Imola has hosted the World Championships once before, in 1968. The individual time trial of this year’s event will be held on Thursday on a 31.7km long circuit. The relatively flat course, featuring some undulations, features an elevation gain of 200m, thereby being tailored more to the specialists in the race against the clock. Two ascents feature in the final 5km of the parcours, however, apart from these sections, we can expect the circuit to be quite a fast one.
The elite women’s road race will take place on Saturday on a 28.8km-long circuit that will be covered five times to create a total distance of 143km, with 2750m of elevation. Two important sections are the 2.8km-long Mazzolano, which features a maximum gradient of 13 per cent, as well as the 2.7km-long Cima Gallisterna, which is on average 6.4 per cent steep, yet contains stretches at 14 per cent.
We can expect such a course to present a difficult challenge for the riders, without significant time for recovery between the challenging ascents. Team tactics will therefore play an important role in supporting leaders well into the finish.
Rather than the long ascents of the original race that was set to take place in Martigny, there are instead steep, punchy hills, which will nevertheless make the terrain equally challenging. On a parcours such as this, we should see the puncheurs with good climbing legs come to the fore. In that respect, the Imola course offers a different type of challenge to the original road race route set in Martigny, yet still a very difficult one. The daunting course might be made more difficult by the weather forecast, which currently suggests rain for the weekend road races.
The Équipe Paule Ka riders who have been selected to represent their nations at the 2020 World Championships include:
- Lizzy Banks (GBR; RR, TT)
- Elise Chabbey (SUI; RR)
- Niamh Fisher-Black (NZL; RR)
- Mikayla Harvey (NZL; RR, TT)
- Emma Norsgaard Jørgensen (DEN; RR, TT)
- Nikola Nosková (CZE; RR)
- Marlen Reusser (SUI; RR, TT)