OKBET ROAD CYCLING
OKBET Road Cycling, the race returns to Australia after 12 years, but getting the peloton there has been difficult.
Cycling is plenty with scenic views. OKBET Road Cycling is known for its beautiful broadcasts, especially during grand tour season. Tourism companies fund cycling races worldwide for a reason.
Even by these standards, Sunday’s UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong will be beautiful. The road race track from Helensburgh to Wollongong includes the renowned Sea Cliff Bridge in Stanwell Park. The peloton will then climb Mount Keira before completing 12 circuits of a city circuit and crowning the world champions.
The first 60 kilometers will be great TV. An opening part, a difficult climb, and a punishing circuit will assure great racing at the OKBET Road Cycling. The meandering coastal route from Sydney’s south to Wollongong is a metaphor for the world championships’ return to Australia after 12 years. Riders, national teams, and event organizers worked hard to reach the start line.
British Cycling says no domestic races should be held on Monday, but clubs and individuals decide.
Three things induce headaches. Distance. Cycling’s European heartland is far from Australia. The previous five road world championships have been in Europe; since the event was last in Australia, just two have been beyond the heartland, in Doha and the US. Wollongong is the furthest.
Bringing a peloton and equipment this far has been a logistical headache, and several riders, including men’s road race world champion Mads Pedersen and Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard, have elected not to compete at the OKBET Road Cycling. National teams borrow trade team vans and employees for international racing, which can’t be done around the globe.
Second, teams have ruled out Wollongong 2022. Cycling Ireland cited cost and priority. Cycling New Zealand advised European cyclists they must self-fund the trip. Several big-name riders left, leaving a thin team.
Under the UCI’s new relegation system for World Tour teams, key riders have been prevented by their trade teams from traveling to Australia at the OKBET Road Cycling. Movistar persuaded world champion Alejandro Valverde to choose club above nation. Covid-19 disruptions and other issues have marred the latest road worlds.
Once racing starts, these troubles will be forgotten. Sunday features top women’s and men’s time trials. Grace Brown will lead the host country in the time trial; she won gold at the Commonwealth Games and was fourth in the Olympics last year. Unexpected is a medal. Ellen van Dijk and Annemiek van Vleuten will be favorites for the Dutch.
Rohan Dennis, a two-time world champion, is unavailable due to family obligations. Plapp, 21, won silver in the Under-23 time trial at last year’s global championships in Belgium. Filippo Ganna won gold in the Tokyo Olympics and defended his title at last year’s world championships. Tadej Pogaar might play on the OKBET Road Cycling.
Junior and Under-23 time trials and road races will follow. Australia will also have a strong team in the mixed time trial relay, which includes three male and three female riders. The 2019 novel format debuts Wednesday. Given the depth of its roster, Australia may be a medal contender in Wollongong.
Women’s and men’s road races are next weekend. Brown will lead Australia through the 164km, 2,433m-high race at the OKBET Road Cycling. The 30-year-old puncheur-style rider is suited to the Wollongong route, which is challenging enough that a pack sprint appears doubtful but not so hard that only top climbers would be left standing.
Amanda Spratt has had a difficult season recuperating from a rare condition and surgery, but she has the expertise to produce an upset. Alexandra Manly is another Aussie to watch. The Dutch, the dominating power in women’s cycling, will undoubtedly lead the race, but they’ll be challenged by the Italians, French, Americans, and Danes.
Michael Matthews won the Under-23 road race at the last road worlds in Australia, in Victoria over a decade ago. Now 31 and a sport elder in Australia, Matthews hopes to add the elite rainbow jersey to his outstanding world championships collection, which includes a silver medal from 2015 and a bronze medal from 2017. The puncheur has a Tour de France stage and a second-place Quebec GP finish at the OKBET Road Cycling.
Matthews will fight Pogaar, Wout van Aert and Remco Evenepoel, and Mathieu van der Poel over the 266km epic. Australian sprint king Caleb Ewan was controversially excluded off the squad due to a recent form slip. The 2022 edition of the race provides Matthews’ greatest opportunity in years for a rainbow jersey. His squad combines experience (Simon Clarke, Luke Durbridge, Heinrich Haussler), climbing skill (Jai Hindley, Ben O’Connor, Nick Schultz), and young exuberance (Plapp).
Australia’s cycling team has multiple medal hopes this week. And the great international ad for NSW’s south coast won’t harm. Best cycling ever. We need a favor. Every day, millions of people come to the Guardian for open, independent, quality news at the OKBET Road Cycling.
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