World road cycling championships, wollongong cycling event, Hindley, Vos, Brown

From junior level to the elite, Australia’s best are among more than 1,000 international cyclists competing at the UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong starting September 18.

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A team of 29 Aussie riders has been selected to take on the world’s best in Wollongong, south of Sydney, with the first of 11 races in eight days this Sunday 18 September.

Latest news from Wollongong here.

Who is competing?

Van Aert, Evenepoel, van der Poel and Ganna and that is just the men. The Dutch superstars of women’s cycling will also be riding in Wollongong.

This year’s Tour de France green jersey-winner, Wout van Aert and Vuelta a Espana champion Remco Evenepoel have both been named to ride for Belgium.

Dutch two-time Tour of Flanders champion Mathieu van der Poel is also here along with Italian time trial expert Filippo Ganna and two-time defending world road race champion from France, Julian Alaphilippe.

After a Tokyo campaign last year that did not go quite to plan, when the Dutch women’s team were hot favorites to clean sweep both the road race and time trial, super stars Marianne Vos, Annemiek van Vleuten and Demi Vollering, will again line up for the Dutch in Wollongong.

Van Vleuten saved face with a win in the time trial and the 39-year-old has this year gone on to win the first ever Tour de France Femmes plus the women’s Giro d’Italia and Vuelta.

It adds to a litany of achievements, including two world time trial titles (2017, 2018) and a road race triumph (2019) putting her in the conversation for the greatest female cyclist of all time along with teammate Marianne Vos.

Vos, four years younger than her countrywoman, is the 2012 Olympic road race champion and winner of 32 stages of the women’s Giro d’Italia. She is also a five-time champion of La Flèche Wallonne Féminine one-day race, and has three rainbow jerseys (2006, 2012 and 2013).

Van Vleuten has 17 tour, world championship or one-day race wins to her credit as well as 13 stage wins in the Giro.

A strong Australian team will join them at the starting line, headlined by 26-year-old men’s Giro d’Italia winner Jai Hindley.

Australian team

Women’s Elite

  • Georgia Baker (Northern Districts Cycling Club, TAS)
  • Grace Brown (St Kilda Cycling Club, VIC)
  • Brodie Chapman (University of Queensland Cycling Club, QLD)
  • Alexandra Manly (Central Districts Cycling Club, SA)
  • Sarah Roy (Parklife Cycling Club, NSW)
  • Amanda Spratt (Penrith Cycling Club, NSW)
  • Josie Talbot (Camden Cycling Club, NSW)

The team includes recent Commonwealth Games road race champion Georgia Baker, 27, and time trial gold medalist 30-year-old Grace Brown. The squad includes three debutants: Baker, Manly and Talbot. Amanda Spratt will return for her 10th appearance at a World Championships.

Men’s Elite

  • Simon Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club, VIC)
  • Luke Durbridge (Midland Cycling Club, WA)
  • Heinrich Haussler (Inverell Cycling Club, NSW)
  • Jai Hindley (Midland Cycling Club, WA)
  • Michael Matthews (Vikings Cycling Club, ACT)
  • Ben O’Connor (Peel District Cycling Club, WA)
  • Lucas Plapp (Brunswick Cycling Club, VIC)
  • Nicholas Schultz (Sunshine Coast Cycling Club, QLD)

Five-time stage winner at the Tour de France Caleb Ewan is a shock omission from this squad.

Road race silver medalist in 2015, Michael Matthews, Tour de France stage winners Ben O’Connor and Simon Clarke, and reigning national time trial champion Luke Plapp join Hindley among the eight men selected. O’Connor and Plapp are on their debut for Australia at world championship level.

