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GCN’s World Road Race Championships 2019 Preview Show | Live From Yorkshire

– Hello everybody and welcome along to GCN’s big preview of the
UCI Road World Championships, right here in the UK. – Yes, now as you know, when
we’re filming a preview show for a major race, we
like to film in a place that maybe pays tribute to the host nation and can also supply a drink or two. So for a home World
Championships, as you can imagine, we’ve stepped it up a notch. We are not only filming
on the finish line, we’re also filming in a brewery and we’ve invited a whole
load of friends as well. (audience cheers) – How amazing was that,
we asked them to cheer like that before we started filming this. – We did yeah. – Thank you very much to
Zwift, who are hosting us here at their Draft House which
is very conveniently located isn’t it, close to the
finish line of all the races that are taking place
over the next seven days. Now it’s been 37 years since
we hosted a world championship on the road here in Great Britain, the last one was back in
Goodwood in 1980 something, but it’s safe to say that we
are very excited for this one. – We are indeed, now in this video you will expect to see a bit of a talk about the races that are coming up and also a hefty preview of the racers that are taking part and
contesting for a rainbow jersey awarded to any UCI World Champion. – And we will also of course
be giving out compulsory kisses of death by predicting the winners of the men’s and women’s elite road races. Before we get onto all of that though, a quick bit of background on road racing here in Yorkshire, and the roads here are getting quite well known amongst the international
professional cyclists. Most of you here in the audience,
will remember of course, the 2014 Tour de France,
where Marcel Kittel sprinted to victory at
the very same finish line here in Harrogate. And now of course, we’ve got the annual Tour de Yorkshire as well. – Yeah, now Dan, I was reading
that 2.6 million people spectated on the roadside of
the Tour de Yorkshire in 2018. So having done a little
bit of complex maths and some statistics,
we’ve actually worked out that I would imagine the reception here is going to be pretty bonkers. – And probably a lot of that will be for the homegrown riders won’t
it, there’s a few of them. In fact, there’s a lot
of history in Yorkshire in terms of elite cyclists. So the legend that is
Brian Robinson, came here, our first world champion, in
fact, double world champion, Beryl Burton hales from Yorkshire as well. We also the got the likes of Barry Hoban and a former green
jersey wearer and winner in fact at the Vuelta a
Espana, Malcolm Elliott, and also the Downings, who
are here with us tonight. – Indeed yeah. Now we also have a current
crop of pros as well, so we got the track legend Ed
Clancy, we’ve got Ben Swift, we’ve got up and comer Tom Pidcock. And we also of course, have
none other than Lizzie Deignan. Who actually, I believe will
race down the very street that she went to school on, in Otley. – Talking of her school Si,
apparently she was basically plucked out of double
maths by a British cycling talent spotting team,
who then sort of put her on to cycling stardom. – Mate, if only that had happened to me, I hated double maths. – Well it wouldn’t have
happened to you Si, because it was a talent spotting team. – Yes, okay. (audience laughs) The finish line here in
Harrogate, as Dan said, is actually the very
same one that was used when Marcel Kittel sprinted to victory in the Tour de France, so it
is an uphill drag to the line. But there is one very
crucial difference isn’t it? Because that is that the entrance to this finishing straight
is slightly different, there’s a sharp corner at the bottom, which will mean that the bunch
will not carry as much speed onto the that finishing straight
and it could prove crucial couldn’t it actually? – Well we think it will do, don’t we? And the organization has
been quite innovative really, when it comes to the
design of all the courses, for the various time
trials and road races. Basically try and spread the love amongst the many beautiful towns around Yorkshire. So in fact, we’ve got nine, I
haven’t memorized all of them, so I’m going to read
them off the laptop here. And you can also judge
me on my pronunciation of these as well. – Judge Dan harshly please. – So we have Doncaster, Beverley– – Is that right, no, come on. (audience laughs) – Beverley– – Doncaster!
