I sent out my usual casting call for World Championships posts a day ago, and that sound you hear is the faint tapping of keyboards across the world as a result. One of the responses I got was from Monty, who said he might not have time to post a preview of the Women's Time Trial... and who then proceeded to preview the Women's Time Trial, scheduled to start in the wee hours of the late evening U.S. time (1am Eastern). Below is what he sent, at least the part I think he intended to publish, and where possible with some additional data from yours truly.
Amber Neben -- United States [Monty's pick!]
Been injured but won the Davide Fardelli TT in Italy a couple of weeks back. If forced to pick one name for the win then this is it.
The Fardelli ITT was 23.6km, just a shade over the distance in tonight's race. It was also a one-day event, meaning there were no caveats that come with performances in the midst of a stage race. And Neben kinda crushed it, winning by 41" over Vicki Whitelaw and everyone else bunched up around 1.30 back. Neben was less impressive in the Giro ITT, 52 seconds behind Teute in a shorter event, but if you had to pick a better indicator, the Fardelli was more recent, same distance, similar circumstances.
Vicki Whitelaw - Australia
2nd in that Italian TT and always a good bet. Only query is whether spending a week fighting to win in the Ardeche did something to her form. She was pretty crap in the Chrono Champenois, but the champagne hangover plus the overnight drive from Ardeche probably had more to do with it.
Whitelaw is coming off the overall win at the Tour Ardeche, where she seized the lead in the time trial, albeit fourth over a field that was absent names like Pooley and Neben. She also "won" the Trophee d'Or ITT (same time as Emma Johanssen) last month, but that was only 7.5km.
Anne Samplonius - Canada
Won that Chrono Champenois, but fields are always a bit iffy there. Do we have an official approved PdC sysnonym for "rest of the field was a pile of [removed]?"
Not sure how she makes the list. She's not even #1 in Canada, losing to Judy Beveridge in the nats. On the other hand, Amber Neben was at the Champenois when Samplonius won (Sept. 12) and Neben ran sixth. The plot thickens...
Jeannie Longo - France
Let's just say Monty's not a fan. She's seven years older than me, which I always find shocking. She's also the tricolor, though one wonders if the French Nats are just a coronation... That was her only time trial this season. Her previous one was at the Chrono des Nations last year... another win. Tenth in the WCs though.
Charlotte Becker/Judith Arndt/
Trixi Worrack -- Germany
Why couldn't the Germans have entered at least one crap rider to make this selection thing easier. 2007 winner Hanka Kupfernagel didn't even get a seat on the plane out here.
Worrack isn't on the startlist. Becker earned her place with second at the German Nats behind Arndt, but is mostly top ten, no podiums in ITTs otherwise. Arndt is the national champ and was just off the podium in Mendrisio. This year she won at the Route de France and just missed a few other wins . She's in great form too, having taken the overall at the Giro della Toscana two weeks ago. Arndt is a medal favorite.
Emma Pooley - Britain
How hilly is the course? I've not seen Emma do too many TTs this year. Well that's not including the TTs she does when it's really meant to be a race with other people in it. I'll pick her for 2nd place.
Jens has since chimed in that she's got a good chance on this course, hilly as it is. She's been on break since her very cool victory in Plouay in August, so results aren't going to tell us much of anything. Tenth in Mendrisio.
Emma Trott - ??
Beat Marianne Vos and Annimiek Van Vleuten in Gracia Orlova TT, so not a complete outsider.
I don't see her name on the startlist.
Noemi Cantele - Italy
2nd last year, 3rd in that Davide Fardelli TT, sleeps the other eleven months of the year. For some reason I can't understand she wasn't picked to ride the TT for Italy in previous years. I think she's got her eye more on the RR.
Only comparable result this year besides the Fardelli is her 18th place in the Thuringen Rundfahrt ITT in July. The Fardelli thing is more recent, and Cantele went well in Mendrisio, so I wouldn't overlook her for lack of a longer track record.
Regina Bruins - Netherlands
won the prologue at Aude (OK that was a tiny little thing), 2nd in the Thüringen Rundfahrt TT, would be a star at any other team but Cervelo.
Such a cool name. I gather Vos is focused on the road race, since she's not listed as starting the ITT? Bruins' record doesn't say "future rainbow" at least in the crono.
Tatiana Antoshina - Russia
Russian TT champ and another of those riders that rack up loads of podium places without anyone noticing. OK without me noticing until three months later. I'll pick her for third.
He noticed! Antoshina was second to Arndt in the Route de France, a 24km affair, so that's a strong marker. Lots of high finishes. Seventh in Mendrisio.
Olga Zabelinskaya -
I thought she was married to Sergeui Ivanov, but I saw a photo of him a couple of months back with a woman described as his wife who wasn't called Olga. 2nd in the Russian TT and suicidal downhiller. Are there any places a lunatic with a deathwish could make up huge amounts of time?
Why yes, in fact there are such places. She was fourth in the Fardelli, albeit bunched in with half a dozen others separated by seconds. But hey, you gotta love a rider with "zabel" in her name.
Emma Johansson/Emilia Fahlin - Sweden
Should I mention the Swedes? Will it somehow help to keep Michael Rasmussen on Come Dancing for another week with that blonde with her back hanging out her dress? I think they'll be looking more to do well in the RR.
One can hope. Johansson is good at everything but doesn't have a ton of cronos under her belt this year. Fahlin is the national champ, winning at the 30k distance over Emma by 48 seconds, so she's the stronger bet. Second in the U23 worlds earlier in the year.
Evie Stevens - United States
US Nat Champ, but wasn't Amber coming back from injury then? Every time I've said probably not this time I've got it wrong.
Not sure what to add. Bend is slightly high altitude. Neben is the better pick. Full Startlist on the jump: