National Championships “Multipreview”

Versión en español en este enlace

 France

Preview by @LeGruppetto (legruppetto.com)

France Road Championships will take place in the Eastern side of the country, around the city of Vesoul, thanks to the “Pinot lobby”, formed by Thibaut Pinot and his brother Julien, FDJ trainer, both of them born in this region. The two brothers have also designed the route for the time trials and the various road race circuits.

The time trial, 49 km long, will be very hard, with at least six hills with more than 1 km each. The circuit should favour Thibaut Pinot himself, who has this victory as a personal goal and he starts as the main candidate for the win.

The road race circuit, with 13.1 km per lap is quite difficult, with more than 220m of cumulative elevation gain. Totally, the riders in the men’s race, will do 24.9 km with 4200m of cumulative elevation gain. It seems a high mountain stage! In fact, it has been already considered as the hardest circuit from years.

rMRMlxFy

The circuit has two hill in its first part: la côte de 4 Sapins (1.7 Km and an average gradient of 7%, with 1 km with 9,6%) and la côte de Neurey (1 km and 6% with 500m with a 10% gradient). The second part of the circuit is flat, but it does not mean that a sprinter could take the victory. This circuit is for punchers and climbers!

In France we do not understand which is the interest of proposing such a long and hard circuit only a week before the Grand Depart of the Tour of France. 220 Km would be more than enough to make the race difficult for everyone.

Women’s race:

Favourite:  Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabobanl-Liv)
Outsider:  Élise Delzenne (Lotto Soudal Ladies)

Men’s race:

Favourite Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)
Outsider:  Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step)

 Spain

Preview by @VictorGavito from @_RoadAndMud (roadandmud.com)

The province of Alicante will host the Spanish National Championships in 2016. The women elite race will take place in L’Alqueria d’Asnar, while the men elite race will be in Cocentaina. Former Kelme DS, Vicente Belda is the prime mover of this route. The Alt de Benillup hill, 5 km long, will be the main difficulty in both circuits. In addition, the men race finish will be in a 1200m tile ramp.

Men’s circuit:

masculino

Women’s circuit:

damas

In the men’s race, Movistar is the team that dominates the palmares, but the circuit will help to form a big breakaway and to make more difficult to control the race. Caja Rural has a very nice opportunity to fight for the national Champion maillot. The biggest problem in Spain is the lack of interest around the National Champs. Movistar, Caja Rural, Euskadi Murias and Burgos BH will take advantage of their number of riders taking part of the Championships.

Usually, some of our best riders do not take part, and there is no TV live broadcasting. This year, due to the hard circuit and that we are in Olympic year, most of the biggest riders of our country will be at the start line in Cocentaina (Contador, Valverde, Purito, etc.)

In the women’s race, Lointek and Bizkaia are the strongest teams, but we should pay attention to our international riders, who are always very motivated in these Championships.

Women’s race:

Favourite:  Anna Sanchís
Outsider:  Mavi García

Men’s race:

Favourite Alejandro Valverde
Outsider:  Eduard Prades

 Germany

Preview by @PDiegner (severecoaching.com)

The Germany National Championships for men and women will take place in Erfurt, the capital city of the state Thuringia. Both the women and the men elite title will be run on the same 15,4Km long course finishing right at the city centre. The circuit contains now major climbs, the biggest obstacles being will be two short rises that do not climb more than 20m each for total distance of 108Km (7 laps) with 550m elevation for the women’s race and 216km (14 laps) with 1100m for the men’s, respectively. The wind might play a more important factor on the long straights, which have been described as rather susceptible to strong gusts of winds by the organisers.

Captura

Most of the strongest female and male German riders are expexted to participate. The defending champions, Canyon Sram’s Trixi Worrack, who hast just returned from a kidney operation and Bora-Argon’s Emanuel Buchmann, the talanted climber, who will not be happy with the course and thus will not be favoured to repeat their victories. Their teams will most likely bring the largest contingent of riders however and Bora might be able to bring trouble to the World Tour sprinting stars who are expected to battle out the win in front of large crowds in the East German host town, which has a long standing cycling tradition.

