Ben: Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands)
I’m not stretching myself here. While she hasn’t been dominant on the road this year, Van Vleuten seems at least one step ahead of her rivals in the time trial still. She has won every ITT she has been in this year by a comfortable margin.
Ian: Lisa Klein (Germany)
It will take a very special ride from someone to topple Van Vleuten here. I think Klein has got the time-trial chops though. She’s come on leaps and bounds this year, both as a road racer and against the clock.
Nick: Annemiek van Vleuten
It’s not a question of whether AVV is going to win, but how much she’s going to win by. If anyone goes for anyone else, I have a bridge to sell them.
Andy: Chloé Dygert Owen – USA
The Olympic gold medalist is fighting back strongly from a crash and concussion last season. She has the engine to beat the very best and has dominated the US scene this summer. To me, it’s not a matter of if but when she becomes the sport’s TT top dog.
Miles: Anna van der Breggan (Netherlands)
Just missing out last year is going to hurt. Here’s hoping that fastest-loser burn will be all Anna van der Breggen will need to take it this year.
Cycling Mole’s verdict
The women take centre stage, as the Yorkshire world championships continue. This is an event which has been dominated by the Dutch in recent years, a trend which is likely to continue.
Annemiek Van Vleuten has been untouchable against the clock, she’s only lost one ITT in the last two years, and that was back in June, 2018. She is poetry in motion and most others will know they stand no chance. I find it hugely surprising that only Ben and Nick are going with her, maybe the others know something I don’t (they don’t).
Ian is on Lisa Klein, a solid TT rider who has a chance of taking a medal, but I can’t see it being gold. Miles has gone for another Dutch rider, Anna van der Breggan, but she’s been in Van Vleuten’s pocket now for a long time.
Andy has done his homework; this seems to be a recurring theme. It looks like Andy is fed up losing and actually wants to prove he knows something about this sport. His pick of Dygert-Owen is good, she’s the only women I think can actually beat the Dutch beast. The American was the rising star of the sport, but a horror crash in 2018 led to a period in the wilderness. She’s now back on top form, she won all four stages in the Colorado Classic, and the last six races she’s entered. Just 22 years old, she will be world champion, but will it be this year?
Verdict – if Annemiek Van Vleuten doesn’t win this race, I’ll buy you a pint.