Once again, our ‘expert’ panel here at Rouleur Towers pit their wits and intimate knowledge of the racing scene against Cycling Mole, our harshest critic and king of the tipster scene, to see who will be crowned King of Yorkshire.
Hours of painstaking research will go into our World Championships picks, whilst stroking our luxuriant hipster beards over a mug of single origin coffee, listening to ambient techno. [Did Moley write this? – Ed]
Can any of us outfox the crafty Mole? Or will he rip us a new one, as per usual? Read on…
Men Elite time-trial: Northallerton – Harrogate, 54km
Miles: Alex Dowsett (Great Britain)
With Dowsett’s proven pedigree against the clock, how fantastic would it be for him to add those rainbow bands to his palmarés of six national titles? Who knows, an outsider’s chance maybe, but that can be enough.
Ian: Remco Evanepoel (Belgium)
Following Tuesday’s fun and games in the torrential rain, perhaps we should be looking at the best water skier rather than tester. Roglic will be good if he’s held his Vuelta form. Rohan Dennis’ form is a bit of an unknown, but I don’t think he will fancy the wet conditions. Kasper Asgreen will be in the mix.
But when in doubt, and the weather is foul, send for the Belgians. The teenage sensation Evanepoel to oust the old timers.
Ben: Victor Campenaerts (Belgium)
A bit of a risk, but I’d love to see Big Vic (I’m not sure that’s his actual nickname) on the top step. With most of the favourites either having an awful lot of racing in their legs, or none at all, this is a difficult one to predict, but with the Hour Record smashed earlier in the year, I think Campenaerts has only had eyes for Yorkshire since.
Nick: Victor Campenaerts (Belgium)
Don’t believe the hype. Remco’s victory in the Euros was impressive, but he’s still – at least for now – only the third best Belgian tester. A tricky one to call, this. On the one hand, Campenaerts hasn’t raced a bike since June, but on the other, he hasn’t raced a bike since June. The course suits him better than last year’s in Innsbruck, however, when he came third. If he wants it, it’s his for the taking.
Andy:Primoz Roglic (Slovenia)
Well, we know he’s got the form, just depends how hard he’s been partying since winning the Vuelta. The Slovenian has won the two long-ish Grand Tour TT stages and keeps breaking records; I reckon there’ll be another one here, though he could do with a bigger hill or two in the route.
Cycling Mole’s verdict
After today’s fun in the rain, we have the closest competition yet. Andy’s pick of Dygert-Owen was outstanding, I thought my TV was stuck on fast forward! I promised a beer if AVV didn’t win, and you can expect one to be sent to you in the coming days Be careful your postie doesn’t drink it. Ian, Andy, Nick and I all have one win to our name, poor Miles is letting the team down. We move towards the men’s time-trial, a race where a number of riders have a big chance of winning.
We have 54km on a rolling course, we all know the Yorkshire roads are harder than the profile suggests. After biblical rain, the weather will be slightly better, but it will still be wet. Who will push it to the limit in their quest to win a rainbow jersey?
Miles continues to baffle me with his picks. This time it’s Alex Dowsett, a rider who won’t finish on the podium. Can someone please explain the rules of the game to Miles, I’m beginning to think he’s actually Miles Jupp. Ian is believing in youth and going with Remco Evenepoel, the teenage sensation. After winning the European Championships, he has to be considered as one of the favourites, but I can’t see him winning over 54km.
Andy, who is on a high after today, is going with Roglič. Has the Slovenian managed to hold his form since winning the red jersey? Ben and Nick are in agreement and think that Victor “Campy” Campenaerts will take the win. He has already smashed the hour record in 2019, can he round the year off with the rainbow jersey? Interestingly, no one has picked Rohan Dennis, the man the bookies think will win. After chucking his toys out the pram back at the Tour, can the Aussie silence the haters with a big performance? I really hope not, his decision to quit the Tour was unforgiveable, a slap in the face to his team-mates.
My mini-Moles have been out and about and the word is Campy is flying. He’s not raced since the end of June, but I reckon he’s following a similar training pattern to the start of the year, when he smashed the hour record. I’ll agree with Ben and Nick and go with the mustacho.