The Race of Truth: The Individual Time Trial

With the Team Time Trial done and dusted, its time to move on to the Individual Time Trials in Ponferrada at the World Championships.  The elite women and junior men’s ITTs go tomorrow and the elite men will take to the course on Wednesday, September 24.

With the men’s race only two days away here is a quick preview and prediction.

Tony Martin
As the three time defending World Champion, the Panzerwagen is the clear favourite.  After missing out on the gold medal with his OmegaPharma-QuickStep team in the Team Time Trial, Martin might be looking to over come that disappointment.  Martin has been so dominate in the time trial over the last couple of seasons it is nearly impossible to look past him as my choice to win this event.

Tony Martin looks set to take his fourth consecutive rainbow jersey.

Bradley Wiggins
With last year’s silver medalist, Fabian Cancellara, sitting out of the time trial to focus on the road race, Martin’s main competition will come from Bradley Wiggins, who finished third in Florence.  Wiggins has also looked in fine form with an impressive performance in the time trial at the recent Tour of Britain.  If any man can stop Tony Martin from taking a fourth consecutive rainbow jersey, its Olympic gold medalist Sir Bradley Wiggins.  But I do not see it happening because Martin is that good.

Gain Wiggins add World Championship gold to his Olympic gold?

The Battle for Third
It is all but guaranteed that Martin and Wiggins will make up the top two steps of the podium in Ponferrada, so the big question is who will be joining them?

The third member of last year’s podium, Fabian Cancellara, has decided to focus on the road race rather than the time trial.  Traditionally, Cancellara has been a time trial expert and normally considered a favourite in any time trial he lines up in.  It does seem like Spartacus has conceded that he can not compete against Tony Martin anymore but his reason is that he believes the road race course suits his strengths.  Will Cancellara take another rainbow jersey this year?

Who will replace Spartacus on this year’s podium?

A definite one to watch is Tom Dumoulin, the 23 year old Dutch national time trial champion.  Dumoulin has been in great form recently with a series of great performances in the Canadian UCI races.  He held the leader’s jersey in the Tour of Alberta right up until the final day following a strong prologue time trial and he followed it up with a second place in Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec.  Dumoulin also finished second behind Tony Martin in the lone time trial at this year’s Tour de France.

Dumoulin: Future World Champion?

Rohan Dennis also looks a good pick to take the bronze.  He is also in good form after just missing the win in the last time trial at the Vuelta.  Dennis finished in third, 9 seconds back, but he raced in the rain while those who finished ahead of him rode while it was still dry.  Dennis has already claimed a gold at this year’s World Championship with his trade team, BMC.

My final prediction?  Tony Martin wins gold, Bradley Wiggins takes silver, and Tom Dumoulin rounds off the podium in third.

There are many more riders who could be considered to have a chance to make the podium.  If you think I have missed someone, why not leave a comment.  Or if you think I am completely crazy, pick your top three and we will see who does better.