Women’s race:

Favourite:  Lisa Brennauer (Canyon SRAM Racing)
Outsider:  Claudia Lichtenberg (Lotto Soudal Ladies)

Men’s race:

Favourite:  André Greipel (Lotto Soudal)
Outsider:  Nikias Arndt (Giant Alpecin)

 Great Britain

Preview by @MarmeladromeCC (marmeladrome.co.uk)

Stockton-on-Tees plays host to this year’s British National Championships. It’s a race of two parts, with the riders first heading out from Stockton to complete an opening 13.4km loop (six circuits for the women, and twelve for the men). They will then return to Stockton for a 6.7km street circuit around the town centre (three times for the women, and six times for the men). It’s an undulating course, that has been described as “fast and testing, incorporating a mix of punchy climbs and rolling roads”. It therefore looks likely that we’ll see a sprinter take the title this year.

GBR

For the women, three times winner Lizzie Armitstead is the standout favourite, and she’s fresh from taking the general classification at the Aviva Women’s Tour. She will be racing on her own, with no teammates, but that shouldn’t be a bother for the reigning World Champ. Wiggle High5 rider Dani King, Drops Cycling’s Alice Barnes, and Canyon-SRAM’s Hannah Barnes will likely be Armitstead’s toughest challengers. However, one of the standout riders from the domestic Women’s Road Series has been Nikki Juniper; Juniper took her third consecutive title in 2016 and might well spring a shock result here.

In the men’s contest, Team Sky have won five of the last six national championship titles, and once again bring a strong squad with them. However, current champ Peter Kennaugh won’t be around to defend his title this year, so Sky will be looking to set up Ben Swift for the sprint, or for Ian Stannard or Luke Rowe to go long. Mark Cavendish will, much like Armitstead, be flying solo, but he’s no doubt going to be the man to beat in a sprint, and should be counted as favourite for the win. Cav’s shown mixed form this year, but he did win a stage in the Tour of California last month, ahead of Sagan, Kristoff, and Degenkolb. JLT-Condor recently dominated the domestic Pearl Izumi Tour Series and Jon Mould, Graham Brigg and Ed Clancy will be the ones to watch for them. Pro Continental team ONE Pro Cycling have had a great 2016 so far; Chris Opie will be their main sprint hope, with the experienced previous champion Kristian House likely to try to get in the breakaway. Other riders to look out for are Ian Bibby of NFTO and Dan McLay of Fortuneo-Vital Concept. Both Bibby and McLay have gone well in the European one-day races, and could, if the race goes the right way, take a big result here.

Women’s race:

Favourite:  Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans)
Outsider:  Nikki Juniper

Men’s race:

Favourite:  Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data)
Outsider:  Dan McLay (Fortuneo-Vital Concept)

 Italy

Preview by Valerio Bianco from @Ciclismo_2014 and road2sport.com

The city of Boario Terme, in Lombardy, hosts the road race Italian National Championships. Boario Terme is known for his thermal resort, which is receiving a lot of tourist after its renovation in 2007.

The first part of the race has 148 km, with the climb to Ponte di Legno as the hardest point,followed by a long descent up to the start of the circuit of 19.8 km, where rider must complete four laps.

The circuit itself is not very difficult, although at 3 km to go, there is the Muro de Via Cornaleto, 300m with more than 17% gradient. Via Cornaleto should be the place to attack and avoid a massive sprint.

ita

The last kilometers seem to be perfect for a rider as Diego Ulissi, who has just won a stage in the Tour of Slovenia, showing he is in good form, in contrast to Sonny Colbrelli, who comes back after an injury in the last stage of the Tour of Italy.

Between the sprinters, the most ambitious one is Giacomo Nizzolo, who has already studied the circuit during the last week of the Tour of Italy.

Men’s race:

Favourite:  Diego Ulissi (Lampre Merida)
Outsider:  Mauro Finetto  (Unieuro Willier)

 Denmark

Preview by Jesper Anker from @CyclingHubTV (cyclinghub.tv)

Last year we saw Chris Anker Sørensen, the bull from Hammel win a sprint over Martin Mortensen, this year’s winner of the Tro Bro Leon. Not something you see every day and definitely not something you will see this year!

Long circuit. (Interactive map)

mapa1

Short circuit (Interactive map)

mapa2

201,5 kms, 9 times the long circuit plus 4 times the small circuit. It is not the toughest route, but it still lends itself to the strong World Tour riders. The sprint is fairly straight forward with a 100 meter kicker in the end, nearing gradients of 4%.

What we usually see in the national championship of Denmark is that Tinkoff takes it up at the front, but that’s not the case this year. Only Jesper Hansen and Michael Valgren are representing the hideous neo-yellow colors of Tinkoff. Two very capable riders, but they lack support. Michael Valgren has to enter this race as the outright favourite as he has the fastest kick, in my opinion.

