75th World Championships - CM
Varese, Italy, September 23-28, 2008
Results & report
Race 3 - September 25: Men's time trial, 43.70km
Complete live report
Live commentary by Susan Westemeyer
Who will succeed Fabian Cancellara today? The Swiss rider has ended his season and leaves the time trial wide open.
Hello, and welcome back. Today the elite men get their first chance to strut their stuff, in a 43.7km time trial which goes around the lake. It is said to be a tougher course than the U-23 and women faced, but many of today's participants say it is not really all that bad.
Andrey Zeits of Kazakhstan is the first to go off in the men's race against the clock. You will not be surprised to hear that the 21 year-old rides for Team Astana. Last year he finished 10th in the U-23 Worlds time trial.
Vladimir Tuychiev of Uzbekistan is the second to go. The 25 year-old won his country's time trial title, and was seventh in the road race.
The men are going off at two minute intervals.
Just like the previous two races, we don't have a defending champion taking part. Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara was just too tired after his long season and successful Olympics.
Juan Mauricio Soler of Colombia was supposed to leave at 13:04, but apparently he decided against riding.
Gabriel Sorin Pop, 25, from Romania, finished second in that country's national time trial. The end of February he finished a two-year suspension for „failing to comply with a doping control“ in April 2005.
We have three intermediate time checks. The first two are at 8.2km and 20km.
Ruben Plaza is the first Spaniard today. The 28 year old rides for Benfica. He won the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana this year, as well as the time trials in the Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid and the Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta.
Zeits is through the first time check and rode it in 9:42.49.
Robert Nagy is a 35 year-old Slovakian, who was second in his national time trial championships.
Sergey Matveyev comes from the Ukraine. The 33 year-old rides for Cinelli-OPD and this year was second in his national ITT.
Andrei Kunitski is 24 years old and from Belarus. He rides for Acqua & Sapone - Caffč Mokambo and won his country's national time trial title. He won the first stage of the Vuelta a Burgos in August and wore the leader's jersey for four days.
One rider hoping to do well on home soil today is Marco Pinotti. Check out Shane Stokes' interview with the Italian.
Leif Hoste of Belgium rides for Team Silence-Lotto. He doesn't have any victories this season but finished second in the national ITT. He doesn't expect to win today but it is looking for a good result to save his season.
Gregor Gazvoda of Slovenia is 26 and rides for Perutnina Ptuj. He has four wins this season, including his nation's time trial.
Thomas Frei of Switzerland rides for Team Astana. The 23 year-old was sixth in the Swiss national ITT, and most recently finished 23d overall in the Tour of Poland.
Plaza has set a new best time at the first time check of 9:37.
Maciej Bodnar is Polish and a first-year pro with Liquigas. In 2006 and 2007 he won the U-23 national time trial title, and he finished 2d in the nationals this year. He also finished second in the time trial of the Tour of Poland.
And now Kunitski has the best first time, 9:21.08. At almost the same time, Zeits goes through the second time check with a time of 23:51.
Frantisek Rabon, who will turn 25 on Sunday, is a Czech rider for Team Columbia. In June he won his country's ITT title and in August he won a stage of the Tour of Ireland.
Cyclingnews' Hedwig Kröner is at the race and gives us the happy news that "The weather here is again beautiful, sunny, no wind, but a bit fresh around 18° C."
Henry Mendez Raabe comes from Costa Rica. (We have also seen his name given as Henry Raabe Mendez). He won the national ITT and was second in the road race.
Gazvoda is third at the first time check, 9:31.82.
Hungary is represented by Zoltan Madaras, 28. He was second in the national time trial and won the road title.
George-Daniel Anghelache is from Romania. The 25 year-old was third in his national road race.
Roman Kiriyev is Kazakhi and a first-year pro with Astana. The 21 year-old was third in his national TT championship.
Rabon has set a new best time at the first time check, 9:17.62.
