UCI Cycling World Championships – Road 2023 – Men Elite Individual Time Trial

I do really like the length of this route. WC’s should not be shorter than 45 km if you ask me.


It is fairly flat, I really doubt it is the 252 climbing meters that will be the difference. The last 800m rises 7.8% and the last 500m of those are on cobblestones. Other than that, the route looks very simple.


First rider is down the ramp 15:21:20 local time. Then, every rider goes 1:20 after the rider before him. I would say that is a bit too short of a distance. A headwind out and a tailwind home. Speeds around 20-25 km/h or 6 m/s. That is quite a lot. We could have a chance of rain too but the weather forecasts do not agree if or when.


Evenepoel – It was expected he could struggle on the circuit in Glasgow if they rain hit. Therefore, it was not a question of form. As Moberg said (Danish TV commentator), “if you lose two seconds out of every corner and has to close it again, eventually the tank is empty”. He has done time trials of this length before but never won them. 2nd in Worlds 2019 (54 km), 9th in Olympics ITT (44.2 km), 3rd Worlds in 2021 (43.3 km) are his best results, excluding Chrono des Nations 2021 (late in the season) and Nationals this year due to he had covid not long before. He would like to make up for the poor result in the road race with a win here. Can he win? The headwind section is fantastic for him, If you’ve been lucky enough to see him time trial in person, you will know how aero he is. The long tailwind section is where I think he will lose time.

Ganna – the hour record holder. He has spent some time on the track this week, perhaps burning a few too many matches? It suprises me to see, he has only won a single time trial above 40 km. That was Worlds in 2021, beating Wout van Aert by six seconds on a pan flat route. I’m not sure this suits him more. As a specialist, the headwind section will be good for him – he is very aero, he just has to ensure he has something for the ride home – all the way to the castle.

Wout van Aert – his longest time trial to date but honestly, I do not think that is an issue. He has done four time trials longer than 40 km (National Championship Belgium 2020 and 2023) where he won, a time trial in the Tour de France 2022, one could argue gifted from Vingegaard and then he was 6th in the Olympics time trial in 2021. He can cope with the distance. He is in flying form and he has the power. My question is, how will he fare in the headwind section? That was a problem of his in Worlds 2020, losing 50 seconds to Ganna in the headwind section before gaining back time on the tailwind home.

Küng – another specialist. He has won two time trials of this length, the Chrono des Nations. I think he stands the best chance of upsetting the three favorites but the length of the time trial is honestly not ideal for him. He will likely settle for a top-5.

Foss – the surprise of 2022. Tobias is an extremely talented rider but despite him riding for the best team in the World, things just haven’t been good. He will hope to turn the year around once more. I think the most likely outcome is a top-10.

Pogacar – Rumors have it he does not look the same on his TT bike, I’m not really sure half a week in Stirling likely without proper testing or wind tunnels will change it up too much. He is a great time trialist but I do not think it is hilly enough for him. He looked extremely tired after the road race, it is not really certain how much he has left in his legs. Still, he should end somewhere in the top-10.

Asgreen – he goes well against the clock on longer distances. 7th at the Olympics and 4th at Worlds in 2021 and lastly Nationals (Skjelmose punctured). He is very consistent in time trials when there is metal up for grasp.

Tarling – the new kid on the block in this discipline. It will be his longest time trial to date but the form looks on point. He only lost by eight seconds to Ganna in Ethias-Tour de Wallonie a few weeks ago. He is very interesting to follow, I think we will see him take a top-10.

Dennis – a great rider has his last race here. He deserves a few words. He dominated this discipline back when I just started watching. He has 40 victories against the clock in all competitions. On his best days, he would be the best climbing domestique. The performances has just not been good enough lately, despite him riding for Jumbo-Visma. It is odd his career went sideways after that move, usually it is the other way around. He has 13 podiums on his TT bike of this length, including two WC titles. I will cheer for him.

Thomas – last man to be on the list here. We usually see him going fast against the clock in Grand Tours but he also does so at championships. It is difficult to say much about his shape from Tour de Pologne, only that he was 3rd against the clock. This time trial is three times the distance and the longer the distance, the better results he tend to get.


⭐⭐⭐⭐ Ganna
⭐⭐⭐ Evenepoel, Wout van Aert
⭐⭐ Küng, Asgreen, Pogacar
⭐ Dennis, Tarling, Foss, Thomas

Who will win?

Finding the three favorites was the easy thing. I think Ganna takes this, it is a big gear time trial – and he excels in those.

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