The team that has overtaken the duties of Tinkoff is Stölting Service Group, bringing none less than 7 quality riders. Their captain has to be Mads Pedersen who recently won a stage in the Tour of Norway, but don’t overlook Rasmus Guldhammer and Lasse Norman Hansen. A team that I expect will flourish in the Danish country side of Vordingborg.

Looking at other World Tour teams represented, we have Magnus Cort Nielsen and Chris Juul Jensen of Orica-GreenEDGE. Matti Breschel of Cannondale, Michael Mørkøv of Team Katusha and last but not least Søren Kragh Andersen of Team Giant Alpecin. Out of this bunch I particularly like Chris Juul Jensen, he is recently coming off stellar form in Luxembourg and is scheduled to participate in the Tour de France. He is known as the joker but I am certain he will approach Sunday very seriously.

In case the unthinkable happens and a breakaway stays away, keep an eye on the likes of Nicolai Brøchner (Riwal), Mads Würtz Schmidt (TREFOR) and Kristian Haugaard Jensen (CULT)

Full startlist

Prediction:

National Championships are often difficult to predict and this race is no different. I believe we will see a strong breakaway go up the road with a mix of Continental and World Tour riders, but it will be brought back. I think a late attack has a great chance of succeeding and I would like to put my money on Chris Juul Jensen to be in that attack. He has the repertoire to both attack from far out and finish up a small incline. If a late attack doesn’t make it, then it is setup for the runner up of Amstel Gold Race, Michael Valgren of Tinkoff.

Men’s race:

Favourite:  Chris Juul Jensen
Outsider:  Michael Valgren

 Russia

Preview by @GosuSM (gruppetto.ru)

Sevastopol which is located in Crimea will host Russian National Championship for the first time. Both men and women will ride the a course with tough 35 kilometers lap. Women will ride three laps and men six laps. Lap consists of two hard climbs, both of them are quiet difficult, first one is located in the beginning of the lap, it’s nearly third kilometers long with an average gradient about 8%, second climb begins around seventh kilometers to the finish and also have the same lenghts – around three kilometers with 7% average gradient, final kilometers little bit uphill too. It’s gone be very hot weather, around 31-32 degrees celsius in this locations on a race day, so it’s gonna be two very tough races.

профиль

In the men’s race it’s gonna be a big battle between Katusha and Gazprom-RusVelo riders. Ilnur Zakarin will skip the race, he is in Cyprus preparing for the Tour de France debut after hard crash in the Giro. Tinkoff riders will be outnumbered and it will be very complicated race for them. Most of the Gazprom-RusVelo riders looked fatigued in last races after the Giro and Katusha riders looks stronger for now. Sergey Chernetskiy is in very good shape and this route suits him down to the ground.

There is no women’s road cycling teams in Russia now, so it’s gonna be wide open and it’s hard to predict a winner. Most likely 4 riders from Astana Women’s will ride this race and the strongest of them – Tatiana Antoshina likes hard parcours.

Women’s race
Favourite:  Tatiana Antoshina
Outsider:  Olga Zabelinskaya

Men’s race
Favourite:  Sergey Chernetskiy
Outsider:  Pavel Kochetkov

 Switzerland

Preview by @bischofberger (tagesanzeiger.ch)

The national championship takes place in Martigny, a city based in the canton of Valais, the southern alpine region of Switzerland.

The course consists of a 19,5-km-loop (115km for the women, 195km for the men), which includes two climbs, one of them rather steep, as well as a short gravel section, which shouldn’t be decisive though.

Sui

In the mens race, there are only very few people missing, Stefan Küng, who will focus on the track in Rio, and Tom Bohli. Everybody else has signed up. It will be the last time that Worldtour-team IAM Cycling, which is stopping at the end of the season, will have the weight of the race on their shoulder, due to their strength in numbers. They will share this position with BMC Racing, the team of defending champion Danilo Wyss. They will have to figure out a way to control the likes of Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo), who wants to win a final championship, as well as Michael Albasini (Orica-Greenedge), who still lacks this title, and the local boys who are riding for FDJ, Steve Morabito and Sébastien Reichenbach.

In the women’s race, the pre-race-situation is more straight forward. Doris Schweizer is the clear favourite, as defending champion Jolanda Neff has decided to start at the mountainbike marathon world championships. Comeback-girl Nicole Brändli won’t start either, nor will Linda Indergand.

