25 Sep 2019

Cyclist Patrick Bevin chasing a New Zealand first

11:19 am on 25 September 2019

Patrick Bevin's endeavouring to become the first Kiwi to win an elite men's medal at the World Road Cycling Championships in Yorkshire, where he's found the course to his liking.

Patrick Bevin on his way to a top ten finish in the individual time trial at the world champs in Austria.

Patrick Bevin on his way to finishing eighth in the individual time trial at the 2018 World Road Championships in Austria. Photo: Robert Jones

The CCC Team professional expects to better his eighth place finish in last year's individual time trial, buoyed by finishing second on stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana earlier this month.

Bevin ambandoned the Vuelta after a further four stages to focus on preparing for the race against the clock.

"It's been a long time since anyone came out of the Vuelta and won the time trial. It's not impossible but for where I was at it was the best case for me and it gave me the clearest possible shot," he said.

"Even leaving early it was still 14 days of a very hard grand tour and then I got 18 days of final prep on the TT bike before coming here.

"You come out of the Vuelta to get better, to kind of take that next step to be as close to peak condition as you can.

"I'm very happy with where I am at and excited to be racing Wednesday."

Bevin, 28, arrived in Yorkshire at the weekend and has ridden the 54 kilometre course a few times in preparation for Wednesday night's (NZT) time trial.

"It's hard. A lot of twists, a lot of turns.

"New Zealanders could appreciate it, with the road conditions and the way the roads are up and down and left and right all day. It's not too dissimilar to racing a time trail in New Zealand which is really nice.

"It's not overly technical. There's no big climbs, big descents or anything. You've just got to be concentrating all day on the effort and it makes judging your pacing really hard.

"It's a course for real specialists. It's one you're going to dose your effort over the whole 54 kilometres if you want to post a result."

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Patrick Bevin on his way to finishing second on stage 10 of the 2019 Vuelta a Espana Photo: Supplied

Five of the seven riders who finished ahead of Patrick Bevin in Austria last year are on the start list in Yorkshire, including defending champion Rohan Dennis of Australia and Belgian Victor Campenaerts, who claimed bronze 12 months ago.

"There's only maybe one or two riders missing from the last couple of years," Bevin said.

"It's the best field. It's a world class field. It's the world champs so anyone that has any kind of desire on winning is here."

There's mystery surrounding the Australian's form given Dennis hasn't raced since his sudden exit from the Tour de France in July.

It's also an unknown how 2017 silver medallist Primoz Roglic will back-up little over a week after winning the Vuelta a Espana.

"It's tough but those GC (general classification) guys are on another planet. He (Roglic) could come out and be absolutely flying so I think if anyone was going to back it up it'd be the guy that won," Bevin said.

"The time trial's incredibly tough. There's no tip-toeing around, no hiding. It's one event, on one day, over one distance so all will be revealed come Wednesday."

And Patrick Bevin can't wait to see how he stacks up in the so-called race of truth.

"Cycling is an incredibly complex, mixed sport and the time trial is as pure as it gets.

"To be fit and healthy here mentally is exciting, it's not really that daunting.

"No one's got the answers for sport. That's why it makes it so compelling, it's why we do it.

"For me personally to be in the position I'm in I'm just really excited to line-up and basically find out how good I am in this field."