Who will win the 2013 World Championships road race?
No idea. Absolutely no idea.
Chris Froome is nominated as Great Britain’s leader, but he’ll need it to be a really tough race where he’s basically last man standing in order to win. Chris Boardman has said that if Froome’s coming into the final straight on his own, there’s still a good chance that he’ll lose the sprint.
Something similar is true of other Grand Tour riders, such as Vincenzo Nibali, Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez. They’re all in with a chance on a tough course but if a lot of riders arrive at the finish together, they might not have the sheer strength needed to cross the line first.
Fabian Cancellara seems keen to win and has had great success in single-day races this year. There’s a bit of climbing on this route, which wouldn’t ordinarily suit him, but he’s lost a bit of weight and might well be okay.
Peter Sagan is among the favourites for pretty much every race in which he appears. He can climb and he’s a stronger sprinter than anyone else who can get over the hills, so he’s certainly in with a good shout.
Philippe Gilbert is the current world champion. He can cope with hills and has a good sprint, but you tend to think he needs an uphill finish to emerge as the very best.
Plus there’s some other people. It’ll probably be one of them.