Women’s race
Favourite:  Doris Schweizer

Men’s race
Favourite:  Michael Albasini
Outsider:  Sébastien Reichenbach

 Portugal

Preview by @helenadias_ (cyclingandthoughts.blogspot.dk)

Braga hosts again the men’s races of the Portugal National Championships. Same course as in 2015, with 11 laps to a 16.1 km circuit (177.1 km in total). The hottest point of this hard and beautiful circuit are the climbs of Bom Jesus and Sameiro, a 2nd Category KOM of 5 km; so it will be a very selective route [these climbs will be part of the Volta a Portugal 1st stage]

sameiro

eCfUTSzs

The defending champion, Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) won’t be at the start, so the 2015 runner up, Joni Brandão, becomes the main favourite to repeat the 2013 golden medal, not only because of what he showed in the same circuit last year, but also because the great season he is doing this 2016, with several wins and important podiums.

The women’s race will take place in Vila Flor, in Alto de Trás-os-Montes, the 3rd July with 10 laps to a 9.8 km circuit. The main candidate to the title is Daniela Reis (DN 17 Poitou-Charentes).

Women’s race:

Favourite:  Daniela Reis (DN17 Poitou-Charentes)
Outsider:  Celina Carpinteiro (5Quinas/Município de Albufeira)

Men’s race:

Favourite:  Joni Brandão (Efapel)
Outsider:  Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team)

 Czech Republic &  Slovakia

Preview by Jan Kruta from @Supercycling1 (supercycling.cz)

The city of Kyjov in region Moravia will host Czech National Championships 2016. As usually, two countries will take part there: Czech republic and neighbour Slovakia. So fans will see in action Slovak supersatar and current world champion Peter Sagan! And also Czech stars like Roman Kreuziger, Leopold König, Zdenek Stybar, Petr Vakoc and others.

There is only one race for both men elite and U23 together with Slovak riders, but each country has its own classification. For example: when the best Slovak will come fourth, he will become a champion of his country. Also U23 will be classified separately.

All races will take part in the circuit 20,8 km long with the start and finnish in the city of Kyjov (each lap).

Womens road race is 103 km long (5 laps). There are two climbs in every lap (first 1,5 km long), second (2,4 km), but no just to the finnish. The first one will come after 4 km, the second one after 10 km. There is still last small and short climb 2 km to go.

Mens Elite +U23 road race is long 185 km. It means 9 hard laps with with 3200 m climbing!. Start is very soon, at 8 a.m. due to the TV stream.

cn-repubblica-ceca

The strongest teams are Whirlpool Author and SKC Tufo Prostejov. The biggest favourites have not a lot of people there, because they are from different international teams. But theere is a possibility of cooperation between some Czech and Slovak guys from the same team: Kreuziger, Sagan brothers, Baska and Kolar from Tinkoff, Stybar, Vakoc and M. Velits from Etixx-Quick Step.

All the best riders will take part there, because the race is important for selection for Rio Olympics.

Women’s race:

Favourite:  Martina Sablikova

Men’s race:

Czech Republic:  Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff) /  Peter Vakoc (Etixx-Quick Step)
Slovakia:  Peter Sagan (Tinkoff)

 Poland

Preview by @roweryorg & @8aldwin (rowery.org)

2016 Polish National Championships take place in Swidnica, Lower Silesia. It is a historic region of Poland, with long time cycling traditions and challenging routes in mountainous area close to Czech Republic border. Over past few years racing for national jersey has been well-advertised and organized, hence growing interest in the event that offers various opportunities to meet the majority of Poland’s top racers.

The route of the time trial leads through a 13km circuit with one small (900 metres) climb situated mid-course. The real difficulty of the race will be false flat sections at the beginning, where wind is also expected to play a part. Men elite race is 52 km long, while elite women race is 26 km.

The route of the road race was designed to make it a bit similar to the Olympic route in Rio de Janeiro. While there are no long climbs and high mountain altitude, 37km circuit has two ascents – 4km and 2km – adding to the difficulty of the undulating terrain. There is a 8km flat/descent section to the finish from the summit of the final climb.

Captura

Elite women race is 111 km long, while elite men racers will spend around 6 hours racing as they tackle 222 km.