The rather un-spectacular start ramp
Photo ©: Hedwig Kröner
Muradjan Khalmuratov comes from Uzbekistan. He is 26 years old and rides for Centri della Calzatura – Partizan. He finished third in his national ITT Race and fifth in the Asian championships.
Muradjan Khalmuratov comes from Uzbekistan. He is 26 years old and rides for Centri della Calzatura – Partizan. He finished third in his national ITT Race and fifth in the Asian championships.
Matej Jurco is a 24 year-old Slovakian who rides for Team Milram. He won both his national titles this year, road and time trial. He also rode – and finished -- both the Giro and the Vuelta.
Eugen Wacker is 34 years old and comes from Kyrgyzstan. This year he won the Asian time trial title and both the national time trial and road races.
Ruslan Ivanov is from Moldavia and rides for Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni - Androni Giocattoli. The 34 year-old won the Tour de Langkawi this year, rode the Giro d'Italia and earlier this month finished 10th in the Giro della Romagna.
Zeits has just hit the last time check at 32.52km. He has a time of 41:45.56.
Serhiy Honchar, 38, now rides for Preti Mangimi - Prisma Stufe. he finished fourth in both the national championship races. Two years ago T-Mobile Team released him because of problems with his blood values.
Matti Helminen of Finland is 33 and rides for Palmans-Cras. He is Finnish national TT champ and just finished third in the Chrono Champenois.
M. Bodnar of Poland is third at the second time check, 23:27.77.
Esad Hasanovic comes from Serbia. The 23 year-old rides for Centri della Calzatura – Partizan. He has two wins this year, his national TT title and the GP Kooperativa.
Rabon has fallen to the second place at the second time check, 23:14.63.
Adam Hansen of Australia is 27 years old and rides for Team Columbia. He is riding both the TT and RR this year, after having ridden the Worlds' time trial last year. He got this year off to a good start by winning his national time trial title and finishing second on the road. Hansen rode the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France this year. „"It's been a great year for me,“ he told us.
Plaza is almost a minute faster at the last time check and sets a time of 40:49.07.
Fredrik Ericsson of Sweden is 30. He won not only his national TT championship, but also the overall title in the Ringerike GP. Earlier this month he finished second in the Univest Grand Prix.
Australia's Adam Hansen told Cyclingnews this morning that „The course will take a special rider to win. It's hard to get into a rhythm because of the start with corners and up and down, then a flat section with hills in the final. Most of the Top guys are saying there is a good chance that 10 riders have a chance of winning.“
The Team Columbia rider was full of praise for the race organisers. The roads are newly paved and the course is securely closed to traffic. „So far it seems the Italians have put on a good show in terms of setting up the race and everything. Looks really nice set up.“
Dan Craven of Namibia is 25. He has a number of top ten finishes this year, including a win in the GP Cristal Energie. Earlier this month he finished second in the Trofeo Salvatore Morucci.
Felix Rafael Cardenas of Colombia is a 36 year-old Barloworld rider. He had top ten finishes in four Giro d'Italia stages this year.
Kunitski sets a best time at the final time check, 40.33.25.
Janez Brakjovic, 24, rides for Team Astana and comes from Slovenia. This summer he finished seventh overall in the Österreich Rundfahrt, eighth in the Tour de l'Ain and third in the Deutschland Tour.
And Zeits is the first one over the finish line, in a time of 56:58.08.
Tuychiev was the second to start and the second to finish in a time of 57:47.98.
Lukasz Bodnar is 26 and rides for DHL-Author. This year he won the Polish national TT title, the Course de Solidarnosc et des Champions Olympiques and the Dookola Mazowsza / Mazovia Tour team time trial.
Rubens Bertogliati of Switzerland is a 29 year-old rider with Scott – American Beef. He started riding in the Tour of Qatar this year and has been on the road the entire season. His last race was the Vattenfall Cyclassics earlier this month. He was second in his national TT race.
Jurco has the best time at the second time check, 23:00.67.
