4 Sep 2019

Kiwi cyclist sets sights on world championship medal

10:47 am on 4 September 2019

New Zealand cyclist Patrick Bevin has renewed hopes of a podium finish at this month's UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, after finishing runner-up on stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana.

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The CCC Team rider has bounced back from breaking two ribs in the Tour de France to clock the second best time in the individual time trial in Pau, behind only Primoz Roglic, who's the new race leader.

"This is a really, really good benchmark," Bevin said.

"I'm on the way back to being fit. I didn't have a whole lot of time to train before the Vuelta.

"It's been a real juggling act. I spent three weeks completely off the bike and it only really gave me three full weeks of training before coming to the Vuelta and it's been an extremely tough race for everyone.

"Second place on a Grand Tour stage is nothing to be discounted."

Bevin finished eighth in the race against the clock at last year's worlds in Austria and says "the aim this year is the podium".

"I feel like the power that we saw today if you keep the build going and stay healthy and get another two weeks of really, really high end work under the belt then there's not going to be a lot of guys fitter come worlds.

"You want to aim high and I honestly believe Roglic has been the form guy this year on any time trial that has any kinds of ups and downs or any length so it's nice to be close to him.

"To me he's the yardstick and the next couple of weeks for us look very, very different with different goals so maybe if I can squeeze out a bit more come worlds we start looking at towards the top of the results sheet."

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The national time trial champion plans to continue riding in the Vuelta, rather than abandoning the race to prepare for the world championships in Yorkshire.

"It's a little bit risky," he said.

"Obviously you can control training, you can't control racing. But you don't get the level of fitness, the level of competition and training you get at the Vuelta.

"And seeing that I have had that block in the middle of the year without racing I think the best thing for me is to race through."

The Vuelta a Espana concludes in Madrid on September 15, 10 days before the men's elite individual time trial in Yorkshire.

Giving him further belief, Bevin feels the 54 kilometre course from Northallerton to Harrogate suits him.

"Today had a couple of sustained climbs that we don't have at worlds. Worlds is more up and down all day, more a pure time trialist's course.

"I think that also bends it in my favour a bit, as does the Yorkshire weather come the end of September."

And Patrick Bevin has reassured fans he will be representing New Zealand at the world championships, after being confused for an Irishman after his second place finish in Pau.

"I don't know where that's come from but no very much still a New Zealander, still got my New Zealand passport so will be lining up in the silver fern in three weeks time in Yorkshire."