British national time trial championships: The Big Preview
Olympic champions Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and Nicole Cooke head a top class field at the British Time Trial Championship in South Wales on Sunday.
In what must be one of the strongest line-ups ever assembled for the event, multiple time trial champion Michael Hutchinson (InGear-Quickvit), Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Rob Hayles (Endura) will all be keen to ensure that Wiggins, the reigning champion, doesn't have it all his own way on the undulating 52km course in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire.
Wiggins is the favourite on paper, having beaten Hutchinson by more than two minutes last year, but a question mark remains as the GP Plouay is the on race he has ridden since finishing 24 in the Tour de France back in July.
Welshman Geraint Thomas has been mixing it with the world's best this season, including a top 10 placing in the Tour's final time trial, and will be keen for victory on home turf.
Thomas told Cycling Weekly; "I'm doing it for experience. It's only this year I've started looking at the longer time trials. But obviously it would be nice to get a medal."
Organiser Gerry Oram noted: "Thomas will know the climb better than most because of his victory in the Welsh road champs a few years ago."
The women's race should be just as competitive. Nicole Cooke will be seeking a degree of revenge against a Great Britain teammate after being outnumbered by Emma Pooley's Cervelo riders at the National Road Race Championship back in June.
Pooley will also face a strong challenge from Sharon Laws and paralympic champion Sarah Storey. Wendy Houvenaghel (Bike Chain Ricci) and Joanna Roswell (West Pennine RC) from the British team pursuit squad should also be in contention.
The appearance of Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Steven Burke in the espoirs category confirms the strength of the field.
The British Time Trial Championshps take place in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, just west of the Brecon Beacons. The course is an undulating but technically straightforward rectangle. But there are a couple of distinct climbs around the 19km circuit that will help sort the field.
The first is a short sharp kick around the castle motte at Dryslwyn. Further round the circuit there is a more sustained climb up from the river and then a technical series of ascending backstreets in Llandeilo town itself.
Elite men will complete two and two thirds of the circuit covering 52km. All other categories ride one lap less for 32km.
Where and When
Sunday, September 5 2010
HQ: Llandeilo Rugby Club,
Carmarthenshire, SA19 6RS
11:43am Espoirs 13:31 Women
Who to Watch
12:06 Steven Burke (Motorpoint/Marshall's Pasta)
12:08 Richard Handley (Team Raleigh)
14:01 Sarah Storey (Horizon Fitness RT)
14:03 Nicole Cooke (www.nicolecooke.com)
14:07 Sharon Laws (Cervelo Test Team)
14:09 Julia Shaw (Utag Yamaha)
14:11 Emma Pooley (Cervelo Test Team)
15:02 Rob Hayles (Endura Racing)
15:04 Geraint Thomas (Sky Pro Cycling)
15:06 Michael Hutchinson (In Gear/Quickvit/Trainsharp)
15:08 Bradley Wiggins (Sky Pro Cycling)
2009 Bradley Wiggins
2008 Stuart Dangerfield
2007 David Millar
2006 Jason McIntyre
2005 Stuart Dangerfield
2009 Emma Pooley
2008 Sharon Laws
2007 Wendy Houvenaghel
2006 Rebecca Romero
2005 Julia Shaw
Last year's top five
1 Bradley Wiggins
2 Michael Hutchinson
3 Chris Newton
4 Rob Hayles
5 Wouter Sybrandy
1 Emma Pooley
2 Wendy Houvenaghel
3 Julia Shaw
4 Sarah Storey
5 Chrissy Radon