Can Peter Sagan win a fourth World Championship Road Race Title?
The men's road race at the Worlds in Yorkshire is a hilly course of 284.5 kilometres. The first 185 kilometres uses the course of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ before riders tackle a tough and technical circuit around Harrogate. The 14 kilometre finishing circuit is repeated seven times.
The riders start in Leeds city centre, neutralised for 10.5 kilometres before the official start at Cookridge. Riders will head north through the Yorkshire Dales and are due to reach Kettlewell before the first climb appears after 60 km. The opening Kidstones climb is 6.6 kilometres long with an average gradient of 1.3%.
The famous climb of Buttertubs is next after 90 kms, which is 6 kilometres long with an average gradient of 2.5%, and then Grinton Moor after 120 kms, the longest and hardest climb of the day: 4.4 kilometres at an average gradient of 5.3%.
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The race arrives back in Harrogate after 185 kilometres to tackle a tough 14 kilometre finishing circuit seven times. The first climb is up Otley Road, which climbs for 1.6 kilometres at an average of 3.4%. The course continues onto Pot Bank with some downhill twists and turns the route crosses the Oak Beck stream to return to climbing with the much steeper Penny Pot Lane, although this climb is much steeper. The route descends to the Oak Beck stream again before heading up the other side. Quite steep at first, the riders clamber out of the small valley. Not hard in the first ascent, nor in the second, but it will certainly do damage in the finale of the 284.5 kilometre race.
The men’s road race at the Worlds heads out from Leeds on Sunday September 29, 2019 at 8.40 to finish on Harrogate’s Parliament Street around 15.50 – both are local time (BST).
Rising star Mathieu van der Poel is a firm favorite but the long distance might be too much. Three times world champion Peter Sagan is a firm favorite and easily cope with the climbs. Youngster Remco Evenepoel is another firm favorite with roulers Philippe Gilbert and Michael Matthews also firm favorites.
“Yeah, I am motivated to win], that’s why I race more world championships, but it’s not easy to win, it’s just better to keep your feet on the ground." said Peter Sagan, "Definitely I am not dreaming during the night about the world championships, but we can call it a goal.”
***** Mathieu van der Poel (Ned)
****Peter Sagan (Svk), Julian Alaphilippe (Fra)
***Philippe Gilbert (Bel), Michael Matthews (Aus), Matteo Trentin (Ita), Remco Evenepoel (Bel)
** Sam Bennett (Irl), Greg Van Avermaet (Bel), Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz)