The Time Trial at this Olympics is tough to say the least and will prove very testing for every member of the cycling community. This very much favours racers who can climb, not necessarily pure climbers, however to have a chance the riders can’t lose time on the climbs during this race. With the Road Race considerably changing the landscape of the Men’s Time Trial, here are the favourites still standing ready to take the title.
Tom Dumoulin (NED) – The current Dutch Time Trial champion was odds on favourite coming into the Olympic cycle, putting down a huge marker in the Time Trial in the Tour De France with a huge victory on the marquee Time Trial stage. Then with two days left in the Tour, disaster stuck when Dumoulin went down with a broken wrist in a crash, just two weeks before the Olympics. He is still the favourite for this race, however his rivals are a lot closer to him with this unfortunate injury. If he is to take the title, it will truly be mind over matter.
Chance of Winning – 8/10
Chris Froome (GBR) – A stage races specialist, the current and three time winner of the Tour De France is the clear second favourite for the Gold medal in the Men’s Time Trial. The desire he has to win this medal, coupled with the layout of the course play into the hands of Froome more than most in the race. With the climbs being just enough to effect the pure Time Trialists, but not quite enough to make this a battle of the climbers, Froome is in a very unique position. He can climb with the best, Time Trial with the elite and Descend as well as anybody. With the injury to Dumoulin, he is seen by many as the new favourite, however Dumoulin is the world’s best in this discipline. If anyone can beat him, it’s Froome.
Chance of Winning – 7/10
Vasil Kiryienka (BLR) – The Current World, European and Four national Belarusian Time Trial champion is surprisingly a bit of an underdog in this race, and it is entirely down to one thing, the course. Not a natural known climbers, while Kiryienka is known as a brilliant Time Trialist, the climbs that he will have to take part in could be his undoing. He has shown this year that he is the best the world has to offer in this discipline, however the unforgiving course doesn’t play to his strengths. He has more than enough ability to medal, but with better climbers like Dumoulin and Froome in the field, Gold might be a step to far.
Chance of Winning – 5/10
Tony Martin (GER) – If anyone has the pedigree to spoil this one, two, three from taking the medals, it is Germany’s Tony Martin. His record speaks for itself, He is the German national Time Trial champion, a title he has won 6 times, to add to 3 World Time Trial championships and 2 World Team Time Trial championships. With such an illustrious record, he cannot be overlooked, having had the chance to ride very different courses when winning these titles. While he has been a little off the boil so far on the world stage this year, this is the only title in the Time Trial world he doesn’t have and he will want it.
Chances of Winning – 3/10
Nelson Oliveria (POR) – The outsider of this bunch, Oliveria is the current and 3 time Portuguese National Time Trial champion, and what makes his chances somewhat increase in this race is that in 2014, he also managed to win the Portuguese National Road Race. With both these titles come vastly different races, and different challenges entirely. Oliveria has proven he can do hills, descents and time trials in a winning effort, and although his chances are small, look for him to try to get in on the medals.
Chance of Winning – 1/10
The time trial seemed a lock just 1 month ago, with Tom Dumoulin the runaway favourite, however with his recent injury, the race is now wide open. Add to that the injury withdrawals, this race could go anywhere. The Time Trial is usually less random, but look to the Olympics to change that.