– Doncaster yes, thank you. – Doncaster, Beverly,
Leeds, Bradford, Ripon, Northallerton, Tadcaster. – No, come on, that’s wrong, that’s wrong. – Wetherby and Richmond,
will all be hosting starts. However, Harrogate is
of course the main stay of the World Championships,
and almost all the races will finish with that
final 14 kilometer circuit, with that finish line that
Kittel won on a few years ago. – That’s right a 14 kilometer finish that you can of course,
ride on Zwift as well, because they’ve faithfully recreated it, and know you can see it
on the screen behind us. – [Dan] In the dry. – Yeah, yes, absolutely. You will of course, probably be wondering, why we are late to the
party with our preview show. Because the World Championships
has already started, we have had the first
ever World Championship Mixed Team Time Trial Relay. – That’s right yeah, the UCI last year did away with the trade team
times, which has been going on for quite a few years, and tried to spice things up a bit basically. So in the relay, you
get three blokes going as fast as they can for a
lap, and then they pass on to three women from the
same nation of course, who goes as fast as they can for one lap. – That’s right, and the first
ever winners of this event were the Dutch team, and you would imagine that’s probably the
first gold medal of many over the next few days. – We shall see, although,
slightly strange one in someways, that mixed relay, because
it comes just two days before the Women’s Elite
Individual Time Trial. So we basically didn’t
have the best time trials in the world, ’cause they didn’t
want to do a flat out effort, just two days before the event,
in which they want to peak. But let’s move on to that
Elite Women’s Individual Time Trial, that is over a 32
and a half kilometer course, which is the same one that
the Under 23 Men’s Time Trial will be on that very same morning. Incidentally, there is no
under 23 women’s category still at the world, but
should probably leave that subject for another time. – Well yeah, I’m not sure
there’s an answer to that really is there, as to
why there isn’t a race, but like you say, a
subject for another day. The time trial route starts in Ripon and then actually the first 12 kilometers are relatively flat and after that, it’s decidedly undulating. – It is, it is, and we’re
going to get straight into the favorites for this one right now, and it’s very hard to look beyond, the woman that’s won this for
the last two years on the trot from the Netherlands,
Annemiek van Vleuten. Now she’s been absolutely
on fire this season, which is made all the
more incredible really, by the fact that she
broke a bone in her leg this time last year at the
World Road Race Championships which she had to recover from. – Yeah and then, she only went and won her second race back this year, which was the very
prestigious Strada Bianche. And then, without wishing to be unkind to the rest of the Peloton
at the Giro Rosa in July. She absolutely crushed ’em, didn’t she? She absolutely crushed ’em. – [Dan] I think they say that as well. – I think they probably, well they did. didn’t they, at the time. She won three stages,
including uphill time trial which she won by over a minute. And then she won the
general classification by several minutes, didn’t she? – She did yeah, she’s
almost 37 years of age now, but is showing– – That’s a good age Dan,
you can do a lot, almost 37. – But she’s showing no
signs of slowing down, basically, is she? Now the Dutch last year, filled all three of the podiums spots, Anna van der Breggen yes, was second with a silver medal, she’ll be racing again this year as well. Last year’s bronze medalist
was Ellen van Dijk, now she’s currently injured,
so she’s been replaced by another very good time
trialist Lucinda Brand. – That’s right, now who
can stop them winning? Probably no one, to be quite honest. But hot on their heels will
be Lisa Brennauer of Germany. Now she won this race
back in 2014, I believe. – Yeah, couple of years ago. – A couple of years
ago, let me just check. – Let’s go and look at the script. – 2014 world champion, Lisa Brennauer. But actually, perhaps
most important of all, she’s just won the Madrid Challenge. And she did so off the
back of a super strong time trial performance. – Germany have also got
Lisa Klein as well I think. But the rider I am most
excited and intrigued about in terms of a performance in
the individual time trial, is the USA rider Chloe Dygert Owen. Now for those of you who
watch GCN Racing’s coverage of the Colorado Classic recently, you’ll know that she dominated that race. And when I say dominated,
I really mean it, she won all four of the stages there and therefore of course,
the overall classification, she also therefore won the points and the Queen of the Mountains, doesn’t get much more dominant than that. – No, it doesn’t, it
really doesn’t does it? And her teammate here is
definitely worth a shout out as well, so that’s the current
American National Champion, Amber Neben, and she’s 44, isn’t she? But she still won this
race just three years ago, so yeah, not bad. – She’s a pretty incredible
athlete isn’t she? I wouldn’t put it past her
getting a medal again this year. Alice Barnes and Haley
Simmonds will be very motivated to perform on home
roads here in Yorkshire. But I personally can’t see
past a Dutch win here Si. – Nope. – I’m going to predict Annemiek
van Vleuten for the win just to get something right
