Cycling-World-Wiggins up against Cancellara, Martin in time trial

Reuters

Tue, 20 Sep 11:47:00 2011

Bradley Wiggins will be flying the British flag again less than two weeks after standing on the Vuelta podium when he bids for the world title against the in-form Tony Martin and time trial supremo Fabian Cancellara.

On a 46.4-km flat course in Copenhagen on Wednesday, Wiggins will be among the hot favourites but German Martin, a bronze medallist in the last two editions, and Swiss Cancellara, who has won four of the last five titles, could prove too strong.

"It's going to be really close as there is not much give on the course. There is not a place where you can lose a lot," Wiggins, a three-times Olympic pursuit champion who finished third overall in the Tour of Spain this month, told reporters.

"It is just really physical, and for whoever can sustain the best (pace) for an hour."

Scot David Millar, the other British rider starting the event, believes his team mate is in a better position to prevail.

"I'm not as good as I'd like to be," said Millar, who won the 2003 time trial title but handed back his gold medal after he admitted to doping.

"I will do my job, but I think Bradley is going to be flying the flag for us."

Martin, however, looks like the man to beat on the flat but technical course that will go twice over a 23.2-km circuit in the Danish capital.

On the 10th stage of this year's Tour of Spain, the German beat the seemingly unbeatable Cancellara by one minute 27 seconds on a 47-km solo effort against the clock.

Martin is not foolish enough to rule out Cancellara, but confident enough not to make him the biggest threat.

"I would say that Wiggins and Millar are my biggest rivals," he said. "But I won't rule Cancellara out."

Cancellara counted himself firmly in the running too.

"Tony Martin is the favourite," the Swiss told reporters. "But it is a one-day event. I respect him but I do not fear him more than the previous years."

Another German could also upset the hot favourites as the course suits Bert Grabsch, the 2008 time trial world champion.

"Obviously Cancellara is always good," said Millar. "But this course is one for the big guys, like Grabsch and (Canadian) Svein Tuft."

 

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