Aussies to race the clock in Pontal

Published 10 August 2016 (AEDT)

Katrin Garfoot of Australia, in action for Orica-AIS in the 2016 Ladies Tour of Qatar, earlier this year. © 2016 Getty Images

Australia’s cyclists are back in action on day five of competition with the race against the clock, the individual road time trials, which takes in the coastal area of Pontal.

The course will use the testing Grumari Circuit which featured in both road races, with two major climbs in each circuit set to prove decisive.

The women will complete one lap of the 29.86km circuit, while the men will cover it twice to create a 55.56km course with four climbs.

In the women’s event, Katrin Garfoot will line up for Australia in the 25-strong women’s competition which begins at 08.30am (9.30pm AEST).

German-born Garfoot, the reigning national champion and 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, was considered a pre-race podium contender, however a lingering chest infection has hampered her preparations.  

Two-time defending Olympic champion Kristin Armstrong (USA) and reigning world champion Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) headline the field. Road race champion from Sunday, Anna van der Bruggen, will be gunning to become the first rider to climb dual gold on the road at the same Games. Also watch out for Evelyn Stevens (USA).

Rohan Dennis is chasing just Australia’s second medal in the event after Michael Rogers' bronze in Athens in 2004.

The South Australian enters the men’s final as a firm medal chance, with the reigning national champion recently finishing fifth in the Tour de France stage 13 time trial after playing a major role in in support of his team leaders for the opening 12 stages of the event.

Although more suited to flatter courses than the one he will tackle in Rio, Dennis has become one of the world’s leading time triallers over the past two seasons and will certainly be eyeing the podium.

Pre-race favourite Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) broke his arm in the Tour de France which may dampen his chances and increase reigning world champion Vasil Kiriyienka (Belarus) favouritism.

The hilly course will suit London 2012 medallist Chris Froome (Great Britain), while Tony Martin (Germany) and Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) could push for the podium.

The men’s event begins from 10am (11:00pm AEST).

Day 5: 10 August

  • Women’s Time Trial – 08.30am 10 Aug (Rio) / 9.30pm 10 Aug (AEST)
  • Men’s Time Trial - 11:00 PM 10 Aug (Local) / 10:00 AM 10 Aug (Rio)

Amy McCann

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