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World’s preview: Elite men’s time trial

In this 10th year of elite men’s time trialing at the road world’s therehas been an alternation between wins by specialists and all-rounders. SpecialistsChris Boardman (1994), Abraham Olano (1998), Sergei Gontchar (2000) andSantiago Botero (2002) took the title on courses that were devoid of seriousclimbs, while grand tour winners Miguel Induráin (1995), Alex Zülle(1996), Laurent Jalabert and Jan Ullrich (2001) won on tougher courses.Of the 44 starters in Thursday’s 41.3km elite men’s TT (two laps ofthe hilly circuit raced by elite women and junior men on Wednesday), thereare two riders who

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By John Wilcockson

Is Millar still the favorite?

Is Millar still the favorite?

Photo: AFP (file photo)

In this 10th year of elite men’s time trialing at the road world’s therehas been an alternation between wins by specialists and all-rounders. SpecialistsChris Boardman (1994), Abraham Olano (1998), Sergei Gontchar (2000) andSantiago Botero (2002) took the title on courses that were devoid of seriousclimbs, while grand tour winners Miguel Induráin (1995), Alex Zülle(1996), Laurent Jalabert and Jan Ullrich (2001) won on tougher courses.Of the 44 starters in Thursday’s 41.3km elite men’s TT (two laps ofthe hilly circuit raced by elite women and junior men on Wednesday), thereare two riders who have medalled on the more challenging courses of thepast, Britain’s David Millar (second at Lisbon in 2001), Germany’s UwePeschel (third at Duitama in 1995) and Ukraine’s Gontchar (second at SanSebastian in 1997).Peschel, 34, and Gontchar, 33, are nearing the ends of their careers,but Millar, at 26, is just entering what should be his best years. Alreadyin 2003, Millar raced brilliantly to win the final time trial at the Tourde France, ahead of Tyler Hamilton and Lance Armstrong, while he twicefinished second to Spain’s Isidro Nozal in the long (and flat!) TTs atthe Vuelta a España. And Millar’s solo road stage win at the Vueltaconfirmed his newfound grittiness.While Millar is the clear favorite on Thursday, when the sunny, windyweather is expected to continue, with temperatures in the low-70s. In theseconditions on this course, the two most likely to join Millar on the podiumare two others fresh from the Vuelta, Levi Leipheimer of the U.S. and IgorGonzalez de Galdeano of Spain.ELITE/PRO MEN
Details: Thursday, October 9, first start 12:31 p.m., last finishapprox. 3:40 p.m.
Course: Two laps of the “long” TT course for a total of 41.3km,with four climbs of the Niagara Escarpment.
History: Some of the great names in modern cycling have wonthis title: Miguel Induráin (1995), Alex Zülle (1996), LaurentJalabert (1997) and Jan Ullrich (1999 and 2001). Strangely, only one formerchampion is riding at Hamilton, Sergei Gontchar of Ukraine, the 2000 winner.
Favorites: There are a dozen riders who have the potential towin, but the four climbs up the Niagara Escarpment make this a particularlytesting course. Because of the need to ride 100 percent up the hills andon the flats along the top of the ridge, look for all-arounders like DavidMillar of Britain, Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano of Spain, Viatcheslav Ekimovof Russia, Michael Rogers of Australia and Levi Leipheimer of the UnitedStates, rather than time-trial specialists Michael Rich and Uwe Peschelof Germany, Laszlo Bodrogi of Hungary, Isidro Nozal of Spain, Fabian Cancellaraof Switzerland and Gontchar.Here’s the lowdown on our list of favorites:
5 STARS
David Millar (Great Britain)
His fast-cadence style suits the Hamilton contours4 STARS
Michael Rogers (Australia)
Special prep for world’s, but he’s had a long seasonDario Frigo (Italy):
Hmmm…Levi Leipheimer (USA)
Ascendant form and hungry for a resultIgor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spain)
Has he recovered from a cruel finish to the Vuelta?Serguei Gontchar (Ukraine)
Aging, but always strong at the world’s3 STARS
Laszlo Bodrogi (Hungary)
Ready for a world’s breakthroughViatcheslav Ekimov (Russia)
Veteran Olympic champ can’t be counted out yetMichael Rich (Germany)
Won the 70km Nations, but this may be too short for himIsidro Nozal (Spain)
Vuelta TT king will find the hills too challengingUwe Peschel (Germany)
One hill too many?2 STARS
Jan Hruska (Czech Republic)
Solid at the VueltaFabian Cancellara (Switzerland)
Too much climbing for Swiss colossusVictor Hugo Peña (Colombia)
Postie could cause a surprise on this courseRaivis Belohvosciks (Latvia)
Always ready for an upsetBert Roesems (Belgium)
The hills will defeat himEvgeni Petrov (Russia)
Three years after taking U23 titleTomas Vaitkus (Lithuania)
One year after taking U23 titleStart List1. Michael Rich (G)
2. David Millar (GB)
3. Isidro Nozal Vega (Sp)
4. Serhiy Honchar (Ukr)
5. Bert Roesems (B)
6. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun)
7. Uwe Peschel (G)
8. Michael Rogers (Aus)
9. Fabian Cancellara (Swi)
10. Gonzalez De Galdeano Aranzabal (Sp)
11. Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat)
12. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus)
13. Sylvain Chavanel (F)
14. Pena Grisales Victor Hugo (Col)
15. Jean Nuttli (Swi)
16. Magnus Backstedt (SWE)
17. Eric Wohlberg (CAN)
18. Bobby Julich (USA)
19. Eugen Wacker (KGZ)
20. Tomas Vaitkus (Lit)
21. Andrey Mizourov (Kaz)
22. Marc Wauters (B)
23. Ruslan Ivanov (MDA)
24. Pawel Zugaj (Pol)
25. Dario Frigo (I)
26. Michal Hrazdira (Cz)
27. Perez Arango Marlon Alirio (Col)
28. Evgeni Petrov (Rus)
29. Larsson Gustav Erik (SWE)
30. Levi Leipheimer (USA)
31. Eddy Seigneur (F)
32. Bjoernar Vestoel (Nor)
33. Mitja Mahoric (SLO)
34. Sergiy Matveyev (Ukr)
35. Ben Day (Aus)
36. Robert Nagy (SVK)
37. Laroche Jean-Francois (CAN)
38. Glen Mitchell (NZl)
39. Benoit Joachim (Lux)
40. David Mccann (IRL)
41. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz)
42. Attila Arvai (Hun)
43. Igor Pugaci (MDA)
44. Dawid Krupa (Pol)
45. Sergei Krushevskiy (UZB)