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Anglophones At Worlds: US and GB Teams

The US women and men - and their U23 men - are faced with a tricky situation. They have incredibly strong riders - van Garderen, Stevens, Phinney, Dombroski are among the best in the world at what they do - but none of their skillsets are a perfect match to the road race course. The finish is likely too close to the summit of the Cauberg for Phinney to be able to unleash his sprint and too far for van Garderen, Dombroski, and Stevens to do what they do best - make lots of watts uphill. With a strong supporting cast, van Garderen and Phinney will likely be the two leaders for the road race but this may deter van Garderen from being aggressive before the final climb, which is what he will need to do to medal.

Chances look much, MUCH better in the time trial. Stevens is one of the best in the world in the discipline, especially on a hillier course like this year's which incorporates some of the same climbs as the road race, most notably the Cauberg in the final kilometers. And let us not forget Stevens is a constant podium feature in time trials and is the 2011 US national champion. Fast, indeed, this young lass is.

Taylor Phinney garnered a notable fourth place at the Olympic Time Trial in July, though the flatter course their suited him better than this one. Van Garderen, though, has no fear of hilly time trials. He placed fourth and seventh in the two longer time trials in the Tour de France; he also placed fourth in the prologue, but that data point is too short in duration to read much into. In the Tour of Californiain May, van Garderen placed third on a rolling course as well. He may be a long shot, but with Cancellara and Wiggins out of the picture, a podium is easily forseen and a win may even be in reach.

Elite Men

  • Taylor Phinney
  • Brent Bookwalter
  • Matthew Busche
  • Timothy Duggan
  • Lucas Euser
  • Chris Horner
  • Alex Howes
  • Ben King
  • Peter Stetina
  • Andrew Talansky
  • Tejay van Garderen
Full roster and GB examined... under the jump!
    Elite Women
  • Andrea Dvorak
  • Megan Guarnier
  • Kristin McGrath
  • Amber Neben
  • Shelley Olds
  • Carmen Small
  • Evelyn Stevens

U-23 Men

  • Ian Boswell
  • Nathan Brown
  • Robert Bush
  • Joseph Dombroski
  • Evan Huffman
  • Gavin Mannion
  • Lawrence Warbasse
  • Nate Wilson

Great Britain

It feels like Great Britain is paying off their win from last year - their men's team will be lucky to get a top ten in the road race, much less medal. Blythe, Cavendish, Fenn, Swift... these are sprinters, perhaps not the best workhorses for the hilly course around Limburg. At least not past the 150km mark. To be fair, though, Great Britain does not have a perfect rider for this kind of course. Tiernan-Locke needs the finish closer to the top of the Cauberg and has yet to prove himself at the very highest levels of the sport (the Tour of Britain is high, but not a Grand Tour or spring classic). Sending Cummings and Thomas up the road before the final climb of the Cauberg is their best bet, really.

The women of Great Britain, however, have two excellent leaders in Elizabeth Armistead and Nicole Cooke, silver and gold medalists at the past two Olympic road races respectively. Both can climb well, are proven in classics length races, and have a mean sprint after 130km. Paired with an excellent decoy in Emma Pooley who will, without doubt, take off earlier, this is a formidable team indeed.

In the time trial, the women again look better. Pooley was a silver medalist in Melbourne two years ago in the time trial and while Laws is less formidable, she was the 2008 national champion in the discipline. Froome earned a silver medal in the Olympics time trial earlier this summer but looks to be on his last legs, fading mightily in the final week of the Vuelta. Wiggins has decided one gold medal is enough, which leaves Geraint Thomas to fly the flag. While he is quite good at making the aero bikes go fast, asking a medal of him is a longer shot... this year.

For the U-23 riders, I will admit to having no clue. None of their names have appeared on my radar this year, unlike some of the US guys.

Elite Men

  • Adam Blythe
  • Mark Cavendish
  • Stephen Cummings
  • Alex Dowsett (TT)
  • Andrew Fenn
  • Christopher Froome (TT)
  • Jeremy Hunt
  • Peter Kennaugh
  • Luke Rowe
  • Ian Stannard
  • Ben Swift
  • Geraint Thomas (TT)
  • Jonathan Tiernan-Locke
  • Bradley Wiggins

Elite Women

  • Elizabeth Armistead
  • Hannah Barnes
  • Katie Colclough
  • Nicole Cooke
  • Catherine Hare Willianson
  • Wendy Houvenagal (TT only)
  • Dani King
  • Sharon Laws (TT)
  • Emma Pooley (TT)
  • Joanna Rowsell
  • Julia Shaw (TT only)
  • Emma Trott
  • Laura Trott

U-23 Men

  • George Atkins (TT only)
  • Michael Cumming
  • Joshua Edmondson
  • Richard Handley
  • Samuel Harrison (TT only)
  • Joseph Parrett (TT only)
  • Alistair Slater
  • Scott Thwaites
  • Simon Yates