The 2010 UCI Road World Championships kicked off its fourth day in host city Geelong, Australia today. On Friday Australian Michael “Bling” Matthews won the first gold for his country in the under-23 road race.
Today was the elite women’s road race that traveled 127.2 km (79 m); which was eight-laps over the same course as the under-23s the previous day. Italian Giorgia Bronzini, 27, won with a time of 3:32:01. Dutch Marianne Vos came in second to win her fourth consecutive silver. Swede Emma Johansson won the bronze.
Of her win, Bronzini told the official Melbourne 2010 site that she remembered her former national team director Franco Ballerini who died earlier this year: “My victory is for him. I race for my heart and I think about the person that maybe one day was with us, Franco Ballerini.”
The race continues on the final day Sunday October 3 with the elite men’s road race that will travel 262.7 km (163.2 m). This course starts in Melbourne and goes 85 km southwest to Geelong where the elite men will then do 11-laps over the same course as today.
Defending champ and Aussie Cadel Evans is a favorite. If Evans wins he will be the fifth rider to win consecutive titles.
Other favorites include Evans’ teammate Aussie Simon Gerrans, Latvian Romans Vainsteins, Belgian Philippe Gilbert and Italian Filippo Pozzato. The hilly course is particularly suited for Gilbert who recently won a couple of uphill stages at the Vuelta a Espana in September.
Other big names trying for historic wins are Spaniard Oscar Friere who will try for his fourth win, 2010 time trial champ Swiss Fabian Cancellara who will try for a double win and two-time silver medalist Russian Alexandr Kolobnev.
As for the sprinting favorites? Norwegian Thor Hushovd will attempt the win because of the uphill finish. But Brit Mark Cavendish already said that the course isn’t suited to his abilities.
For more interesting facts and figures about the elite men’s road race click here
For the under-23 men’s road race results click here
For the elite men’s time trial results click here
For the under-23 men’s and elite women’s time trial results click here
Event schedule time approximate:
Sunday October 3
Elite Men: 262.7 km (163.2 m) 10 am