Chimera, a dream or illusion that is pursued despite being very unlikely to achieve. That is the situation with which the vast majority of teams that intend to put in check the Netherlands dominance in the upcoming battle for the rainbow jersey in the World Cups in Wollongong (Australia). The Dutch team has not only won world gold on the road in four of the last five editions, but also has a star block with three or four tricks that can filter in any decisive cut of the race or even finish the job in a hypothetical sprint. And all this, allowing himself the luxury of leaving at home Lorena Wiebes, top scorer of the season and best sprinter of the planet today.
Therefore, whoever wants to win the throne defended by the Italian Elisa Balsamo They will have to defeat this Saturday (04:25 hours, Eurosport and TDP) a Dutch team that wins favoritism in all the pools with a block that they lead Marianne Vos, Demi Vollering, Ellen van Dijk and we will see if it is also part of it a Annemiek van Vleuten who will finally decide today whether to compete after breaking her right elbow, suffered last Wednesday as a result of a spectacular fall in the mixed relay time trial. The route, of 164.3 km, has a urban layout of 17 km to which the runners must complete six laps, with two explosive climbs at home, one of them that could determine the outcome of the race, although, yes, they are crowned 7 km from the finish line.
On paper, the selection that has the most ballots to question the domain that the Netherlands will try to exercise is Italy, since three of its runners adapt perfectly to the characteristics of the route. Balm Y Bastianelli (world champion in 2007) can impose their top speed in a fly, While the explosiveness of Longo Borghini he is able to break the pack on the climbs. As alternatives, the Polish niewadomathe French labousthe danish Norsgaard and, above all, the Belgian Kopecky, they aspire to be in the ointment.
And what about Spain? The team led by Gema Pascual will have Mavi García and Ane Santesteban as best assetsand although it appears far from the noble zone of the pools, the group overflows illusion to return to a podium that none of ours has occupied since Joane Somarriba in Zolder 2002 (bronze). “Prove it, we are going to prove it, whatever it is. The form is there and then it’s about having a good day”, explained Mavi yesterday at the pre-race press conference. The die is cast…