in terms of predictions for this week. – You do know, that’s she’s
not going to win now, right? That kiss of death means
effectively it’s over. Right, now the very next day on Wednesday we have the Men’s Elite Time Trial, this one is 54.1 kilometers long, and that starts in Northallerton. Much like the other one, there
is not a great deal of flats on this course, is there? – No, it’s more like a sort of
sporting time trial isn’t it? As opposed to your traditional
25 mile out and back. Well I Personally think they’ve
missed an opportunity there to show the international
superstars of time trials the true British time trial scene. – I mean, they could’ve
kept the roads open, we could’ve had people
slipstreaming behind lorries, perhaps a course record
or two would’ve fallen maybe on the A1 or something. Remember what course that is? – Depends if it’s float
day or not Si, doesn’t it? – Doesn’t it? Well, doesn’t look like it’s
going to be float day does it, let’s fact it, but we’ll
talk more about the weather a littler bit later on. And also we’ll try and
stay clear of controversy like drafting behind trucks. Because there’s controversy
around our reigning champion in the sense, that Rohan
Dennis, kind of pulled out of the Tour de France under
a bit of a cloud didn’t he? – He did, so can we call
him one of the favorites? – Well, I mean we don’t
know, because he hasn’t raced since the middle of the Tour de France. At the time he pulled out mid-stage and didn’t give any explantation. Eventually his team Bahrain Merida, kind of dripped out to the media that he was a little bit
unhappy with something. But that said, he is training
hard by all accounts. – Yeah, he has said
that’s he’s training hard, so we definitely can’t count him out, but he’s also revealed
that at the race this week, he won’t be using a Merida
Bike from his trade team, but rather quite a special time trial bike from the Australian Cycling Federation. – Which means that we can probably safely make another prediction at
the World Championships, and that is that Rohan Dennis will not be riding for
Bahrain Merida in 2020. – He said that he is. – Well he has said he is. – But I don’t believe,
but he said that he is. – Well no, I mean it’s hard to come back from that, isn’t it really? But anyway, there we go. Now one rider that isn’t
going to be here actually is the winner from the previous
year’s World Championships and that’s Tom Dumoulin,
he hasn’t even raced since mid June has he? Since the Dauphine, but we
two have the two previous world time trial champions
on the start list. So Vasil Kiryienka, and the
time trial legend, Tony Martin. – Yeah, although he crashed
at the Vuelta didn’t he? He did take part in the
team time trial relay today, but I don’t see him winning it, or indeed Vasil Kiryienka winning it. So you wonder whether
this could be the year of a surprise winner in the
Men’s Individual Time Trial. And why not Edoardo
Affini, the young Italian who won the stage time
trial at the Tour of Britain just a couple of weeks ago. – That’s right, I confess, he was a relatively new name on my radar, but did some digging, turns
out he used a 58.2 chainring to win that stage of the Tour. – And we started discussing
it, if we used 58.2 chainrings, we’d probably still would
have done really badly. (audience laughs) – Well to be fair mate, I think
we actually both concluded that we probably have done
better with 58.2 chainrings, yeah, absolutely yeah. I mean, 53.2 chainring,
is impressive to be able to turn that, especially
to be able to turn it on your way to victory. But he is quite a big lad, isn’t he? And given that this course
is significantly longer than the Tour of Britain
and significantly hillier than the Tour of Britain, maybe
it’s not going to favor him. – Yeah, he’s a big lad,
but he’s got a lot of power under the bonnet. I was actually at another Zwift event just before Giro d’Italia
this year in Bologna, and they got a few world tour
pros to do the virtual course, the individual time trial around Bologna. He was the last rider off in that and I was looking at his numbers. And he held a constant 430 to 440 watts for I reckon about four minutes, before he opened his
mouth to breath, honestly. – So he was not even breathing
through a little hole in his mouth, breathing through
his nose for four minutes at 440 watts.
– I just remember the moment where he opened his
mouth, ’cause he started to put a little bit of it, and
I found it quite depressing, ’cause I hadn’t even done that
for five minutes in my test after doing that thing
of getting quick fit in 10 weeks at the start of the year. – Dan, you didn’t even
get close to 440 watts, you were 150 watts off. – All right, don’t rub it in. – And you were definitely
breathing out of your mouth when you did that test as well. – Yeah, right from the get go. – Yeah we all saw that. There is also another
youngster on the start line, in fact, a rider so young,
that he’s the reigning junior world time trial Champion, and road race champion as well. Yeah, you’ll know who I’m talking about, it’s Remco Evenepoel. – [Dan] Evenepoel. – [Simon] Evenepoel. – [Dan] Don’t have anyone here
that’s going to know any better than us I think. – [Simon] No. – And what can you say
about that young man, I mean he is incredibly talented isn’t he? And it’s not just the fact,
that he’s only 19 years old and winning huge races. It’s the fact, that he
