Awarded their position according to UCI rankings, the front row of the men’s grid reads like a who’s who of recent World Champs’ medallists. France’s reigning champion Absalon lines up next to the Swiss trio of Sauser, Vogel and Schurter, plus Sweden’s Kessiakoff, Spain’s Hermida-Ramos and Belgium’s new marathon champion Paulissen.
Thanks to his great run of form Britain’s Oli Beckingsale makes it onto the second row, while Liam Killeen is one line further back. More than ever on this short, sharp Laoshan course, a good start is vital and the Brit boys should be heartened that they won’t have to wade through the pack like they did at Val di Sole.
In the women’s race, all the big hitters are on the front row: Premont (Can), Spitz (Ger), Kalentieva (Rus) and Fullana (Esp). Only reigning champ Dahle-Flesjaa (Nor) is missing; she’s on the second line due to her lowly UCI ranking following some time away from the sport.
The women’s race kicks off at 10am local time (3am UK time), with the men’s starting at 3pm local time (8am UK time). Here’s hoping Team GB can finish this Games with a couple more impressive performances!