World cycling championship in Imola: the next four days at the CCeit in detail

The Tour de France and the Giro Rosa are less than a week behind us or the next big cycling event is approaching. The next four days the rainbow jerseys will be fought on and around the Imola race circuit

Of course the CCeit will be there. From today until Sunday we will follow all developments closely.

Originally, Aigle in Switzerland was to compete for the world titles, but the development of the corona pandemic put a stop to that. In Imola, the international cycling federation UCI found an alternative, albeit in a slimmed-down form. For example, the world title race for juniors, promises and the mixed time trial were scrapped.

The pros (men and women) are there for the time trial and the road race. All races, from the time trial for women on Thursday to the road race for men on Sunday, are broadcast live by CCeit on NPO 1 or the livestream on CCeit.com and the CCeit app.

During the road races on Saturday and Sunday, there is also a live blog to indicate the latest developments.

Van der Breggen and Van Dijk

In the largely flat time trial for women, Anna van der Breggen and Ellen van Dijk – the replacement of Annemiek van Vleuten – will attack Chloรฉ Dygert on behalf of the Netherlands on Thursday.

The American defending champion (23) is again seen as a favourite this year, although she did not ride a single road race since the World Cup in Yorkshire.

Yet nobody doubts her form: at the end of February Dygert became world champion on the track in the individual and team pursuit.

A day later, former World Time Trial Champion Tom Dumoulin competes with Rohan Dennis (the champion of the last two years), Filippo Ganna, Victor Campenaerts, Geraint Thomas, Rรฉmi Cavagna, Stefan Kรผng and Wout van Aert, among others.

Jos van Emden should also be able to perform well on the main acceleration course. Tour winner Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic skip the time trial and focus on the road race.

35 years after Sweet Milk

That road race on Sunday has 258.2 heavy kilometres, in which there is a lot of climbing to do. By now it has been 35 years since Joop Zoetemelk became the last Dutch world champion 160 kilometres further north in Italy

For national coach Koos Moerenhout, Bauke Mollema was the ideal spearhead on Imola‘s difficult course. However, Mollema broke his wrist and forearm in the Tour and so Dumoulin – the number four of 2018 – is also the leader in the road race.

The women, who will be 143 kilometres ahead of the wheels on Saturday, have a better chance of success. With Marianne Vos (2006, 2012, 2013), Chantal Blaak (2017), Van der Breggen (2018) and of course Annemiek van Vleuten (2019), the rainbow jersey went to the Netherlands in five of the last eight years.

Also this year Van Vleuten would have been the top favourite, but an unfortunate crash in the leader’s jersey during the Giro Rosa eliminated her. At least, that was the expectation.

But Van Vleuten wouldn‘t be Van Vleuten if she didn’t do everything she could. On Friday she decides – with brace on her wrist – if she will defend her world title in the road race on Saturday.

See below how Annemiek van Vleuten won the world title on the road in 2019: