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Filippo Ganna is the World Time Trial Champion!

Belgian hearts are broken at the death as Filippo Ganna retains his rainbows with a time 5 seconds faster than the one Wout van Aert set 85 seconds earlier. Two phenomenal performances, just one that was a bit phenomenaler than the other. Remco, the best of the rest, must settle for bronze, but what a ride from the 21 year-old, just thirteen months after that horror crash at Il Lombardia.
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5km to go

And if Hutch can’t call this, I’m certainly not gonna. But who doesn’t like a home win, eh? Colombian Rigoberto Uran finishes in 27th place provisionally.

Wout is absolutely flying

He beats Remco’s time by more than half a minute at intermediate two. Ganna crosses the line… 0.84 seconds slower than van Aert. Wow! This one is on a knife edge. It looks like a bronze medal for Remco at this point.

Top intermediate two times coming through

Kasper Asgreen, who was faster than Remco after the first, is six seconds slower at the second. Stefan Kung is another eight seconds back, so it’s looking like it won’t be his day either. It all shows how well Evenepoel rode in the final ten kilometres.

Jos van Emden in 5th place at the finish

That might not be considered worth mentioning by many, but Van Emden is one of the nicest chaps in cycling, and a pretty fine time trialist to boot, so deserves a shout-out.
Ethan Hayter comes home in 3rd place, 42.87 seconds behind Remco. Not bad for a first senior Worlds TT.

It definitely won’t be Pogacar

The Slovenian is 46 seconds off the pace, for 16th place, at the first time check. So he is human, after all.

If Remco can’t manage it...

...Then the Belgians will probably settle for Wout. Not long after Kasper Asgreen is the first to beat his opening split time, Stefan Kung the second, the Tour of Britain champion (yes, we know he’s won other things) goes fastest at the first split with a time of 15:19.38. Filippo Ganna goes through next, just under 7 seconds slower than Van Aert.

Tadej Pogacar looking resplendent in green

This course should be too flat to suit the Tour de France champion, and his recent record isn’t a whole lot to shout about, but he certainly looks good on the bike. He might be too light to be a specialist, but there’s nothing in this sport that he’s objectively bad at.

Ethan Hayter just three seconds slower than Remco

We've not seen a single shot of the Brit, but at the first split, he’s 3.42 behind the Belgian. Unless he's gone out too fast, he's on a very very good day. Or does the South Londoner have more to give?
Blame the Belgians, not Eurosport, Mr. H. ;-)

The scores on the doors of those who have finished

1 Remco EVENEPOEL 48:31.17
2 Stefan BISSEGGER + 42.10
3 Edoardo AFFINI + 1:05.36
4 Max WALSCHEID + 1:10.13
5 Jan TRATNIK + 1:20.72
6 Daniel BIGHAM + 1:27.28
7 Mikkel BJERG + 1:32.13
8 Matteo SOBRERO + 2:22.06
9 Brandon McNULTY + 2:25.22
10 Benjamin THOMAS + 2:44.23
As the top three get their rides underway. We'll know who the time trial World Champion is in less than an hour.

Remco leads!

He crosses the line in Bruges in 48:31, taking a whopping 42 seconds off the 49:13 set by Stefan Bissenger just moments before. It’s a good time from the Belgian superstar, but will it stand the test of, er, time. "The future is now," calls Rob Hatch, "as Remco Evenepoel sends Flanders into fantasy land!"

Remco smashes through at split two

Not long after Stefan Bissenger goes under Dan Bigham’s time by 16 seconds, Remco takes another 37 off that off the Swiss man. He’s going “supersonic!” cries Rob Hatch.

Sobrero the first rider to finish

The Italian sets a solid but not spectacular time of 50 minutes 23 seconds. Panama’s Juarado Lopez completes the course 93 seconds later. Dan Bigham has gone fastest at intermediate two, in 38:10.59, less than a second faster than Max Walscheid.

Bidon overboard for Remco

He makes a micro-mistake on a left-hand bend and the subsequent adjustment causes his water bottle to fly out. That’s not so much a problem as far as his hydration is concerned, says Dr Hutch, but as the bidon is serving an aerodynamic function, it’ll probably cost him five or six seconds at the finish. As you can tell the host producer is pretty obsessed, and isn’t gonna cut away very much until Remco completes his run.

Remco goes fastest at the first time check

That’ll keep the home fans happy, as their favourite takes 11 seconds off Walscheid’s time. Meanwhile, Sobrero sets the benchmark at the second split, going through in 38.56.30.

Walscheid the first rider under 16 minutes at split 1

With a time of 15.59.14, the German rider goes faster than Great Britain’s Dan Bigham by six seconds. Matteo Sobrero is another 20 seconds back at present.

Stefan Bissenger gets his ride underway

He finished fourth at the Euros recently, so is probably the first of the contenders. He's followed not long after by Remco Evenepoel who, having came second on his Worlds debut in Yorkshire, is most definitely the second.