Cyclingnews' Thomas Nilsson sat down with today's roster and looked at who rides for who. Eight of the riders have no contract. For the pro teams, Astana and Columbia lead the way with seven riders each. Barloworld and CSC-Saxo Bank have three each. There are two each from Centri Della Calzatura-Partizan, Cofidis, Liquigas, Scott-American Beef, Garmin-Chipotle, and Tinkoff.
Ravis Belohvosciks of Latvia is also with Scott-American Beef and also started the year out with the Tour of Qatar. He won not only his national time trial race but also the time trial in the Eneco Tour.
Lars Ytting Bak, 28, is from Denmark and rides for CSC-Saxo Bank. He was the first over the finish line in the team time trial which opened the Tour of Poland, giving him the leader's jersey for a day. He finished second overall in the race.
Honchar is now the fastest at the first time check, 22:55.
Tanel Kangert of Estonia is 21 and rides for Ag2r-La Mondiale. He is national time trial champion and finished 25th overall in the Tour of Poland.
Benoit Joachim rides for Luxembourg and Team Astana. He fiisihed third in his national ITT and second in the road race.
Kunitski has just moved into first place with a finishing time of 55:10.22.
Manuel Quinziato of Italy is 28 years old and rides for Liquigas. He started out the season with two wins in he World's View Challenge, finished second overall in the Driedaagse de Panne, was fourth in the national TT race, and was on the team which won the Vuelta's opening team time trial.
The crowd here gives a roar as one of theirs takes to the course.
Hoste is now in third place, at 55:32.25.
Ignatas Konovalovas rides for Credit Agricole. He is 22 years old and comes from Lithuania. He has two wins this season, the first stage of the Tour de Luxembourg and this national time trial race.
To get back to the teams represented here, the following have one rider each in the time trial: Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo, AG2R La Mondiale, Benfica, Bouygues Telecom, Caisse d'Epargne, Cinelli – OPD, Crédit Agricole, DHL – Author, Française des Jeux, Palmans Cras, Perutnina Ptuj, P-Nívó Betonexpressz 2000 Corratec, Preti Mangimi, Quick Step, Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli, Silence – Lotto, Symmetrics Cycling Team and Team Milram.
Honchar is very distinctive in his riding style, as he bobbles around all over the place.
Vasili Kiryienka, 27, is from Belarus and rides for Team Tinkoff. He was on the team which won the Settimana Ciclista Lombarda team time trial, and finished second in two Giro d'Italia stages, and won one, stage 19. He also finished second in the Giro's mountain ranking.
Tony Martin is a 23 year-old German who rides for Team Columbia. The first year pro has four wins this year, Hel van het Mergelland, and time trials in the Ster Elektrotoer, Tour de l'Ain and the Deutschland Tour. He had quite a scare yesterday, when a car ran into him at a traffic circle. Martin is ok, but his bike didn't survive the accident. He will ride on the bike with which German teammate Patrick Gretsch won silver in the U-23 time trial.
A lot of people are looking to him to bring in a medal today.
Jurco has passed the man who started in front of him and was the first to break the 40 minute mark at the final intermediate time check, at 39:54.49.
Steven Cummings of Great Britain is 27 and rides for Barloworld. He won a stage in the Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria early this year. finished second in both the Tour of Denmark and the Tour of Britain, and won the Coppa Bernocchi.
Honchar has passed the man who started in front of him. Meanwhile, Rabon got off to a fast start but slowed down underway, finishing with only the fifth best time.
Jose Ivan Gutierrez rides for Spain and Caisse d'Epargne. The 29 year-old was third in his national TT championships and won the Eneco Tour. He is another one who has a good chance today.
Did we mention that Brajkovic now has the best time at the third time check?
Well, he did until Honchar went by......
Michael Blaudzun of Denmark is 35 and rides for CSC-Saxo Bank. He was third in his country time trial race and has a number of top ten finishes in individual and team time trials this season.
Hm, it now occurs to us that Brajkovic can't have passed the third time check yet.
Jerome Coppel is a 22 year-old Frenchman who rides for Française des Jeux. He finished sixth overall in the Tour de l'Ain and fourth in the Tour de l'Avenir.