Women’s race:

Favourite:  Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabo Liv)
Outsider:  Anna Plichta (BTC City Ljubljana)

Men’s race:

Favourite:  Michał Gołaś (Team Sky)
Outsider:  Karol Domagalski (ONE Pro Cycling)

 Belarus

Preview by Kirill Klimenkov from @Pelotonby and sport.tut.by

After years of championships in Mazyr Belarusian federation decided to change location for Pryzhany (ITT) and Novogrudok (RR).

Novogrudok has hilly route, so looks like it will not suit sprint favourites Yauheni Hutarovich (Fortuneo – Vital Concept) and Siarhei Papok (Minsk). Short, but steep climbs will definitely shorten number of contenders.

I predict competition between strong individuals, including Kanstantsin Siutsou (Dimension Data), Vasil Kiryienka (Sky), Ilya Koshevoy (Lampre), Branislau Samoilau (CCC), last year`s winner Andrei Krasilnikau (Holowesko), and teamwork of Minsk Cycling Club. Last year they controlled all the race and Krasilnikau won the jersey for the team. Unfortunately, local conflict didn`t give him a chance to wear it in 2015.

Now club have a lot of choices. If tempo in climbs will not be fast, Siarhei Papok is big contender for title. Also Raman Ramanau can win sprint from little group.

Otherwise, Minsk will lay on Stanislau Bazhkou and Kanstantsin Klimiankou. They have good legs last month, but were slightly injured in Serbia. If they will not recover, team veteran Yauhen Sobal might be team`s choice.

Team of young talents RCOP can also plays some role with their growing climber Vasili Strokau.

Women races in Belarus are superpredicted. Only extraordinary force majeure like iron-fall or revival of dinosaurs can prevent new title of Alena Amialiusik. Kseniya Tuhai progresses year by year, so she is capable to produce some surprise.

Women’s race:

Favourite:  Alena Amialiusik
Dark horse (outsider):  Kseniya Tuhai

Men’s race:

Favourite:  Kanstantsin Siutsou
Dark horse (outsider):  Vasili Strokau

 Serbia

Preview by @OlePaikkonen

National championship in Serbia will took place like in the other countries 26.06.2016. Host city will be Kraljevo, well known cycling town in old Yugoslavia.

All races will held on old military racing circuit in the woods on south-east suburbia. Circuit is short just 5km but very hard because there is not even meter of flat road around it. There are two hills on the circuit and they are those long straight roads. Those are not big hills but considering old road surface with big gravel asphalt they are very hard for riding. Tricky part is that riders could not train on the circuit because military facilities are still there and the circuit is closed for public all year round, that’s why we do not have Strava segments and profiles.

Beranovac-map-2016

As you can see on the picture there are some serpentines on the west part of the circuit, but the road is in very bad condition and they are not on the menu, but they could help us to understand the circuit and the biggest hill. Depending on the weather, better say heat, because in the middle of Serbia temperatures can reach 35-40 degree Celsius, Men Elite will ride between 25-30 laps wich is around 130km. May be short but that is 60 times up hill like in spring classics.

Main favorites:

Men’s race:

Favourite: Local hero  Miloš Borisavljević (Metalac Kraljevo) &  Marko Danilović (Borac) from nearby town Čačak

Women’s race:

Favoutrite:  Jelena Erić – BTC Ljubljana

 Guatemala

Preview by Nery Ajsivinac @fnciclismoguate

Sunday 26th July 2016 is the day for one of the most traditional and historic events in Guatemalan cycling, the Road National Championships. Santa Rita will host the 135 km race.

In the palmares of this race, there are names as “El Astro” Edyn Roberto Nova, Samuel de Jesús Herrera, Saturnino Rustrían, Fernando Escobar, Nery Velásquez and Johnny Morales. Also riders that people don’t remember, as José Chámale y Macedonio Ajcu, between others.

The defending champion is Manuel Rodas, who will try to repeat his victory riding for Cable DX-Decorabaños.The biggest Guatemalan teams will take part: Hino-Pizza Hut-RCN-FFACSA-Eurobikes; U23 National Team; Cuajo Luna-Universal Foods; Violet House Cleaning And More; ADD Qiché y ADD Chimaltenango.

The U23 riders will do the same course as the elite, with Gerson Toc as the main favourite and defending champion.

Before that major event, we will attend the junior and the women’s elite races, on Saturday 25th June. 100 km for women and 80 km for the junior. Defending champions are Fredy Toc and Gabriela Soto respectively.

Women’s race:

Favourite:  Gabriela Soto
Outsider:  Florinda de León

Men’s race:

Favourite:  Manuel Rodas
Outsider:  Nervin Jiatz

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