2011 Elite Men's World Time Trial Championship Preview
The 2011 World Time Trial Championship could be either a changing of the guard or the confirmation of the greatness of an established champion.
The 2011 World Time Trial Championship could be either a changing of the guard or the confirmation of the greatness of an established champion. Tony Martin (Germany) has been knocking on the door of greatness and has beaten two-time defending champion and four-time champion Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) twice this season. However, a defending champion is like a wounded animal--always dangerous. Today's battle between the two should be one for the ages.
Today's time trial will be on two circuits of a flat, 23.2-km course in Copenhagen. It is technical, and rain and wind could be factors. The course will have cobbled stretches. Who will win this battle of the titans?
Tony Martin's form suggests that he will. He defeated Cancellara in head-to-head matchups at the Tours of France and Spain. At the Vuelta, the German bested the Swiss by 1:27. However, Cancellara, as he did last year, dropped out of the Vuelta to rest and to prepare himself for the World Championships. I believe that Cancellara's days of winning time trials in Grand Tours might be over but that the man called Spartacus still has the strength to win a one-off time trial, which is what the World Championship is. I predict that the Swiss will become a five-time gold medalist, with Martin taking the silver, his third.
Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) will take the bronze. Wiggins will take the form that comes from riding the Vuelta and convert it into a podium spot. The British Road Race Champion and the winner of this year's Dauphine Libere will turn in a strong, consistent ride that will snare his first World Time Trial Championship medal.
David Millar (Great Britain), Wiggins's teammate, has said that Wiggins's form is better than his. The Scot, however, has made his name as a time trial specialist. Last year, he earned a silver medal at the World Time Trial Championship. Expect Millar to earn an honorable fourth place.
Bert Grabsch (Germany), a former World Time Trial Champion, is a time trial specialist and the 2011 German Time Trial Champion. He and Martin will carry the flag for Germany.
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