Here they are, folks !! After we could admire the big names of the peloton and their “big” legs in action at Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, and Vuelta a España, and after the UCI World Cup have delighted us for seven months (and it’s not over: although we already know the name of the winner, there’s still the legendary “Giro di Lombardia” to go), it’s now time for the fifth (in chronological order) “big thing” of the cycling season: the Road World Championships.
An event that steps out of the Old Continent, and is back to the Americas, for the first time since 1995. Eight years ago Spain’s Abraham Olano got the biggest success in his career - along with the 1998 Vuelta win - in Duitama, Colombia. This year the Worlds are set to take place in the Canadian town of Hamilton, Ontario.
An “unusual” move to the New World, that could be a danger to familiar harmony in European households, with cycling fans eager to take control of the TV screens in their evenings, in order to watch the races live, opposed to the rest of the family wishing not to miss their favorite movie or soap or show, or football match. But also give several fans in North America the unique chance to watch, live on the spot, many well-known riders not so frequently in action outside Europe.
And despite the absence of many big names, including all three Grand Tour Winners as well as the whole Tour de France podium finishers, fans along the route, or in front of the TV, will have the opportunity to watch many top-class riders battle it out, from recently re-crowned World Cup Champion Paolo Bettini, red hot favourite for next Sunday’s race too, and biggest hope of all Italians wishing to keep the Rainbow Jersey in the country, to his main rival Oscar Freire, eager to follow in the footsteps of fellow countryman Olano, and continue his own “tradition” of World Championship victories in odd years (1999, 2001 … 2003 too ?), to Erik Zabel, back to the top of the UCI Rankings after his superb sprint at Paris-Tours. From the Vuelta’s latest revelation Isidro Nozal, hoping for revenge in the ITT, after he narrowly missed the overall win on the roads of Spain, to the boys of the Canadian and U.S. squads, aiming at giving their “home crowds” a reason to cheer.
And on to the young sensations of Women’s Cycling, e.g. Quebecer Geneviève Jeanson and UK’s Nicole Cooke, finally ready for a “Clash of Giants” on the former’s home soil. But you'd better not write off many other ladies, from the Aussies to the East-European "Armada" to Spain’s Sommariba. And don’t forget the stars of tomorrow, boys and girls whose name you may hear plenty of times in years to come, but may get to know first right now, when they are fighting for the Rainbow in the Under 23 and Junior races.
Many, many, many wheels from all five inhabited continents are going to fill the streets of the Canadian town, and the TV screens of thousands of fans, and the internet of course. Yes, the web. Why not following the World Championships on your PC, better if on a website that brings you results, previews, interviews, analysis, statistics, and much more stuff, live tickers of the races included ? A site like … hmmm … let me see if there’s any … oh yes, like the “Daily Peloton”!
The first features of our World Championships coverage are online, and you can find them below in this page. But more and more stuff, additions and updates will come as the World Championships progress. So, let’s just get this “worldwide party” started, and enjoy yourself !!!