only picked up bike racing just over two years ago. – It’s disgusting. – And you wouldn’t put it past
him taking the rainbow bands here in Yorkshire would you? – No no, you really wouldn’t. – Certainly his manager Patrick Lefevere, thinks he’s got a chance here. Also on that Belgium team is
the world Hour Record holder, Victor Campenaerts,
although he has admitted, that he’s felt quite fatigued in the second half of the season. – Yeah, and you’d forgive
him for that wouldn’t you? As you would in fact, for
potentially the big favorite, Primoz Roglic, who you
can’t hesitate to say, fresh off the back of his
victory at the Vuelta a Espana, just what, 10 days ago? – Yeah, I mean that was
the hardest grand tour that a lot of the riders there have done, but he was one of the
few riders that made it look not very hard, he was
never in trouble was he? – Well that’s true, so I
guess we won’t know exactly how well he’s going to go
until the start line itself, or perhaps the first time check. – I think you’re right, if
he’s on the same form as he was at Vuelta, he is the favorite for this individual time trial. – Well if he’s on the same
form that he’s been on in every single time trial this season. – Well that is true, yeah. – Then he’s probably going
to win as well isn’t he? – He’s quite a good rider isn’t he? – He’s not bad. Now flying the British flag, well it was going to be
Geraint Thomas wasn’t it? So he waited very late in
the day before he confirmed, in fact, last Thursday,
he finally confirmed that he would indeed
take to the start line of the time trial championships, and then confirmed, just two days later, that he wouldn’t be on the start line of the time trial championships. So not entirely sure what happened there, but no matter, ’cause
we have Alex Dowsett, who is the National Champion. And he’s going to be
backed up by the runner up in the National
Championships, John Archibald will be taking to the start
line in a GB skin suit as well. – And this is the point
when we cover our backs by naming every other potential
medal rider for this race. So we’ve got Jos van
Emden, of the Netherlands. – To be fair, he’s a good rider ain’t he? – Well they’re all good the
one’s I’m about to read out, Si. Couple of very strong Danes
in the form of Kasper Asgreen and Martin Toft Madsen,
who’s quite an old rider, that specializes in time trials,
he could cause a surprise. Let’s not forget the Giro
d’Italia stage winner in the last time trial,
Chad Haga of the USA. Stefan Kung of Switzerland, he has won a time trial very recently. Paddy Bevin of New
Zealand, he was the guy, that pushed Roglic’s closest
in the individual time trial in the Vuelta recently. Durbridge, Bodnar, Castroviejo, Mullen, van Baarle and Jungels. So there’s basically a lot of riders in with a shout of a medal this year. – That’s right, and not many other riders on the start list either, I’m pretty sure we’ve covered our backs
there yeah, there we go. But go on then, predictions Dan? – [Dan] Well, Roglic. – [Simon] Roglic. – [Dan] Yeah, I’m
playing it safe today Si. – Roglic as well, he didn’t
fail me at the Vuelta, I was about to say Giro d’Italia, he did fail me at the Giro d’Italia, but I predicted him again at
the Vuelta and I got it right. My first ever GCN
prediction that came true. – [Dan] Yeah, well done, I had Pogacar. – Right, next up, without
wishing to be too unkind to the time trials,
we’re onto the main event it’s the women’s and the
men’s elite road races. – Events that I absolutely love, I think because they’re so unpredictable. Not only because you have national teams instead of the trade
teams, but you’ve also got grand tour contenders
against classic specialists. – That’s right, is it a race
for climbers who can sprint, sprinters who can climb
or those aforementioned classic specialists that can
kind of do a little bit of both. – Well shall we start by
looking at the women’s Peloton, the contenders for their event. So that one is a 149 and a
half kilometers in length, it goes between Bradford,
before they to get to the finish here in Harrogate. The route takes them
through Shipley and Otley. The first categorized run– – Sorry, can we have a
pronunciation check of Otley? – [Audience] Otley! – Yeah, I’m not sure we
nailed that one mate. – Oh yeah, Otley, sorry completely wrong. The first categorized climb, I’m going to get this wrong as
well, comes at Norwood Edge. – [Simon] Ooh! – That one maxes out at 12.3%. Closely followed by the Lofthouse climb, which has some sections at
14%, but a maximum of 22%. – Whoa, that sounds brutal. From there the race goes
to Harrogate via Ripon, and then onto those three 14
kilometer finishing circuit. Now before we get on to
the absolute favorite. We got to say, there is kind of
a favorite who won’t be here, and that is the Dutch rider,
Lorena Wiebes or Wiebes, we don’t know quite how
to pronounce her name, or Dan’s been coaching me. – I think you put so much effort into it that you got it completely wrong. – I think I did, anyway,
she’s had a stellar season this year, hasn’t she? But she’s not on the start list. So perhaps a sign that the
Dutch team is that strong, that selection was a difficult one. – Well in terms of people that
are going to be in the race, we’ve got to start with
Lizzie Deignan haven’t we? You can’t get much more local. (audience cheers) And you can’t get much
more local than Lizzie, and I think it’s fair to say,
she’s going to have quite a bit of support out there ain’t she? – Yeah, well judging from that, I’d say that’s an
