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UCI Road World Championships-Preview
 
By Staff
Date: 9/23/2007
UCI Road World Championships-Preview
 
by Stephanie Gutowski

UCI Road World Championships return to Stuttgart, Germany

After 16 years, the Road World Championships are returning to Stuttgart. Stuttgart first hosted the Road World Championships on track and road in 1991. The capital city of Baden-Württemberg has also been the finish of both individual stages and the finish line of the Deutschland Tour, in 2000, 2001 and 2002. In 2003, both the German Track Cycling Championships and the Track Cycling World Championships were held in the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Hall. The city is ready to host the prestigious event again.

Road Course

The Road Race takes place on a round course (19.1 km) and takes the cyclists through four districts of Stuttgart. The course has two main gradients: Herdweg (700 metres - max. 13 %),Birkenkopf (1.5 km – max. 8%). The final 2000 metres is also a continual gradient – max. 4 %. The women do seven laps (total distance: 133.7 km); the men U 23 nine laps (total distance: 171.9 km); the men’s elite will find their world champion over 14 laps (total distance: 267.4 km).

“Fair, but hard“, was how Markus Fothen, described the road course. His colleague, Stefan Schumacher, who won Amstel Gold this year and whose home is only 35 km away in Nürtingen, wants to burn the course into his memory. He stated, “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience – the world championships on your doorstep.”

Road Course
Elite men's road course.
©2007 Official Website

The Italians remain strong contenders for the men's road race, with Paolo Bettini defending his rainbow jersey. The Italian co-captain will be Filippo Pozzato, and will have strong support from Alessandro Ballan, Danilo Di Luca and Davide Rebellin. As of yet there is no news whether race favorite, Spain's Alejandro Valerde will be allowed to race. If he is permitted he must be consider a serious threat to win. Spain's strong team includes Samuel Sanchez, who just captured his third stage win in the Vuelta a España. Americans will bring George Hincapie, Christian Vandevelde, Jason McCartney, David Zabriskie, Guido Trenti and Danny Pate. The Elite Men will race on Sunday, September 30th.

Oenone Wood and Kate Bates from the Australian women’s team have had the longest journey to view the course. Oenone Wood,who was third in the World Championships 2005 in Madrid commented, “Up and down, the ascents are pretty rough but not too long, there’s lots of opportunities for attack since there are no long straights.”

Men's TT Course
Elite men's road course - aerial view.
©2007 Official Website

Saturday, the women will cover seven laps (133.7km) and the U23 men nine (171.9km) in two separate races. covering the circuit 14 times (267.4km). Marianne Vos will be riding to defend her title for Holland. Perennial favorite and 2006 bronze medalist, Nicole Cooke will not be able ride as she is out with a knee injury. Vos will be challenged by Germany's Judith Arndt and Ina Teutenberg, Italians Noemi Cantele and Fabiana Luperini and a strong American team that includes Kristin Armstrong, Christine Thorburn, Amber Neben and Mara Abbott.

Time Trial Courses

The time trials take place over a section of the road race route. The routes have many slight gradients and are technically challenging, especially in the stretches Botnang and Feuerbach.USA's Kristin Armstrong and Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara will be forced to defend their titles on this very difficult course. Swiss Karin Thürig and German Charlotte Becker will definitely challenge Armstrong, while David Zabriskie and David Millar are strong candidates for the men's title. Last year's silver medalist Mikhail Ignatiev is a hot prospect for the U23 gold with the absence of the 2006 champion Dominique Cornu.

The Women cycle from the Start via Kräherwald, Botnanger Sattel, Botnang, Feuerbach, Killesberg Exhibition Centre.

Women's TT Course
Women's time trial course.
©2007 Official Website

The Men under 23 cycle via Kräherwald, Botnanger Sattel, Birkenkopf, turnaround in Wildparkstraße, back via Birkenkopf, Botnanger Sattel, on to Botnang, Feuerbach, Killesberg Exhibition Centre.

U23's TT Course
U23 men's time trial course.
©2007 Official Website

The route for the Men’s Elite is identical to that for the Under 23s but continues on the Wildparkstraße to Schloss Solitude.

Men's TT Course
Elite men's time trial course.
©2007 Official Website

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