The 2010 UCI Road World Championships in Melbourne and Geelong – which begin on Wednesday with the Under-23 and Women’s time trial events – will undoubtedly be greeted with the same whole-hearted enthusiasm, even euphoria, which currently surrounds Australian cycling.
Situated on the bay of Corio, about 70km from Melbourne, Geelong – a small touristic spot which has already organized a round of the UCI Women Road World Cup – will be at the heart of the event.
Only the last race of these Championships, the one which will award the most coveted rainbow jersey of the week and which will be raced for the first time without the help of earpieces, will set off from Melbourne, before attacking the beautiful and demanding Geelong circuit which the riders will have to cover 11 times, for a total distance of 262,7km.
Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara, who will attempt to win his fourth title in the time trial event, Spain’s Oscar Freire, who dreams of becoming the first rider in history to win the World Championships road race four times, the Italian Filippo Pozzato, who won the “rehearsal” on Sunday in Ballarat, and the Belgian Philippe Gilbert are the main favourites – along with Britain’s Mark Cavendish and the Norwegian Thor Hushovd – to succeed Cadel Evans. Meanwhile the Australian will give his all in front of his own public in order to honour the gold medal he won in 2009.
In the women’s race, the person to watch could well be the German Trixi Worrack, who was victorious in the preparation race.
Thursday, 30 September
Men Elite Time Trial, 45.8 km, 1300 to 1735; course details
Friday, 1 October
Men U23 Road Race, 159 km, 1300 to 1715; course details
Saturday, 2 October
Women Elite Road Race, 127.2 km, 1300 to 1635; course details
Sunday, 3 October
Men Elite Road Race, 262.7 km, 1000 to 1650; course details
All finish times are estimated
Check your local TV listings for coverage.
Note: the UCI has recently launched an iPhone app you can download to obtain the latest results, news and press releases for all cycling disciplines. The application is free of charge and can be downloaded from the iTunes Apple Store.