German youngster Tony Martin admits that „I was surprised myself“ at his four wins in this his first pro year. He isn't modest about his ambitions for this race, though. „I want to be in the top five.“
Martin set a new best time at the first time check, 9:13, which is four seconds faster.
Gabriel Pop of Rumania was not so satisfied with his ride, but the national champ knew his fitness wasn't going to be sufficient for a decent placing. "I haven't been able to train properly since I won the title, as I have a 9-5 job here in Italy. I tried to do my best but it was hard. I hope that one day I can concentrate solely on cycling - maybe next year. But it's still great to be here amongst the top stars of world cycling!"
Gutierrez has topped Martin at the first time check.
Jurco moves into first place with a time of 53:59.60.
Stijn Devolder, 29 is Belgian and rides for Quick Step. He has a long list of successes this year, starting with the Volta ao Algarve, the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the Ronde van Belgie, and his national time trial title.
Svein Tuft of Canada rides for Symmetrics Cycling Team. The 32 year-old won the Pan-American TT championship s well as the Canadian title. He also won the Tour de Beauce. and finished third overall in the Tour of Missouri.
Bert Grabsch is two-time German time trial champ. The 33 year-old rides for Team Columbia and this season won time trials in the Österreich Tour and the Schasen Tour, as well as the overall title in the Sachsen Tour.
Germany's Grabsch refused to make a prediction for himself in the race, saying this year he has done better when he doesn't say anything. He did say, though, that this course suits him better than the one in Beijing.
Wacker is currently second at the finish, 54:36.
Rein Taaramae of Estonia is a 22 year-old Estonian riding for Cofidis. He won two consecutive stages in the Grand Prix de Portugal, as well as the time trial in the Tour de l'Avenir.
Honchar is now the race leader, exactly 20 seconds faster than Jurco, at 53:39.60.
Vladimir Gusev of Russia ,most recently won the Tour of Sochi while riding for the Russian National Team. Team Astana released him in June because of questionable blood values.
Marco Pinotti, Italy, is 32 and a two-time national time trial champion. This year he also won the closing time trial in the Giro d'Italia. The Team Columbia rider also won the Tour of Ireland.
Cyclingnews asked the USA team mechanic which gears their two contenders today had chosen. Levi Leipheimer, number one favourite, put on a 54 x 11, while Dave Zabriskie opted for a bigger chainring, 56 x 11.
Sylvain Chavanel, 29, is French and rides for Cofidis. He has won stages in the Tour Méditerranéen, Paris-Nice, Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, and the Tour de France, as well as Dwars door Vlaanderen, Brabantse Pijl and the French national time trial. If that's not enough, Chavanel also wore the leader's jersey for a day in the Vuelta.
David Zabriskie of the USA rides for Garmin Chipotle and is 29. He came back from a serious injury suffered in the second stage of the Giro d'Italia to win the US time trial title last month.
Sylvain Chavanel of France (and Cofidis) told Cyclingnews' Hedwig Kröner that the course is not as difficult as he thought. "It's very rolling; not as hilly as I thought,. There will be an average speed of over 50 km/h, especially if there's no wind. The pace will be very high. The last 10 kilometres will really break your legs because they're on a false flat uphill, which is going to be hard in the end.“
And how does he expect to do? „Overall, the course is too flat to my taste, but I'll still give it everything I have to get the best possible result."
Gutierrez has now fallen to second at the second time check, behind Martin.
Mikhail Ignatiev of Team Tinkoff is 23 and has a long season behind him, including the Giro and the Vuelta. He is also an outstanding track rider who took bronze in the Madison at the Beijing Olympics.
Hansen crosses the finish line in seventh place, with a time of 55:51.14.
Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway is a 21year-old first-year pro. He has had a successful year with Team Columbia, winning stages in the Criterium International, and the Eneco Tour, as well as three stages of the Tour of Britain. He also won the Norwegian national ITT Title.
There are only five more riders to go.