Under 23 Men’s

  • Matthew Dinham (Manly Warringah Cycling Club, NSW)
  • Dylan George (Manly Warringah Cycling Club, NSW)
  • Dylan Hopkins (Canberra Cycling Club, ACT)
  • Jensen Plowright (Hawthorn Cycling Club, VIC)
  • Rudy Porter (Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club, VIC)

Under 19 Men’s:

  • Oscar Chamberlain (Canberra Cycling Club, ACT)
  • William Eaves (City of Burnie Cycling Club, TAS)
  • Hamish McKenzie (Northern Districts Cycling Club, TAS)
  • Cameron Rogers (Canberra Cycling Club, ACT)

Under 19 Women:

  • Talia Appleton (Mansfield Mt Buller Cycling Club/Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club, VIC)
  • Belinda Bailey (Bendigo & District Cycling Club, VIC)
  • Isabelle Carnes (Balmoral Cycling Club, QLD)
  • Bronte Stewart (Tolland Cycling Club, NSW)
  • Lucinda Stewart (Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club, VIC)

World Championships road race course preview

With Brendan Bradford

The senior road races start in Helensburgh, about 30km north of Wollongong, before climbing Mt Keira and completing laps of a city circuit. The men’s elite road race will ride 12 laps of the 17km course for a total distance of 266.9km. The women’s race will have six laps of the circuit for a total distance of 164.3km.

Mt Keira looms as the first testing point of the race at 8km long and an average of 5% gradient. It’s steeper on the lower slopes before easing off.

Although it’s a significant climb, it will come too early in the race to have any serious impact on the overall result.

The city circuit features a short, sharp climb up Ramah Street known as Mount Pleasant.

Many have said this is where the race will be decided, but others aren’t so sure.

The climb is definitely steep in parts, hitting a 15% gradient at times, but at 1000m, probably isn’t long enough to launch a decisive move.

It also isn’t a consistent hill. Instead, it comes in three steep pitches, with two flatter sections breaking up the climbing.

The top of the climb is still around 6-7km from the finish, with a long, fast descent before a flat run in to the line.

The climb could be a launchpad for a breakaway late in the race, but it’s unlikely that a race-defining move will be made here on the very last lap.

More likely is that the 17 times the peloton will have to climb it will sap the juice from all but the strongest riders and teams.

After the descent, the final four kilometers are going to be flat and fast, on wide roads heading back towards the city.

The finale will take place adjacent to the beach, heading back towards WIN Stadium. There’s a right hand turn in the final few hundred meters, but it’s the perfect setting for a sprint if the group is still together.

When is each race?

Women’s Elite Time Trial, Sunday 18 September.

9.35am-12.30pm (AEST), 9.05am-12.00pm (ACST) and 7.35-10.30am (AWST)

Men’s Elite Time Trial, Sunday 18 September.

1.40-5.00pm (AEST), 1.10pm-4.30pm (ACST) and 11.40am-3.00pm (AWST)

Men’s Under 23 Time Trial, Monday 19 September.

1.20-5.00pm (AEST), 12.50pm-4.30pm (ACST) and 11.20am-3.00pm (AWST)

Women’s Junior Time Trial, Tuesday 20 September.

9.30-11.05am (AEST), 9.00-10.35am (ACST) and 7.30-9.05am (AWST)

Men’s Junior Time Trial, Tuesday 20 September.

1.20-5.00pm (AEST), 12.50-4.30pm (ACST) and 11.20am-3.00pm (AWST)

Team Time Trial – Mixed Relay, Wednesday 21 September.

2.20-5.05pm (AEST), 1.50-4.35pm (ACST) and 12.20-3.05pm (AWST)

Men’s Junior Road Race, Friday 23 September.

8.15-11.35am (AEST), 7.45-11.05am (ACST) and 6.15-9.35am (AWST)

Men’s Under 23 Road Race, Friday 23 September.

1.00-5.10pm (AEST), 12.30-4.40pm (ACST) and 11.00am-3.10pm (AWST)

Women’s Junior Road Race, Saturday 24 September.

8.00-9.50am (AEST), 7.30-9.20am (ACST) and 6.00-7.50am (AWST)

Women’s Elite Road Race, Saturday 24 September.

12.25-5.00pm (AEST), 11.55am-4.30pm (ACST) and 10.25am-3.00pm (AWST)

Men’s Elite Road Race, Sunday 25 September.

10.15am-4.50pm (AEST), 9.45am-4.20pm (ACST) and 8.15am-2.50pm (AWST)

Where can I watch?

You can watch all eight days on Stan Sport and the elite road races on the Nine Network.

Do I need a ticket?

No ticket required, just pick the best vantage point to enjoy the action.

How can I find more information about the event?

Click here for more information.

Where can I read more cycling news?

You can find more cycling news and features from around the world at CODE Sports.

INCLUDING silver for Grace Brown in the women’s time trial.