2021 UCI Road World Championships

Amber Neben, Lawson Craddock Among Top Underdogs For TT World Championships

Amber Neben, Lawson Craddock Among Top Underdogs For TT World Championships

Lawson Craddock and Amber Neben headline this list of outsiders with a shot at medaling in the 2021 UCI World Championships Individual Time Trial.

Sep 18, 2021 by Jessica Alexander
Preview: A Fast, Flat & Full-Gas Flemish ITT

“The Race of Truth ' comes to the 2021 UCI Road World Championships in Knokke-Heist, Belgium, in the form of a 30.3km time trial for the elite women on Sept. 20. The elite men will race 43.3km on a similar, longer course the day before. Both races will pass through Damme before finishing in the heart of Bruges.

Elite Women Underdogs

Amber Neben

On Aug. 22, American Amber Neben was struck by a car while training; she sustained three fractures to her pelvis and contusions to her right leg. Neben was already named to Team USA for both the road race and time trials at World Championships and opted to immediately decline the road race. She is tentative for the time trial, stating she is in a holding pattern depending on how her recovery goes. Neben was fifth at the 2020 Olympic Individual Time Trial and second at the United States Individual Time Trial National Championships in 2021. 

Elisa Longo Borghini

Elisa Longo Borghini was on the winning Mixed Team (Time Trial) Relay for the European Championship recently in Trentino, Italy. Along with compatriots Matteo Sobrero, Filippo Ganna, Alessandro De Marchi, Elena Cecchini and Marta Cavalli, Borghini helped her team beat the German and Dutch teams by over 20 seconds. Borghini did not have the Olympic Time Trial she had probably hoped for though; she was 10th place in a very competitive field in Tokyo this summer.

Elise Chabbey

Swiss rider Elise Chabbey had an unconventional start into cycling, coming from a background of pro kayaking; she even competed in the London Olympics in 2012 for slalom canoe/kayaking. Although she has only been a pro cyclist since 2018, she has been an integral part of the SRAM//Canyon women’s team in 2021, having placed third overall in the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta. Chabbey has said she is disappointed with her 20th place in the Individual Time Trial at the recent 2021 European Road Championships and is looking forward to a stronger showing at the UCI Road World Championships.

Anna Kiesenhofer

Current Austrian National Time Trialist Anna Kiesenhofer placed seventh in the recent European Road Championships Individual Time Trials. Kiesenhofer received notoriety for her successful solo time trial effort at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, taking a 75-second lead and winning the gold medal over favorite Annemiek van Vleuten. Kiesenhofer has proven she has the engine to put herself in a top spot on Sept. 20.

Elite Men Underdogs

Lawson Craddock

American cyclist Lawson Craddock is the 2021 national champion for the Individual Time Trial. Despite a valiant effort at the 2020 Olympics, Craddock was only able to place 34th overall in the ITT. The Vuelta a España gave Craddock a great opportunity to show off this time trial skills, successfully leading out teammate Magnus Cort to a stage victory, so one can assume Craddock will be in top shape going into the UCI Road World Championships.

Ethan Hayter

Young British rider Ethan Hayter was second in the British U23 National Time Trial Championships in 2019. The 22-year-old hasn’t done any ITT efforts in 2021 but was the overall winner of the 2021 Tour of Norway. Hayter also is a track racer who holds a gold medal in the men’s team pursuit in the 2018 UCI Track World Championships so it’s likely he will be preparing for the 2021 Track World Championships as well. 

Rigoberto Urán

Columbian Rigoberto Urán has been racing strongly this year, with a second overall Tour de Suisse, winning the ITT on Stage 7. However, two eighth-place finishes in both the road race and time trial in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will mean Urán will be looking for redemption on Sept. 19. 

João Almeida

Portuguese National Time Trialist champion João Almeida had a breakthrough Grand Tour performance in 2020; after getting named to the Deceuninck–Quick-Step squad, he went on to wear the pink leaders jersey for the Giro d’Italia for 15 consecutive days and eventually came in fourth overall. A 10th-place finish at the recent European Road Championships Time Trials means the young rider still could be working toward consistent results, but a five-year contract with UAE Team Emirates starting in 2022 means that UAE sees his potential and is willing to invest in his future professional career.