How can Cav not win? That seems to be the question, very similar to last year’s worlds. So naturally, a lot of the same logic applies, see in particular the piece “Cyclists are losers“, it’s worth another read in my humble opinion.
So what will happen? I’m looking closely for four things:
- Even though many more teams speak of following the “chaos therapy” I described in “Cyclists are losers“, I am afraid that when push comes to shove, not many will follow through.
- The key to a successful break-away will be size (you need to be considerably bigger than the team of four GB time trialers trying to catch you). This however goes against the other key, which is a very fast decision to go for it once you have gapped Cav the tiniest bit, as you won’t get much more. So is it possible for a group of 20 riders of 15 different countries to look around quickly and determine to work together and go for it? Given that most riders haven’t taken independent racing decisions in years due to the ear pieces, I am skeptical.
- If there is a break, I think GB should send a rider along. Catching 20 riders back with a team of 4 won’t be easy, whereas Wiggins sitting in a group of 20 without doing any work (waiting for Cav) and then placing a jump in the last 10k, I’m not sure who would catch him. I somehow suspect that’s also GB’s plan, I can’t imagine that their plan is really as was spelled out by Brailsford (“Plan A is Cav, and the rest of the alphabet too”).
- Crashes could have a big influence on the outcome, I don’t hear that much about this possibility but how many teams have a plan for what to do in a crash?
So my picks would be Cancellara for the pure chaos strategy, Wiggins for chaos if GB does have a different plan Z, and Cav if all else fails.