Flashback to six years ago, when the World Championships were held in, that's right, Sankt-Wendel. Back then, the prevailing theme seemed to be: national domination. The Czechs at the U23 (Stybar first, Simunek second), the Germans at the women (Kupfernagel first, Spitz second) and (booyah) the Belgians at the elite race (Nys first, Vervecken second, Sven VT third).
As you can see, six years ago, it had snowed. Whether it will or not on Sunday remains to be seen - temperatures are circling zero and some are forecasting wintery precipitation, but certainty there is not. Much will depend on the weather though, as Sankt-Wendel is a parcours which is very different in dry, muddy or snowy conditions.
In a nice display of Roubaixism, the race (starts and) finishes on a track, albeit an athletics track this time. The race starts on the right side of the track on the map above, with the riders facing south.
The parcours description from the official website - which features a weird 90s techno soundtrack - is as follows:
Course Length: 2800 meters
Vertical difference: 74 meters per lap
The design of the race course takes into account both, the requirements of a world cup race and the interests of media, sponsors and spectators. With its vantage points the course which is 2,8 kilometres long guarantees that spectators and media can follow the race from very close. The athletes will be challenged physically by the constant alternation between steep climbing, downhill and fast plain sections.
Special Sections/percentage of the whole course:
climbing: 40% descending: 25 % plain: 35% asphalt: 15% natural track: 85%
The major descent is a bit tricky - especially if the surface is slippery. The climbing is part natural, and part staircase: a big one which will make the long-legged riders happy. The hills are
alive with the sound of music short ankle-biters, perfect for an explosive attack if you're feeling a lot better than your competitors. Short as they are though, they shouldn't stop anyone from riding to the top. The two consecutive u-corners around the 1000m mark is another sneaky bit - get caught behind the wrong guy there and you could miss a decisive attack at the front.
Junior Men's World Champs race: 11:00 CET, 10:00 GMT, 05:00 EST, 02:00 PST, Sat 19:30 Australian Central
Sunday, 30 January 2011:
What happened the past decade again?
And in case the title put you in the mood -
CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR INFO ON PARTICIPANTS AND MEDAL CANDIDATES.
Parcours via www.wkveldrijden.nl
Photo by Michael Steel, Getty Images Sport