So here we are, the time trial is later today, with the big one coming in a few days time. Tomorrow sees the UCI Congress, and hopefully the end of Pat McQuaid’s reign as UCI Chief. Here’s a preview of the Tuscany World Championships.
Today sees the men’s 55.5km ITT running from Montecatini Terme to Florence. The route is nothing to write home about – very flat and largely held on straight roads. The lack of technicality means that the powerful men should dominate.
The day after the men’s ITT, the UCI Congress is held, with the election of a (hopefully new) President the same day. On Friday, the 130km women’s Road Race will be held, with Sunday seeing the 267km men’s route, from Lucca to Florence.
The men’s road race starts in Lucca, taking in the Provinces of Lucca, Pistoiese and Florence. The race begins with a couple of small hills (including a climb up to the Parco di Pinocchio in Collodi). The tough-looking lump midway through is San Baronto, a hill which is part of the Montalbano ‘mountain’ range. The climb is 4.1km long from Lamporecchio with an average gradient of 6.8%. The hill was used in the 2005 Giro, with Koldo Gil taking the win, and is used in the GP Industria & Artigianato di Larciano. Thereafter follows a long stretch of flat as the race heads to Florence. Once there, the route takes in the river and the famous cathedral before ending up at the Nelson Mandela Forum, the sports arena near Fiorentina’s home ground, the Artemio Franchi.
Ten laps of a tough circuit will finish things off – taking in the Fiesole climb (7%+ for the last 1.5km) and two smaller lumps before finishing in the same place. It definitely looks to be one for the puncheurs, with ten times up the Fiesole certain to see the sprinters dropped. Another version of the route profile can be found here, with a map here, and a MapMyRide route of the course up to the finishing circuit here.