David Millar is no stranger to the Worlds time trial. The British rider had won the title in 2003 but was stripped of it after admitting to having used EPO before the race. The 31 year old rides for Garmin Chipotle and finished second in the Tour of California. He made headlines this year when he threw his bike over an embankment when he had a mechanical in the last km of the fifth stage of the Giro.
Stef Clement of the Netherlands rides for Bouygues Telecom. He was 2006 and 2006 Dutch national TTT champion and last year won bronze in the Worlds. He is quite striking in his orange body suit.....
Devolder takes the lead at the first time check, ahead of Martin.
Brajkovic approaches the finish line. He will be close to Honchar's time.
And he is faster than the Ukrainian and our new leader, with a time of 53:26.76.
Quinziato sets a new best time at the third time check.
Michael Rogers of Australia rides for Team Columbia. The 28 year-old hasn't had his best year so far. A case of Epstein-Barr virus put an end to his hopes of the Tour de France. He doesn't actually have any wins this year, but came close several times, finishing second overall in the Sachsen Tour International and the Tour of Missouri. He was 8th in the Olympic time trial and sixth in the road race. Of course, Rogers has outstanding credentials for this race – he was World Time Trial Champion in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
This is practically a home race for Rogers. His wife is Italian and they live in Italy.
Grabsch is second at the second time check, behind Canada's Tuft.
Gustav Larsson of Sweden finished second the Beijing Olympics time trial. The 28 year-old rides for Team CSC-Saxo Bank and is two-time Swedish ITT champion.
Levi Leipheimer is the big favourite to win this thing today. In case you don't remember, he is 34 years old, comes from the USA and rides for Astana. Most recently he won the bronze medal in the Olympic time trial, and at the Vuelta a Espańa, he won both time trials, wore the leader's jersey for two days and finished second overall. Not bad.....
He is the last one to take to the course. Time now for us to sit back and wait for the winner!
Boasson Hagen blasts a new best time at the first time check.
And Martin sets a new best time at the final intermediate time check, 39:10.65.
Hans-Michael Holczer, manager of the soon-to-be-defunct Team Gerolsteiner, is managing things n the road for the German team. „This is not a very difficult course, but it goes up and down. There are some decent climbs there. I think that it won't be easy for the riders,“ he said.
With Cancellara's absence, „it will be an open race like we haven't had for a long time.“ Of course, he sees good chances for his two German riders Bert Grabsch and Tony Martin.
Pinotti third at the second time check.
Stijn Devolder warming up. He is looking good so far and has the best time at the third time check.
Photo ©: Hedwig Kröner
Rogers second at the first time check, behind Tuft.
Quinziato won't set a new best time at the finish, coming in 11 seconds behind Brajkovic at 53:38.39, which puts him in second place.
Here is a shock: Leipheimer only 16th at the first time check!
Stijn Devolder of Belgium wants to win gold here. He likes the course, saying „it is very beautiful. Splendid wide streets and long straightaways. It will be a high-speed time trial, perfect for me.“
He sees as his main rivals Michael Rogers, Tony Martin and Jose Ivan Gutierrez, and even teammate Leif Host.
He adds that while „ a silver or bronze medal in a world championship are also nice, I will be disappointed if I do not win.“
Kiryienka approaches the finish line and has a time of 54:13.31, which make him fifth.
Grabsch with a new intermediate best time.
Tony Martin is our new leader, with a time of 53:17.86.
The youngster collapses on the ground, gasping for breath.
Cyclingnews' Gregor Brown talked to Ruben Bertogliati, who said he was satisfied with his race. He is looking for a new team for the coming year, saying that "working with Gianetti is not possible for 2009. Maybe a Spanish team."
Blaudzun comes in as 15th.
Leipheimer was not 16th at the first time check, but 16 seconds down. But at the second time check he is 11th, 29 seconds back.
Devolder takes the lead by a hair, with a time of 53:17.01, which is 85 hundredths faster than Martin.
Tuft come into the finish with a fantastic new best time, 52.44!
Grabsch is next....
And he has a super new time of 52:01.60.