understatement of the century. – Well yeah, she’d probably best invest in some ear defenders I
think for the amount of noise that she’s going to
hear around the course. Now Lizzie has said that she’s
going to retire next year after the Olympics Road Race in Tokyo, but she also said, that it was
this race here in Yorkshire, the World Championships, that inspired her to get back into competition
after giving birth to her daughter Orla, this time last year. – Yeah now, you can’t say and I’m sorry for the partisan crowd here, you can’t say she’s the top top favorite can you? (audience boos) But she stands a great chance, and no doubt she has been
thinking about this event since the location was
announced a couple years ago. And she’s also had great
form this year hasn’t she? I mean, a spectacular win
at the OVO Women’s Tour earlier in the year, so she
does stand a good chance. – [Dan] She stands a very good chance. – Mostly importantly
of all as well I think, the fact she’s already won a world title, she knows how to do it, she
won back in 2015 didn’t she? – She’s got some good support as well in the form of Alice and
Hannah Barnes, amongst others. However, the rider that
will definitely start as the favorite in this race,
has got to be Marianne Vos. And she’s won this race
three times previously, but the last time was six
years ago back in 2013. Had a couple of difficult
seasons quite recently and I for one, I doubted
whetter she’d get back to her very best, but she has,
very much so, even better. – Classic GCN prediction
there and really Marianne Vos has passed her best and then,
oh no, she’s back to it. And didn’t she prove us
wrong this year, my word. So she started absolutely
flying at Trofeo Alfredo Binda. And then so many races has she won, I’m going to read them all out. Okay, she took a stage and
the general classification at the Tour de Yorkshire. She also took four
stages at the Giro Rosa. She won La Course in
fine style, didn’t she? She then went on to take three stages in the overall, in the Tour of Norway. And then most recently,
the first three stages at the Tour d’Ardeche, and also stages six and seven as well. She’s basically, her
nickname is the Cannibal, she is back to cannibalistic behavior. – She’s had a remarkable year hasn’t she? – She has. – Ironically, the biggest
threat to her world title, could be her own team, the Netherlands, ’cause they’re so strong. You’d have to imagine that
the reigning world champion, Anna van der Breggen, is
going to have protective leadership status surely. And she had a decent year as well. She’s been combining
off-road with on-road. She returned to the road in April to take a record fifth
victory at La Fleche Wallonne. She also won the Tour of California. The final stage of the Giro Rosa. And most recently, she
won the one day classic, the Grand Prix de Plouay, on her own, so she’s clearly on great form. – Yeah, and then of course
you’ve got Annemiek van Vleuten haven’t you, it would not
be a surprise to see her ride off and take the victory as well. So really the problem with the
Dutch team, if there is one, is whether they can hold
all that talent together. I mean if they work well and cohesively, then they would almost be unstoppable. But we see it often in cycling don’t we? is it a case of too many
chefs in the kitchen. I mean classically, Cervelo TestTeam, back in 2009 had far too many. (audience laughs) – Yeah, I wasn’t one of the chefs though, I was washing up in the corner,
hoping to get some action in one of the races. Right, the USA is going to be lead, we think by Coryn Rivera. Slightly unusually, she had to
wait until late in the season to raise her arms aloft
as the victor of the race, but it came at the Lotto Belgium Tour just a couple of weeks ago. And in true Rivera style, she went and won the following day too. Now she’s been climbing
very well recently, she was only rider that
was almost able to keep up with Vos on the hilltop finish at the Ladies Tour of Norway recently. And she’s got a lot of experience
on British roads as well. ’cause She’s previously
won the OVO Women’s Tour. – She has, she was able
to keep up with Vos, but got soundly beaten didn’t she? Which is testament again to Vos’s standing as number one favorite. Coryn Rivera’s teammate,
we’ve already mentioned her in the context of the time
trials, it’s Chloe Dygert Owen. And we don’t want to put
too much pressure on her, but she’s a demon descender,
that’s going to come in really handy on these roads,
which are very technical and very difficult. And she too, has also got prior form in the World Championships, back in 2015, she won the time trial and
the road race as a junior. So there we go, another
youngster in our ranks. – Yeah basically, like Evan
and Paul again, isn’t she? Also we should mention
Katarzyna Niewiadoma of Poland. You have to imagine that the
parkour is quite suited to her as well as Lisa Klein,
although you’d think that she’s probably going
to have to go and win solo, if she’s going to try
and win this race at all. Then we’ve mentioned Italy as well, they probably will be lead
by Elisa Longo Borghini, who had a win at the start of this year. But they’ve also got Marta Bastianelli. She’s a former world champion
in the road race here at the World Championships. She’s had a great year,
10 wins, I just wonder whether it might be slightly
