the favorites, the route, the schedules… Everything you need to know before the elite men’s road race

Do you prefer to get up early or go to bed late? We will have to choose to follow the men’s road race of these cycling world championships, on the night of Saturday 24 to Sunday 25 September. The peloton will depart at 02:15 French time for an expected arrival early in the morning, around 09:00 (live on France 3 from 05:00 and on First taste.

A course favorable to strikers

Like the women’s race, the start fictional will take place inland, at Helensburgh. The peloton will then join the magnificent scenery of Australia’s south east coast. After about thirty kilometers along the sea, the runners will enter Wollongong to undertake a first loop of 34 kilometers. This will take you to the top of Mount Keira, the longest climb of the day with an average gradient of 5% over 8.7 kilometers, in which he should begin to touch the peloton.

But the world title must be played in the second circuit, which the riders will take 12 times, with the justice of the peace, Mount Pleasant. A climb of just over a kilometer at 7.7% average (and fares at 13%) in the heart of Wollongong’s suburbs. The arrival will be placed at the bottom of the 6.9 kilometres downhill, after some technical corners in the city center and a small bump before the red flame. Total distance: 266.9 kilometers.

Favorites: Wout van Aert and the others

If two-time reigning world champion Julian Alaphilippe is naturally to be tested, all eyes will be on Wout van Aert, the heavy favourite. After a failure in the World Cup at home last year, the Belgian intends to wash away the affront, as the organization of his season finale shows. After a Tour de France XXL in July, the winner of the green jersey rested above all else. He arrives in Australia with four races in a month, including a win at the Bretagne Classic.

The giant Jumbo-Visma even skipped the time trial of these world championships, leaving Remco Evenepoel to represent the flat country in the event (third). The recent winner of the Vuelta a España will also be Belgium’s other weapon on Sunday.

Belgians Wout van Aert and Remco Evenepoel at a press conference before the elite men's race, on September 22, 2022. (DIRK WAEM / BELGIAN MAG)

Among the other favorites is, without much surprise, Tadej Pogacar. But the Slovenian will be deprived of his biggest supporters. Not recovered from his fall in the Vuelta, Primoz Roglic is missing, as are lieutenants Matej Mohoric and Luka Mezgec. There will also be the Dutchman and grandson of Raymond Poulidor Mathieu van der Poel, the local Michael Matthews or the Eritrean Biniam Girmay.

What chances for the Blues?

On the French side, the great unknown is called Julian Alaphilippe. Quick-Step rider Alpha Vinyl had a poor season and dropped again three weeks ago during the Vuelta. “I’m not in the best condition, confirmed this Wednesday the two-time world champion. I’m definitely not 100%.”

As a result, coach Thomas Voeckler has decided to cover his tracks and could be tempted to play another card in Sunday’s final. Benoît Cosnefoy, winner of the Québec Grand Prix under Van Aert’s nose and beard, was recalled at the last moment. While Florian Sénéchal, Christophe Laporte or even Pavel Sivakov could feel his wings grow.

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