Sobrero catches Jurado

After just 24.6km. Given the ninety second head start, the Italian is on the way to more than a three minute lead over the Panamanian at the finish.

The first riders approach the first split

Which comes after 13.8km. The second is at 33.3km. I want to make a nerdy vinyl joke but I can't think of one.
Now having said there are some tight turns on this course, there are also some really long straights, where the speed can really be built.

Ireland’s Marcus Christie’s on his way

Apparently riding Bradley Wiggins’ old bike, which he bought on Ebay. #Trivia

It’s “all about horse power” says Doctor Hutch

As the first riders get underway, three-time British TT champion Michael Hutchinson, alongside Rob Hatch in the commentary box, tells us what to expect from this pan-flat course. Perfect for Ganna, even more so for Kung, he reckons. Get your biggest gear on.

Sobrero to get comfortable in the hot seat?

Having said I wouldn’t be making any predictions, I am actually expecting the Italian national TT champion to be first across the line (which means more than a minute and a half ahead of the first rider out of the blocks) and subsequently spending a good while at the top of the order. I doubt he’ll be there all day but I wouldn’t expect anyone to dislodge him before Remco.

Flanders pays tribute to Chris Anker Sørensen

Giro d'Italia stage winner in 2010, and due to commentate on the Worlds for Danish television, Sorensen was sadly killed by a driver on the roads of Flanders yesterday. A minute's silence is held before the ceremonial start, and followed immediately by some booming techno, which is a bit odd, quite frankly.

Who'll be in rainbows in Bruges?

Talk about a traditional TT. Today’s World’s race against the clock comprises 43 of the flattest kilometres you could possibly hope to find in Flanders.
Some might argue that it represents an opportunity missed, presumably dreaming - cruelly - of the sight of 50/60 stiff-as- a-board carbon stealth bikes rattling up the cobbles of the Kwaremont.
But what it lacks in acclivous angles, it more than makes up for in lateral ones. This is a truly technical course, featuring at least seven (I lost confidence in my counting) seriously sharp hairpins designed to test riders' decelerative decision-making as much as their accelerative abilities. How late can you brake?
They clip in at 90 second intervals, and the race is very much backloaded, with the favourites starting their runs later. Four-time champion, who today announced his retirement, Tony Martin heads off 11th from last at 14:50:30 BST.
Beyond your Gannas and your Van Aerts, some others of possible interest include:
Matteo Sobrero (ITA) - 14:41:30
Dan Bigham (GBR) - 13:55:00
Remco Evenepoel (BEL) - 14:07:00
Ryan Mullen (IRE) - 14:31:00
Ethan Hayter (GBR) - 14:44:30
No Olympic Champion, sadly, though it will be interesting to see how Rogic’s fellow Slovenian, Tadej Pogacar gets on in his first ever World Championship time trial.
Now I don’t make predictions, and I never will, but Alex Dowsett, one of the most accomplished British time trialists of all time, does and has:
Those happen to be the final three riders off the ramp, in not quite that order.
Stefan Kung is, although a highly decorated rider, and even though he took the European TT title earlier this month, remains the nearly man of time trialling. I’m wondering if he might be able to shed that reputation by beating Ganna (and everyone else) just as he did ten days ago.
Ganna, as the incumbent champion, and something of a phenom, is still rightly the favourite, but could he get sprung by Kung? We’ll find out in roughly three hours. It all starts with a man from Panama, Christofer Jurado Lopez, in half an hour.
It’s a lovely, still day at the start in the coastal town of Knokke-Heist, and much the same inland in Bruges. Let’s gooooo!

Who is on the men's startlist?

The event will likely come down to one question: is Filippo Ganna on top form? If the Italian is, he's basically unstoppable. But the signs from the European Championships and Olympics are that he's not, paving the way for him to be usurped.
Wout van Aert seems the most obvious candidate, if he's prepared to bury himself before the road race, while fellow Belgian Remco Evenepoel and Switzerland's Stefan Kung are other contenders. Ethan Hayter and Dan Bigham will compete for GB.
Olympic champion Primoz Roglic will sit out the TT battle as Tadej Pogacar and Jan Tratnik are drafted in for Slovenia.

UCI Road World Championships: Full schedule

Individual time trials
  • September 19: Elite Men - Knokke-Heist to Bruges (43.3km)
  • September 20: Men U23 - Knokke-Heist to Bruges (30.3km)
  • September 20: Elite women - Knokke-Heist to Bruges (30.3km)
  • September 21: Junior women - Knokke-Heist to Bruges (19.3km)
  • September 21: Junior men - Knokke-Heist to Bruges (22.3km)
Mixed team relay
  • September 22: Mixed elite - Knokke-Heist to Bruges (44.5km)
Road race events
  • September 24: Junior men - Leuven to Leuven (121.4km)
  • September 24: Men U23 - Antwerp to Leuven (160.9km)
  • September 25: Junior women - Leuven to Leuven (75km)
  • September 25: Elite women - Antwerp to Leuven (157.7km)
  • September 26: Elite men - Antwerp to Leuven (268.3km)
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