21/09 - Ponferrada - 57.10 km
On Sunday, the World Championships kick off with the team time trials in Ponferrada, Spain. Since the discipline got back onto the program in 2012, we have had two great races for the gold medals. This year, we can expect another very close fight.
Compared to last year’s course in Florence, this one is much more demanding, especially the second part. It starts out relatively easy, though. The first 15 km only include a couple of tricky corners. It’s slightly downhill, which will benefit the teams with big engines. From Villamartín de la Abadía, there are a couple of steep uphill sections towards the first intermediate checkpoint. A few kilometers after the time check, the riders take on Alto Pieros (700 meters of 8 %). It’s crucial not to go too fast on the hills in order to keep the team together for the second part of the course. After a very fast descent of 1.5 km, the road constantly goes up and down towards the second intermediate checkpoint in Camponaraya.
Heading towards Carracedo del Monasterio, it’s slightly downhill. There are barely any corners, which will set for a very high pace. As the teams start going back towards Ponferrada, the road kicks up once again. It’s not very steep but this long drag uphill will take a lot of energy. Shortly after the last intermediate checkpoint, the gradients get steeper. The following two kilometers have an average gradient of around 4 %.
With a bit less than 3 km left to go, the teams turn right to take on a very fast descent of about 800 meters. There are no less than three roundabouts to overcome before the riders pass la flamme rouge and then turn right onto Avenida de Asturias in a sharp 90° corner. From here, the final 600 meters are straight-out towards the finishing line.