Cyclingnews's Hedwig Kröner spoke with Namibia's Dan Craven. How was his ride? "Arrrgggghhhh! It was probably not so good, since I was caught by the guy who started four minutes behind me!" He currently lives in Switzerland and is riding for an amateur team. He wants to get a pro contract with a European team next season and had hoped to recommend himself with a good ride here.
Taaramae of Estonia is in now, with a time of 55:21.
It turns out that Tuft had a defect in the last few kms and had to change bikes. Did that cost him the gold medal?
Pinotti is the next. He won't top his teammate Grabsch, and won't even make the top five.
Chavanel is the next to head to the finish line. Looks like he won't medal either.
Sixth place for the Frenchman, 53:27.42. And Larsson is 42 seconds back at the final intermediate check.
Zabriskie looks to see if he can't win silver or bronze.
Zabriskie is good for third place, 52:53.87. He knocks Devolder off of the podium.
Seven riders to go.
Leipheimer was fifth at the final intermediate time check, 47 seconds behind Grabsch's time. Will he be able to move up to third and take bronze?
Grabsch is busy sending a text message -- perhaps to his brother Ralf, who rides for Team Milram?
Ignatiev is making his way to the finish, but he is way back.
The Russian is 20th, at 54:57.06.
Boasson Hagen is the next, and he has fallen way back, too. He crosses the finish line in 54:30.02 as 17th. That's not bad for a 21 year-old -- he's the youngest one in the race today.
David Millar won't take a medal home, either. His time of 53:26.86 is only good enough for seventh place.
Grabsch is smiling a bit and looks like he is starting to believe that he will be World Champion.
Only three riders to go: Rogers, Larsson and Leipheimer.
Oh, we forgot Stef Clement in his orange suit. Here he is, with a time of 54:32.47, as 29th.
Now there are really only three riders to go!
Rogers won't take the title or even a medal today. His time is 3..34.92, which puts him 10th, just ahead of Columbia teammate Pinotti.
Larsson is the next-to-last to come across and he won't be able to bump any of the top three, either. But he is fourth !
What can Leipheimer do?
He has just passed under the final km marker.
It is fourth place for Leipheimer, 53:07.02.
Grabsch wipes his face and looks like he doesn't believe he is world champion. Now he waves to the crowd.
Germany now has a gold, a silver and a bronze as its booty from the first three races.
Well, that was it for the Worlds time trials this years! Congratulations to Bert Grabsch, and to all who did their best today. Join us again tomorrow when the U-23 guys take to the road.
Finish - km 43.7
1 Bert Grabsch (Germany) 52.01.60 (50.407 km/h)
2 Svein Tuft (Canada) 0.42.79
3 David Zabriskie (United States Of America) 0.52.27
4 Levi Leipheimer (United States Of America) 1.05.42
5 Gustav Larsson (Sweden) 1.05.84
6 Stijn Devolder (Belgium) 1.15.41
7 Tony Martin (Germany) 1.16.26
8 Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia) 1.25.16
9 David Millar (Great Britain) 1.25.26
10 Sylvain Chavanel (France) 1.25.82
First check at km 8.2
1 Svein Tuft (Canada) 9.05.13 (54.165 km/h)
2 Gustav Erik Larsson (Sweden) 9.05.87
3 Michael Rogers (Asutralia) 9.07.41
4 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway) 9.09.24
5 Sylvain Chavanel (France) 9.10.50
Second check at km 20
1 Svein Tuft (Canada) 22.03.69 (54.421 km/h)
2 Bert Grabsch (Germany) 22.06.83
3 Gustav Erik Larsson (Sweden) 22.18.36
4 David Zabriskie 22.26.27
5 Marco Pinotti 22.26.56
Third check at km 32.5
1 Bert Grabsch (Germany) 38.14.80 (51.003 km/h)
2 Svein Tuft (Canada) 38.26.34
3 David Zabriskie (United States Of America) 38.55.54
4 Gustav Larsson (Sweden) 38.59.07
5 Levi Leipheimer (United States Of America) 39.02.69
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