On Saturday morning, the road race for the women is on the World Cup program, where two world titles will be distributed. One among the elite women and one among the promises women. Ruben Van Gucht and Ine Beyen look ahead. “Will the team atmosphere among the Dutch women be optimal this time?”

The dominance of Annemiek van Vleuten (39) is about to burst. The Dutch was – how could it be otherwise – top favorite, but the wolverine fell heavily on Wednesday. She is completely bruised and has “a stable fracture in her elbow”. And yet it will (normally) start.

“Until before the mixed team relay, we thought of Annemiek van Vleuten as a top candidate,” says commentator Ine Beyen. “We will only see what impact her crash had on Saturday. I’m afraid it’s not good anyway.”

That bad luck story changes the tactical picture considerably. A French fries from Van Vleuten on Mount Keira in the run-up loop was predictable, but that plan may now be ripe for the scrap heap. Does that offer prospects for her compatriots?

“For me there is now only one favourite”, says Ruben Van Gucht convinced. “Marianne Fox.”

“I think it can be a blessing for the Netherlands that Van Vleuten has experienced a crash,” Van Gucht continues.

“If she will start at half power, the division of roles will become clearer. Vos as the leader and Vollering as the shadow leader.”

“The Italian and Dutch bloc are two teams that have to take control of the race,” adds Beyen.

“Whether the team atmosphere with the Dutch will be optimal this time is still a big question.” That doubt lives after the fiascos in Tokyo and Leuven.

For me there is only one favorite now, Marianne Vos

Ruben Van Gucht

“Final phase is tailor-made for Elisa Longo Borghini”

But there is more than just Orange.

“Of course we must not forget Italy with Elisa Longo Borghini. They have the strongest team”, explains Van Gucht. “And Elisa Balsamo?” Beyen wonders aloud.

“The course is more difficult than in Leuven and I think Balsamo just didn’t have enough
climber is to survive”, Van Gucht continues. “Then I think that Longo Borghini can quickly take over the role as leader.”

“We’ve seen Longo Borghini doing a fantastic job in the mixed team relay,” says Beyen. “After the last climb it is only 8 kilometers to the finish, which is something that fits her perfectly.”

“It is a course where a small group will survive and then you quickly end up with Grace Brown and Marlen Reusser, who can handle a difficult course,” says Van Gucht. “Brown comes second in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and already has the Brabantse Arrow won.”

Elisa Longo Borghini.

“Not sure where Kopecky will be stranded”

The Belgian selection is looking for one woman, Lotte Kopecky. The winner of the Tour of Flanders and the Strade Bianche has become a world champion in one-day work this spring.

“I don’t really know where Kopecky will end up,” says Ruben Van Gucht in despair.

Ine Beyen: “In terms of intrinsic qualities, she will be able to handle the course, only I have not seen the Lotte Kopecky in the spring in recent months.”

“She has ridden a lot with the Giro Donne, Tour, European Championship track and Vuelta,” says Van Gucht.

“Vos has been much more selective. She has not ridden the Vuelta and has specifically prepared her for altitude and focused on the World Cup. Kopecky has not done that.”

Lotte Kopecky.

“Just being a sprinter is enough”

The women’s promises drive the road race together with the women’s elite. But afterwards, the 3 best promises are put on a separate World Cup podium.

“You would initially think of Shirin van Anrooij, but she was in the time trial

a little less and then we will soon be looking at the Belgians with Julie De Wilde”, says Ine Beyen.

“The difference in tactics with the promises is that they don’t have to make the race themselves, just joining in is enough and as a sprinter you have an advantage,” adds Ruben Van Gucht. “And Julie De Wilde is the best sprinter at the promises.”

“Then the question is whether Van Anrooij will have to work for the Netherlands”, Beyen wonders. “It is more likely that Van Anrooij will have to do that, while Julie will never have to.”

“Don’t forget Vittoria Guazzini,” says Van Gucht with enthusiasm. “She is riding a phenomenal World Time Trial Championship (where she took the title), I wouldn’t lose sight of that either.”

“And there will always appear out of nowhere. But Julie De Wilde is a big contender. She is already driving a fantastic season and has 3 more years of promise ahead of her.”

“It will be a very exciting match,” concludes Van Gucht.

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 Zoe Backstedt (GBr) report
time trial men juniors 28.8 km 5.20 am – 9.00 am Joshua Tarling (GBr) report
Wednesday September 21 mixed redemption 28.2 km 6.20 am – 9.00 am Switzerland report
Friday September 23 road race men juniors 135.6 km 0.30 am – 4.00 am Emil Herzog (Germany) report
road ride men promises 169.8 km 5.00 am – 9.15 am Yevgeny Fedorov (Kaz) report
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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Peggy McColl

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