too tough for her this circuit. – Maybe, now we will save our predictions for the women’s road
race, until the very end, so the kiss of death can wait just a little bit longer can’t it? – Yep, and then the final
race, of course, on the Sunday is of course the Men’s Elite Road Race, which really is a brutal one. So that one starts in Leeds before seven laps here in
Harrogate for the finish. It is 284.5 kilometers in length, which is just under 177 miles, which is basically getting towards Milan-San Remo territory isn’t it? – It is except, that Milan-San Remo, and I’ll confess I’ve never ridden it, but it’s relatively flat for a lot of it and roads are very fast and very smooth. Whereas the roads here are… (audience laughs) Yeah, the roads in Yorkshire
are not quite as good I think that’s fair to say. – No, we’re quite safe to say
also that that’s going to be a very very big test
of endurance isn’t it? – Absolutely. – 284 and half kilometers. I think the roads here are probably best described as grippy? – Yes. – And I heard, word on the
street, that there’s no car that’s ever come close
to its miles per gallon here in Yorkshire, that’s
how tough the roads are. – Yeah, it’s got to be said
though, that a lot of the riders on the start line, are
going to be familiar with these roads, aren’t they? The aforementioned, 2014 Tour de France and then the Tour de
Yorkshire, every year since. So it won’t come as a surprise,
and nor, we got to say it, is the potential for weather events. – Yeah, the forecast
doesn’t look great does it? – It does not look great mate. – It’s like wall to wall rain
from here until next Sunday. Can you imagine, 177 miles
in the cold and the rain, it’s going to be great isn’t it, to watch. – It’s going to be
fantastic from your sofa. Or right here at the Zwift Draft House. So yes, if there’s one
thing that is guaranteed in Yorkshire it’s– – Tea, good tea isn’t it? – Well yes okay, two things
guaranteed in Yorkshire, tea and cake– – Bad weather. – Three things, bad weather– – Ice. – Four things– – We could get up to 10 before you get onto the point you want to make. – Right, four things that
are guaranteed in Yorkshire, the fact that you will get hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands
of people out on the roads when a bike race goes past. (audience cheers) There we go, yeah, so no
matter what the weather, there will be amazing support
on the roadsides won’t there? Just put on a coast and
maybe have an umbrella. Right, now before we actually
talk about the favorites, we got to talk about a couple
of absentees haven’t we? Most notably, former
winner, Michal Kwiatkowski, who has cited fatigue as the reason he’s not on the start line. And also Vincenzo Nibali,
which is a real shame actually, he too has cited the effects
of a really long season. But fear not, we have
six of the previous seven world champions on the start line. Admittedly Peter Sagan’s
three of those isn’t he? But still, great that he is here as well. – But we’re not going to
start with any of them are we? In fact, we’re going to
start with the rider, who’s never even competed at the Elite Road Race
Championships before, and that rider of course
is Mathieu van der Poel. – Yes, absolutely remarkable then, that he is the bookies favorite. But when you think that what
he’s done just this year in effectively his first full season, half season of pro road racing. The fact that he finished
fourth at the Tour of Flanders after that crash and
that monumental chase. But really it’s Amstel Gold that showed just what this rider can do. He basically did the job of
five teammates in the finale, he chased down the
breakaway single handedly, then lead out the sprint
and then won the sprint. (audience laughs) It really is possibly the
best piece of bike racing you could hope to watch,
he’s amazing there. – And he wove goodbye,
wove is that a word? – No, waved. – Waved goodbye to road racing, he went onto mountain biking,
where he was very successful. And made return to road
racing quite recently, and his last results are
also pretty spectacular, weren’t they, three stage
wins at the Tour of Britain, plus the overall classification. – That’s right, and I
think to sum up how he won those stages, which were
incredible in isolation, is Matteo Trentin, who was actually vying for the overall victory at the tour, and when he crossed the
line on stage seven, he literally just shrugged his shoulders. There was nothing he could
do after van der Poel had lead our for 700
meters and then promptly dropped them in the sprint. – Yeah, that’s how good he is. He also is a stats man’s
dream really isn’t it? And I’ve done a few stats of my own. So at the end of the Tour of Britain, he had done 28 races, if you
count general classifications, and he’s won 10 of them,
which is a 34% hit rate. – Someone else wasn’t
plucked out of double maths for a talent spotting thing weren’t it? – And he also finished in
the top 10 in 18 of those, which is a 64% hit rate. – Yeah, and what’s his
hit rate of cyclo-cross and mountain biking? – Well cyclo-cross, this year
in 2019, his hit rate is 100%, he didn’t lost a race at
the start of 2019 onwards. Mountain biking I think,
is about 80% plus. – Yes, so not bad, not bad stats. – He’s all right, Mathieu
van der Poel, yeah. – Yeah, I suppose if you were
going to try and critique, you’d say, well 284 kilometers, he’s unproven at that distance. But the classics didn’t really seem to trouble him a great deal. And let’s also not skirt around the fact, that were he to win, he would
