the time-trial, and the final third will likely see a headwind to it.
Filippo Ganna – Current World champion Ganna was a last-minute addition to the time-trial. How he will do with the heat is unknown, but you can say that about everyone. His TT’s in the Tour de France were not ideal, he missed a podium result, the headwind won’t favour him and his dismissal of the Hour Record indicates that he may not be at the top of his game. On a strong day however, it will be hard to top him.
Stefan Bissegger – Bissegger suffered with crashes at the Tour, however he’s shown great signs this year at the UAE Tour where he beat Ganna. Ever since though, he has had a far from strong run. Still he showed form at the road race, and will be a good option here.
Stefan Kung – Kung hasn’t won a time-trial this year. He’s the defending champion and had promising results early in the year, but as the riders above he struggled through the Tour de France with no TT results to impress.
The fight for the win should be in those three riders. Outside of them, a fight for the podium may exist in case one of the three big names doesn’t have a very good day, and in that case you could see the trio of Mattia Cattaneo, Jan Tratnik and Mikkel Bjerg come through and take a medal. They are expected to largely dispute the final places in the Top5.
Behind them there will be another four riders who may instead fight for a Top5, and largely occupy the rest of the Top10. That will be in the veterans Jos van Emden and Maciej Bodnar, German powerhouse and home hope Max Walscheid, and Belgian option and aerodynamics specialist Rune Herregodts.
⭐⭐⭐Filippo Ganna, Stefan Bissegger
⭐Mattia Cattaneo, Jan Tratnik, Mikkel Bjerg, Max Walscheid, Jos van Emden, Rune Herregodts
I will go with Stefan Bissegger for the win. I think the headwind will be an issue for Ganna, and Bissegger gives me more confidence at the moment taking into consideration how the last month has passed.
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