ORICA-SCOTT prepare for toughest & tightest TTT yetWed 13 Sep 2017
ORICA-SCOTT have arrived in Bergen, Norway ahead of the UCI Road World Championships for what sport director Matt White is labelling the most challenging team time trial course the team has completed.
The 42.5km undulating course offers no early respite with plenty of climbing metres before the official ascent of the parcours which begins just before kilometre 30. A fast finish to the line offers little opportunity to make up for any lost time, with White predicting teams to be on their last legs over the crest.
“It’s probably the most challenging team time trial course we have ever done when you look at the Giro, Tour de France and the worlds,” White said. “The road quality is good and it’s not that technical, but the metres of climbing is what will make it hard.”
“Any teams that take a full team of heavy hitters will struggle to get four riders to the top of the climb with 10km to go. It’s constantly up and down for most of the day but it’s a fast run in to the finish and I don’t think you can make a lot of time in those last 10km so it’s definitely a race to the top of that climb.”
ORICA-SCOTT will line up with an experienced outfit with all six riders having ridden the world championships with the team before. The team has four Australians, including the youngest rider in Alex Edmondson, and two international riders, including veteran Svein Tuft.
Tuft, along with Luke Durbridge, are yet to miss a world championship for ORICA-SCOTT whilst Michael Hepburn, Damien Howson and Daryl Impey have also lined up in the discipline on multiple occasions.
“We’ve got a team that have ridden a lot together,” White explained. “Everyone here has ridden a world championships before - a minimum once, like with Alex, to a maximum with Svein and Durbo who are lining up for their sixth in a row.”
“It’s an experienced team. The course is very different from last year, it’s more for a versatile team and I think we have a great team for that this year.”
Along with the most challenging course, White is also predicting the most challenge competition in the event’s history.
“When you look at all the years these team time trial world championships have been running, there’s only been five teams to medal,” he explained. “We’ve missed the podium once, BMC Racing have missed the podium once and Quickstep have made it every time so the only other teams to medal are Movistar and Team Sky.”
“This year I think will be the most competitive and tightest one yet. Team Sky are sending a crack team, so they will be a big threat as well as the two favourites in BMC Racing and Quickstep. But even teams like Sunweb and Lotto JumboNL have sent really strong teams and with Movistar you have seven really legitimate, tight teams vying for a medal.”
Much of the anticipation around the Bergen world championships has been around the weather but White said the forecast didn’t look like impacting the results.
“The weather forecast shows a clear weekend and there is no wind predicted either. It’s a pretty protected course and so even if the weather turns a little bit, it’s really not going to have a lot of impact.”
The UCI TTT World Championships will be raced on Sunday, 17 September with the individual time trial and road race events to follow in the week after.
ORICA-SCOTT at the UCI TTT World Championships (Sunday, 17 September):
Photo courtesy of TDWsport.