• Australian champion Rohan Dennis.enroute to victory at the recent Eneco Tour TT (Getty)Source: Getty
It's the final goal of the season for many on the startline. There will be blood, sweat and tears on the sand of Qatar by the end of the day.
By
Jamie Finch-Penninger

12 Oct 2016 - 4:58 PM  UPDATED 12 Oct 2016 - 5:02 PM

There's been a lot of talk of heat management so far at these world championships and that will continue today, despite the mercury dropping to the comparitively cool temperature of 37 degrees Celsius.

The elite men have the benefit of going on the circuit after all the other categories and they will have taken lessons from the earlier racing.

The first takeaway is that the course isn't as technical as first thought. Certainly, for a peloton of over a hundred riders, things will be cramped. However, taking the corners by yourself isn't too difficult to do at speed and there's a lot less of the surging required than many predicted would be need out of the corners.

Secondly, pacing is crucial. True for most time trials except the shortest, but there is a lot less leeway here. Blow up and you're at risk of heat stroke, crashing and worse.

Finally, if you can't handle the heat, you're in the wrong place. Numerous riders have returned performances well below their expectations coming in and it seems to be connected with who can adapt best to the pressure cooker (almost literally) atmosphere. 

The course for the elite men is the same as the team time trial course that many of these riders saw on the opening day of competition. It starts and finishes with the 'technical' sections, with the long desert road joining the two. Of course, it almost entirely flat throughout.

In what shapes to be an incredibly tight battle for the medals, there are a host of candidates who will throw their hat into the ring for the privilege of wearing the rainbow stripes for the following season. 

All Australian eyes will be on Rohan Dennis. His big goal for the season was the Olympics time trial and was on track for a medal before snapping one of his aero bars whilst in second position on the road. Since then, he has refocused impressively and has some very solid form coming into the World Championships. 

Dennis looking for Rio redemption in Qatar
National champion Rohan Dennis in surmising his 2016 season with one race remaining likens it to a meme that plays on a scene from black comedy, The Wolf of Wall Street.

He should be well suited to the course and he won't be fazed by the heat as much as others. This is likely the last season where Dennis will concentrating as intensely on the time trial. He's won the time trial at the Tour de France but he hasn't claimed a major individual title yet and he'll be looking to capitalise on his great form here.

The defending champion is the Belarusian, Vasil Kiryienka, who came from the clouds last season to spring a big upset. He does always turn in consistent performances at the world championships but his form heading in here is far too bad to consider him for the win. His last three performances in time trials are 121st, 143rd and 120th.

Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) looms as the heir apparent for the title of dominant time triallist for the next few years. He has a tremendous amount of power, but like Dennis, he has yet to take a big championships win despite his obvious quality. 

His recent form has been solid, but he was behind Martin and Dennis at the Tour of Britain and will need to kick it up a level here. 

Tony Martin (Germany) used to be the predominant force in the time trials, virtually a guaranteed winner in every race against the clock. In the last two years, he has found a number of challengers have surpassed his level on a consistent basis. 

He's been a lot better since a disappointing 12th at the Olympics and with his recent win at the Tour of Britain and strong showing in Etixx-QuickStep's winning team time trial effort. The flat course will be almost perfect for the big German and if he's back to his best it could well be a fourth stint in the rainbow jersey.

Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain) could break out of his role of being the nearly man in major time trials and there are many other names that could figure in the medals. Jos van Emdem (Netherlands), Alex Dowsett (Great Britain), Primoz Roglic (Slovenia), Maciej Bodnar (Poland) and Nelson Oliviera (Portugal) have all been good at stages throughout the season. If someone shows up with red-hot form, it could be another Kiryienka-style surprise victory.

With the top of the field so competitive in time trials recently, it should be a really close battle for the right to wear the rainbows and will be one you don't want to miss.

The Men's Individual Time Trial will begin streaming online from 9.20 PM AEST, Rohan Dennis gets underway from 11.09 PM AEST.

Link to Live Stream
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