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2007 Road Worlds Preview and Photos

September 25, 2007 (Stuttgart, Germany) — The 2007 Road World Championships begin tomorrow and Canada’s team which consists of 13 riders and seven staff members are now in Stuttgart, Germany. The time trials are the first events on Wednesday (Sept. 26) with the espoirs men off at 9am local time/3am EST and elite women at 1pm local time/7am EST. The elite men’s TT is on Thursday at 12:30pm local time/6:30am EST.

The road races take place on Saturday with the elite women off at 9am local time/3am EST and the espoirs men begin at 1:30pm local time/7:30am EST, while the final event is the elite men’s road race on Sunday (Sept. 30) beginning at 10:30am local time/4:30am EST. The 19km road circuit includes three short leg-sapping climbs that will favour sprinters with the form to stay in, or the roadmen with the punch to win from a small group.

Canada’s espoir team got a shock earlier this week when all of their bikes were stolen. Thankfully the Gerolsteiner team stepped in and arranged loaners for all five riders, including time trial bikes for the two ITT starters, Christian Meier and David Veillieux. This is the second time trial bike that Meier has had stolen this year — earlier this year he had one stolen outside a coffee shop in Fort Langley, BC. The biggest name the espoirs will face in their 172km road race on Saturday is track star and rising spring standout, Mikhail Ignatiev, who will be backed by a ten-rider strong Russian team.

Canada’s women’s team includes Erinne Willock (road race), Alex Wrubleski (road race and time trial), Leigh Hobson (road race), Anne Samplonius,(road race and time trial) – a strong women’s team with all riders capable of a top result if the opportunity presents itself. The women’s 134km road race will be held on Saturday and the powerful German women will seek to make good on their home course spearheaded by the double threat of Judith Arndt and super sprinter Ina Teutenberg. Dutchwoman and defending world champion Marriane Vos returns to defend her title and has already proven her ability to peak for rainbow jerseys.

Canada’s Svein Tuft spearheads Canada’s men’s team, riding the time trial with 2007 TT Canadian champion Ryder Hesjedal and backed up in the road race by team mate Cam Evans and Quebec sprinter Dominique Rollin.

The heavy favourite for the men’s elite race on Sunday (267km) is defending champion Paolo Bettini (Italy) who is backed up by the dynamic Filippo Pozzato. The Italians will likely be challenged by the always powerful Spanish squad who are still uncertain if their leader Alejandro Valverde will be allowed to start the event. As with the women the German men will look to impress on their home course and one can expect to see strongman Jens Voight flying the German colours on the front.

Complete Start Lists and Course Profiles will be posted a bit later today.

2007 Road Worlds Schedule

Wednesday, Sept. 26 – Time Trial
– 09:00 – 13:15 Time Trial – Men U23
– 13:00 – 16:05 Time Trial – Elite Women

Thursday Sept. 27 – Time Trial
– 12:30 – 17:00 Time Trial – Elite Men

Saturday, Sept . 29 – Road Race
– 09:00 – 12:45 Road Race – Elite Women
– 13:30 – 18:05 Road Race – Men U23

Sunday, Sept . 30 – Road Race
– 10:30 – 17:30 Road Race – Elite Men

2007 Canadian Road Worlds Team

Elite Women
– Erinne Willock — Victoria, BC (road race)
– Alex Wrubleski — Regina, SK (road race and time trial)
– Leigh Hobson — Toronto, ON (road race)
– Anne Samplonius — Ottawa, ON (road race and time trial)

U23 Men
– Christian Meier — Sussex, NB (road race and time trial)
– David Veilleux — Quebec, QC (road race and time trial)
– Keven Lacombe — Amos, QC (road race)
– Brad Fairall — North Vancouver, BC (road race)
– Ryan Anderson — Spruce Grove, AB (road race)

Elite Men
– Svein Tuft — Langley, BC (road race and time trial)
– Cam Evans — Delta, BC (road race)
– Ryder Hesjedal — Victoria, BC (time trial)
– Dominique Rollin — Boucherville, QC (road race)
Alternate: Andrew Randell — Toronto, ON (road race)

The team will be supported by the following staff:
– Kris Westwood (manager)
– Vincent Jourdain (coach)
– Thomas Liese (assistant coach)
– Michel l’Hoest (soigneur)
– David Abarbour (soigneur)
– Guillaume Sicher (mechanic)
– Peter Vallance (mechanic)

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