How the Bookies See it
- Men’s Winner: Tom Dumoulin (NED) 5/4, Chris Froome (GBR) 6/4, Rohan Dennis (AUS) 8/1, Tony Martin (GER) 8/1 - Bet365
- Women’s Winner: Anna van der Breggen (NED) 2/1, Linda Villumsen (NZL) 7/2, Lisa Brennauer (GER) 5/1, Evelyn Stevens (USA) 8/1 - Coral
Men’s Time Trial
Chris Froome finished 12th in the road race, but he’ll surely be looking to recover his Rio experience by grabbing a medal in the time trial. He won bronze in the same discipline in London 2012, finishing behind Bradley Wiggins and Tony Martin, but now the coast is a bit more clear for Vroomey Froomey, with Wiggins competing in the track team pursuit and Martin struggling with knee pain that saw him abandon the Tour de France on the last stage - and fail to complete the road race on Saturday. Froome is in good shape and working with the head of performance at Team Sky, Tim Kerrison, as he hopes to get up to speed and bury himself in pursuit of gold.
It’s also possible that Geraint Thomas will take to the time trial course this week, as the devastating crashes of Saturday’s road race could possibly clear up some spaces for the Welsh rider if Italy and Australia (who lost Vincenzo Nibali and Richie Porte, respectively) don’t nominate anyone to fill those riders’ places.
Tom Dumoulin quit the road race in a matter of minutes, with many worrying that he had aggravated the broken wrist he sustained in Stage 19 of this year’s Tour de France. As it turned out, the Dutchman had decided to conserve his energy for the time trial, with hopes that he could win his first Olympic medal on a parcours that far better suits his abilities. He’s caught some heat from fans and cycling media for his decision to retire from Saturday’s race, but if he does take to the start on Wednesday, then Dumoulin could put some serious hurt into the competition.
Rohan Dennis didn’t finish the road race on Saturday, and the individual time trial is his last chance for another Olympic medal before Tokyo 2020. He took a bad fall in training while doing a recon of the circuit, but seems to be confident enough that he’ll give Froome a run for his money. However, with his hands in bad shape, it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to hang on.
Women’s Time Trial
While Anna van der Breggen is highly fancied by bookmakers to win the women’s time trial, she’s up against a very strong field, with her biggest threat most likely to be the current individual time trial champion Linda Villumsen. The Danish-born rider, who currently races under a New Zealand licence and is the standing national champion, will be gunning for gold in Rio after narrowly losing out on a podium place to Russia’s Olga Zabelinskaya in London 2012. This time around, Zabelinskaya, who has accepted a retroactive doping ban and was not allowed to go to Rio, isn’t in the picture - and Villumsen might feel that she has a clear path to the top podium spot.
Other formidable opponents include Evelyn Stevens, the current women’s World Hour Record holder, and Lisa Brennauer, who in 2014 won the ITT World Championships in Spain while also scooping up the team time trial jersey with her German compatriots. Van der Breggen has some significant time trial wins under her belt, but it’s not certain as to whether or not she can hold her own against the likes of Stevens and Brennauer.
Emma Pooley has scaled back her promising triathlon career in order to put herself forward for Olympic contention, and her fantastic set of palmares should stop any naysayers from wagging their tongues. The 33-year-old was the National Time Trial Champion in 2009, 2010 and 2014, and grabbed a silver medal in the time trial at Beijing eight years ago. She was instrumental in helping Lizzie Armitstead to victory at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, and even took a silver in the road race and the time trial. The bookies might not think she’s entirely up to speed (Coral has her at a massive 20/1 to win), but she has a lot of experience in the time trial and still may have the legs to back it up, and she may just make the podium after all.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Linda Villumsen to win Women’s Time Trial - 7/2 at Coral
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.
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