After winning a full set of medals in the demo competitions, the Swiss delegation can tackle the road races at the World Championships in Australia without any stress.
In combat and elsewhere on the podium, Swiss Cycling has several trump cards up its sleeve. In the men’s race, after losing Mark Hershey – the 2020 World Cup bronze medalist didn’t feel ready to race this length again after a season that was tough for him in terms of health – another youngster could break through Mauro Schmid. The 22-year-old Olympic track athlete is contesting his first elite road world championships in Wollongong, but that in no way stops the self-confident Zurich native from formulating clear goals.
‘Only an important medal’
“Basically, there is only one medal that matters in the World Cup,” says last year’s Giro stage winner. Schmid said getting to the first set is not the goal. “I’d rather attack and go down than blame myself for not being active enough.”
The World Cup is not only a challenge due to its sheer length of nearly 270 kilometres. You will likely reduce the frequent and short climbs from the field significantly as the race progresses. “I expect a tough race. When it comes to the decisive stage, there are likely to be only a few drivers left,” Schmid believes. After a satisfying second professional season for him, all that comes is a ‘bonus’. “The track is basically designed according to my abilities and the upward curve gives me confidence.”
With Stefan Küng, the six-man Swiss team has another driver who sees himself able to annoy the top candidates around Wout van Aert and Co. The multi-skilled player from Thurgau, who also started after the Silver Time Trial ended “without pressure”, has proven many times that he can achieve success with long escape attempts. In 2019 he won bronze in the World Cup.
Stefan Bissegger is also able to join a splinter group that progresses through the race. The Swiss hexagram was completed by Sylvain Dillier, Simone Belloud and Fabian Lenhard.
Chabbey is ready, Reusser is tired
Thanks to Elise Schabe, Switzerland can also count on the chance to win a medal in the women’s road race on Saturday. The 29-year-old from Geneva has recently presented herself in a strong way. In addition, the longest women’s track with a length of 164.3 km in World Cup history was designed for drivers with strong puncture qualities, such as those of the former Olympic participant in a canoe.
“The course is tough, hardly any breaks. But it offers many opportunities to try something. I expect an aggressive race,” Xavi is looking forward. Romandi, known in the peloton for her great fighting spirit and determination, is satisfied with the way the season has gone so far. She finished a race The Giro, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a 12th, 11th and 8th overall.“The only thing missing is winning a World Tour race.”
On Wednesday, Chabbey was allowed to slip on the rainbow jersey in victory in the mixed team trial alongside Küng, Schmid, Bissegger, Nicole Koller and Marlen Reusser. Rosser’s forecast for Saturday is low. The individual time trial bronze medalist is tired after the long journey and efforts she put in the past few days and wants to help the team as much as she can. A lot depends on the favorite Dutch women.
The women’s elite race brings with it the first. For the first time, there will be an under-23 category that includes the award of medals. For Swiss Noemi Rüegg, that means she runs her own race.
Communicator. Reader. Hipster-friendly introvert. General zombie specialist. Tv trailblazer