be the first male rider ever to hold both the road and
the cyclo-cross world titles. – Or ever to win them full stop I think. – Well that’s it, he’d
hold them concurrently, but yeah, no male pros
has ever won both of them, female pros of course, we’ve
had Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, recently, but no male pro has ever won it. – No and Marianne Vos of course as well, but not on the male side of things. Right, we should probably
move on to the outsiders, also know as some of the best cyclists that the world has to offer. And we’ll begin with last
year’s world champion, Alejandro Valverde, he’s a
man that seems to defy age. He does just recently, about a week ago, as awe record this, come
second at the Vuelta a Espana, 16 years after he first
finished on the podium. – Yeah, remarkable isn’t it,
he’s even older than Dan, although, he doesn’t look
it, so you know, sorry Dan. – And actually, also according
to the Wikipedia definition of middle age, he’s not yet middle aged. – Is he not? – No he’s not. – All right, there you go,
nice one for Alejandro Valverde to add to his Wikipedia profile there. Right, moving on though,
we should probably talk about Peter Sagan, shouldn’t we? He is one of the big favorites, this course is perfect for him. And of course, he’s the
only rider to have ever won the world title three years on the bounce. – Yeah, he hasn’t won
actually since the first week of the Tour de France this
year, but he did look quite good recently at the Grand Prix
Quebec, where he finished second to Michael Matthews, who
we’ll be mentioning shortly. Another former world
champion on the start line is Philippe Gilbert, he of course was won very recently indeed and
in very impressive style. Two stage wins at the Vuelta a Espana. – Yeah, and very interestingly,
that was the exact same preparation he had before
that world title that he won in Valkenburg back in 2013. It’s a great course for
him, and also the fact that he didn’t get selected for
the Tour de France this year may well play well into his favor, because he’s got that added freshness. – Yeah he’s part of a very
very strong Belgian squad. Let me read out the list of
names competing for that nation. Philippe Gilbert, of
course, but he’s also got Greg Van Avermaet, who
won recently in Montreal and could be an outright
winner in his own right. Remco Evenepoel, not sure
if you know about him, but he was a junior last year,
he’s won some quite big races so far this year. Also go Yves Lampaert,
Dylan Teuns, Tim Wellens, Oliver Naesen, and then
poor old Tim Declercq. – Yes, we say poor old Tim Declercq, because out of that entire
list, his is the name that you might closely
associate with domestique, which means, he might potentially be asked to ride on the front for 250 kilometers, before taking an early
shower back in Harrogate. – But you get the impression
that he loves it as well, riding in the front. All right, now let’s move on to Italy, now they were the nation
to beat for many years in sort of the 80s and 90s, weren’t they? Less so I would say in the modern era, but they do have Matteo
Trentin, who looked really good at the Tour of Britain, didn’t he? He would’ve looked even
better if van der Poel had stuck to the dirt rather than coming over to road racing. – Yes, that is true, he
would’ve looked better if the winner hadn’t turned up, yeah. – As we would’ve done if the
first 60 people in those races hadn’t turned up. – Well exactly, people
often said that didn’t they? His team support, is pretty sold isn’t it? We’ve got Tour of Flanders
winner, Alberto Bettiol. You’ve got Sonny Colbrelli and
you’ve also got Diego Ulissi. Columbia, sadly won’t have Egan Bernal. Which is odd, ’cause he’s been putting in some epic training back in Columbia, it’s there on Strava for anyone to see. And he’s also just taken second in– – His first race back, one
of the Italian one days. – Yeah, so a little bit strange. Fernando Gaviria, who you’d
often say would be a favorite for the worlds, I don’t think
you can say this year, really. – No, he’s not been
particularly good has he? – Nope, but Nairo Quintana is
on the start line, isn’t he? A rider that does actually
look 10 years older than Dan but bizarrely isn’t. – Yeah, no, that’s the best compliment I think you’ve ever given me, Si. Australia also have one
of the big favorites in terms of the fact that
they’ve got Michael Matthews in there rank, and he’s got
some decent support as well. Simon Clarke of EF Education First has really stepped it
up a notch this year. And you also got Jack Haig, who’s normally a stage race rider, but he’s really stepped
it up in the one days that I’ve been watching recently. – He has, now we’re quite
far in to our favorites, so it’s incredible really that we have yet to mention, Julian Alaphilippe,
who’s had a bonkers year. He perhaps hasn’t been quite
strong in the second half that he was in the first half, but equally, Julian Alaphilippe at 95% is probably still capable of winning the World Championships. – Well he’s most certainly is isn’t he? And what about the Brits? – Well, what about the Brits? – Well we should probably mention them, because we’re in Britain. – We should, we should, and
no I don’t mean to be rude. I think we’ve got obviously,
Ben Swift leading the team. Not going to be there in our
favorite, he’s shown great form, at Milan-San Remo, obviously,
