258.2 challenging kilometers, 18 crisp climbs, only one world champion: at the world road cycling championships in imola, italy (10.00 o’clock/eurosport 2/ZDF) the konigsrennen is on.
Who will follow danish mads pedersen, who took the cycling crown in harrogate, uk, last year?? The team from the federation of german cyclists (BDR) is not among the closest favorites, but is counting on a lot despite some prominent absentees.
The almost 29-kilometer circuit around the imola race track has to be negotiated nine times. Every time there are not only two crisp climbs, but also challenging descents, a narrow road and a technically demanding course. "The stretch is heavier than i had personally expected. It’s a super tough course," said veteran john degenkolb, who, given the 5000 meters of altitude, is at most a possible helper. Imola stepped in as host at short notice because the world championship in the swiss communities of aigle and martigny corona was cancelled.
As if the course were not difficult enough, the field is also threatened by a rainstorm. Compared to the first days of the world cup, when the sun was shining at more than 20 degrees celsius, there are reports of a significant cooling off on sunday and of showers from the early afternoon onwards. Last year in the constant rain of harrogate only 46 of 197 pro cyclists crossed the final finish line.
Tour winner tadej pogacar and his compatriot primoz roglic are definitely part of it. "That will show how they came out of the tour. In the end, how fresh they are in the head also plays a role. They were under full tension for four weeks. From a purely physical point of view, they both have the ability to ride extremely well," said german captain maximilian schachmann. In addition to pogacar and roglic, the belgian all-rounder wout van aert and the frenchman julian alaphilippe are being highly touted.
In the absence of emanuel buchmann, nils politt and lennard kamna, the german team must hope for a surprise coup. Paris-nice winner schachmann is the great hope for the future. Sporting director jens zemke said: "we are not a nation that brings four max schachmanns to the start line. We have to start with a good strategy to spare max as long as possible."Simon geschke is also considered to have a chance of survival. Both were also recently in action at the tour de france.