2022 UCI Road World Championships Preview Wollongong
The peloton heads Down Under for a special World Championships around the Australian city of Wollongong. The home spectators will be out in force for a festival of cycling. As for fans based in Europe, set those alarms: the reward for some early mornings will be a week of riveting racing. There are eleven rainbow jerseys up for grabs on routes that favour strong, hardy puncheurs.
Against the clock, the elite men and women have a 34.2km time trial course on September 18 around the coastal city. It is full of corners and contains two climbs of the 900-metre Mount Ousley, which averages 4.5%.
In the elite road races on September 24 and 25, the back-to-back punchy climbs of Mount Ousley and Mount Pleasant (1100 metres at 7.7% average) on the main circuit will be pivotal. They are encountered six times by the elite women and twelve by the men. The accumulated fatigue, not to mention the mental effort of the technical downhill off Mt Pleasant, will play a big role.
Watch the Shimano Elite Road Race Course Preview
Favourites riding Shimano
Mathieu van der Poel
The Tour of Flanders champion has taken a breather this summer to prepare for this goal. Set to race in the resplendent orange of his home country, the Dutch superstar is keen to add to the four elite cyclocross rainbow jerseys he has. A course containing almost 4,000 metres of climbing will hold no fear for him.
Wout van Aert
Belgium’s Mr. Versatile is skipping the time trial to target a road race rainbow jersey. Discount the pre-race favourite at your peril.
The commanding way the prodigy tackled the first half of the Vuelta was seriously impressive. He will come to Australia in top condition and confidence, offering an attacking option for Belgium. Rivals will be acutely aware of the threat he poses, but will they be able to do anything about it if he places an all-out attack?
Her first elite world road race title came back in 2006. What a fairytale it would be if the 35-year-old legend uses her experience and class to take a fourth one. She is a danger from a small bunch sprint on a course that’ll whittle down the field.
The Amstel Gold Race and the Flèche Wallonne have already been won by the Italian climber. She will look to cap her breakthrough season with silverware at the Worlds after a break from racing, recovering from her Tour de France Femmes crash. If she is close to her spring form, she will be a major player.
Sunday September 18
Women’s Elite Time Trial, 34.2km, starts 09:35, finishes 12:30 AEST (01:35-04:30 Central European Summer Time)
Men’s Elite Time Trial, 34.2km, 13:40-17:00 (05:40-09:00 CEST)
Monday September 19
Men’s Under 23 Time Trial, 28.8km, 13:20-17:00 (05:20-09:00 CEST)
Tuesday September 20
Women’s Junior Time Trial, 14.1km, 09:30-11:05 (01:30-03:05 CEST)
Men’s Junior Time Trial, 28.8km, 13:20-17:00 (05:20-09:00 CEST)
Wednesday September 21
Team Time Trial - Mixed Relay, 28.2km, 14:20-17:05 (06:20-09:05 CEST)
Friday September 23
Men’s Junior Road Race, 135.6km, 08:15-11:35 (00:15-03:35 CEST)
Men’s U23 Road Race, 169.8km, 13:00-17:10 (05:00-09:10 CEST)
Saturday September 24
Women’s Junior Road Race, 67.2km, 08:00-09:50 (00:00-01:50 CEST)
Women’s Elite Road Race, 164.3km, 12:25-17:00 (04:25-09:00 CEST)
Sunday September 25
Men’s Elite Road Race,266.9km, 10:15-16:50 (02:15-08:50 CEST)