another super long race. But up against some of those riders, I think he’s going to have
to be on a cracking day isn’t he, to take the victory. – Yeah he is, we’ve also got Adam Yates, who is a bit like Geraint
Thomas, Geraint Thomas is a part of the team for
Great Britain this year, but he has of course shifted his focus over from one day racing, which
he’s been very successful at over to stage racing, so
we think he’s going to play a support role, but
they’ve also got Adam Yates in their lineup, who again
has had some brilliant one day race results, but
has also shifted his focus. So we think it’s all
gone be about Ben Swift. – We do, although Adam Yates got fourth at Leige-Bastogne-Liege
this year didn’t he? – Well that is true, so not too shabby. – Yeah, absolutely not. – There’s some other
riders that we should note, before the end of this preview, because they’ll probably go on to win. First up, Sam Bennett, now he
proved at the Vuelta a Espana, that he’s more than capable
of a very hard finish, and actually of all the
riders on the start line, he’s probably more used
to anyone of grippy roads and bad weather isn’t he? – Well that’s it, growing up in Ireland, is probably the best training
you can possibly have for racing in Yorkshire isn’t it? I think it’s quite a parallel
in terms of road surfaces and the weather from experience. – Well he was part of
the gravel revolution, just by riding the roads over in Ireland. And also Norway’s Alexander Kristoff, always loves a brutally long
race, doesn’t he, one day. – He does indeed, and then
such is our list of favorites, we’re going to have to
turn to a list here. So we’ve got Alexey
Lutsenko of Kazakhstan, abso;lutely flying this year, hasn’t he? And then, we’ve got Benoit Cosnefroy, who won the under 23
event a few years back. And then we haven’t even
mentioned Matej Mohoric yet or Jakob Fuglsang, either both of them, you wouldn’t bet against on this course. – [Dan] Yeah, we’ve got a
whole list actually haven’t we? We’ve got Eddie Dunbar, Bauke
Mollema, John Degenkolb, Michael Valgren, Pogacar and Roglic. – So all the team leaders, yeah. – Although I have just remembered Si, that we’ve forgotten a
previous world champion. – Who? – [Dan] Rui Costa. – [Simon] Oh yeah, we have indeed. – He probably won’t do anything will he? – No, I can’t see him doing anything. – But we probably better mention him. – Well there we go, Rui Costa, one of the favorites for this year. – Yeah, that’s quite the
list of riders isn’t it, for the World Championships this year. I am looking forward to all of the races which we just did a preview for. But it’s time now Si,
for our kisses of death. – Oof. – Predictions. (suspenseful music) – My prediction is Marianne
Vos and Nairo Quintana. – [Simon] What? – No, no, I’m joking,
I’m joking, I am joking. (audience laughs) I’m going for Marianne
Vos and Philippe Gilbert, for the old guys. – Ooh, all right, so I am going
to go for Mathieu van der Poel, and Annemiek van Vleuten. So a Dutch whitewash, but not both of them who you’d necessarily pick as favorites. – Right, we’ll hand over
to our other GCN presenters for their predictions now. – Alejandro Valverde and Lizzie Deignan, because well, she know the roads. – van der Poel and Annemiek van Vleuten. ’cause van der Poel’s the best. – And in the men’s race, I’m going to say, Mathieu van der Poel. And in the woman’s race, rooting for the local girl, Lizzie Deignan. – My prediction for this
World Championships, will be, the women’s, Lizzie Deignan and for the men’s, Peter Sagan. – Hi everyone, my airport
departure lounge prediction for the World Championships this year is, Alaphilippe, I reckon
he’ll have a nice break after the tour, recharge,
probably could’ve phrased that better, and go on to win the worlds. – For this World Championships, my bet is, Mathieu “The Machine” van der Poel. And for the women’s, Marianne Vos. – My prediction for the World’s are, in the men’s road race I’m
going for Matteo Trentin, in the time trial, Edoardo Affini. For the women’s road race, I’m going for Katarzyna Niewiadoma. And for the women’s time trial,
I’m going for Lisa Klein. – My prediction for the
winners in the road race are Alejandro Valverde and Marianne Vos. – Right, well that brings to
a conclusion our big preview for the 2019 UCI Road World
Championships here in Yorkshire. As ever, feel free to get
involved in the comments with your predictions for
the winners of the men’s and women’s elite road races. – And also call us out for any
names that we’ve forgotten, although let it be said,
we’ve covered virtually, the entire start list for
every event, haven’t we? So hopefully, you won’t
find anyone missing. – Well we think we’ve
covered our bases don’t we? – We do yeah. – But I’m pretty sure, we’re
still going to get things wrong. Right, in the meantime, if
you would like to see more a detailed look at the courses
for the World Championships local man Ollie Bridgewood,
a fellow GCN presenter, brought you another
video, which you can find just down here. – Yeah, before we go though,
we got to say a huge thank you to Zwift, for kindly
hosting us this evening. Also Cold Bath Brewing,
who are also hosting this, and of course our audience,
who have very patiently sat through an awful lot
of mistakes and takes. – Five hours. – It’s getting very late,
so yeah, thank you very much everyone for joining us here tonight.

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