Explore the World Cup trail in Wollongong: "Breathtaking start, watch out for pee breaks"

You have to respect traditions: our reporters Maarten Vangramberen and Bavo Mortier have put their teeth into the World Cup course in Australia. Mount Keira and Mount Pleasant have no more secrets for our duo. In this report they share their findings.

1. Start and the Sea Cliff Bridge

Wollongong is the epicenter of the race this week, but for the start of the elite road race (men and women), the peloton diverts to Helensburgh, a stone’s throw from Sydney.

Towards the first loop with Mount Keira, a passage of about 27 kilometers follows along the coastline, including the Sea Cliff Bridge.

It is a World Cup entrance that is particularly popular. “This is incredibly beautiful”, Maarten Vangramberen shares his admiration.

“Maybe the riders can enjoy the cliffs and rocks along the Pacific Ocean for a while.”

“I can’t imagine that a World Cup has ever had a better start than this World Cup.”

Blue: the approach along the coast // Red: Mount Keira (1x) // Green: Wollongong City (12x men, 6x women)

2. Approach Loop with Mount Keira

However, there is little to no time to be a tourist. After any sightseeing, a first circuit pops up, a round of 34 kilometers that is only served once.

The executioner in that loop is Mount Keira (after more than 40 kilometers), on paper the toughest and especially longest climb of the day.

Maarten Vangramberen: “The start is tough, with a stretch of 15 percent. The climb is 9 kilometers long, with an average of 5 percent. That’s not too bad.”

But will Mount Keira have an impact on the race story? “That will be fine.”

“The climb will be a bit grueling, but the flight with exotics will already have left here.”

Our reporters mainly point to another factor: “The riders are going through the Australian rainforest, super exciting.”

“These forests are teeming with spiders and snakes: so be careful with the massive bathroom breaks!”

The tour of Mount Keira (1x).

3. The local circuit with Mount Ousley as the first slope

After more than 60 kilometers the peloton then enters Wollongong, where the 17 kilometer circuit shines 12 times for the men on Sunday. The women go for 6 laps.

The circuit in Wollongong has 2 calf biters. Mount Ousley is the first nuisance.

“You can compare the first part with the Bruine Put in the Brabantse Pijl”, our scout concludes.

“There will certainly be differences here as we continue into the final laps.”

“You have to turn up in a good position here. If you are too far here, you are not with the guns.”

The city circuit (men: 12 times // women: 6 times).

4. The local circuit with Mount Pleasant as the second slope

After Mount Ousley you can blow your lungs full twice and then there is the next dish with Mount Pleasant.

Pleasant or Not Pleasant, as Wout van Aert claimed after a first acquaintance?

“I had already heard many Indian stories about it,” says Maarten Vangramberen after his inspection.

“Percentages of more than 20 percent, that’s not right. We measured it ourselves: 14 to 15 percent, that’s the maximum.”

“I see a mix of the Smeysberg, last year on the World Cup course, and the Roche-aux-Faucons, the climb in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.”

“Once, that’s okay, but 12 times… In the last laps it will go really fast here.”

5. Descent and the finish

We get the last passage at 8 kilometers from the white line. “It goes straight down on very wide roads where speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour will be reached,” predicts our cycling reporter.

“The finish is a bit downhill and narrow. It will be a very fast sprint, but I don’t expect a large group. The suit will be different. But the really fast men have an advantage at this finish.”

And what is the conclusion? “It’s a beautiful course and especially the start is breathtaking.”

program and results 2022 World Cycling Championships
Sunday 18 September time trial women elite 34.2 km 1.35 am – 4.30 am Ellen van Dijk (Ned) report
time trial men elite 34.2 km 5.40 am – 9.00 am Tobias Foss (Noo) report
Monday 19 September time trial men promises 28.8 km 5.20 am – 9.00 am Soren Wærenskjold (Noo) report
tuesday 20 september time trial women juniors 14.1 km 1.30 am – 3 am
time trial men juniors 28.8 km 5.20 am – 9.00 am
Wednesday September 21 mixed redemption 28.2 km 6.20 am – 9.00 am
Friday September 23 road race men juniors 135.6 km 0.30 am – 4.00 am
road ride men promises 169.8 km 5.00 am – 9.15 am
Saturday September 24 road race women juniors 67.2 km 0.00 am – 1.55 am
road race women elite 164.3 km 3.55 am – 9.00 am
Sunday 25 September road race men elite 266.9 km 2.00 am – 8.50 am

Source: Sporza

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