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Why Leah Kirchmann is on point to podium at worlds

Team Canada has an on form ace who is quietly accumulating very promising results ahead of the road race and ITT in Yorkshire

Leah Kirchmann is enjoying a fine vein of form as the Canadian individual time trial champion builds towards the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire which take place Sept. 22 to 29. The Winnipeg-native who races for Team Sunweb looks poised to have a good late season. A fine opportunity to cap off the season in style would be with a medal at worlds where Canada will be looking to match two bronze medals, courtesy of Michael Woods and Simone Boilard in the elite men’s and junior women’s road races respectfully, from 2018. Kirchmann was fourth in the ITT in Innsbruck just two seconds off the podium. She could go better in 2019 if everything falls into place.

Strong spring and promising late-season form

Kirchmann had a fairly quiet spring playing a team role but still had some good personal results like third at Omloop van het Hageland and eighth at Brabantse Pijl. Active in attacks and keeping things in control for her team leaders, Kirchmann had top-20 results at La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Historically excelling in the sprints, Kirchmann was showing improved versatility with those results.

Summer was also good for Kirchmann as she won the GP Gatineau for the second time in her career and took her second consecutive Canadian national ITT championship title. After strong riding at the Giro Rosa, Kirchmann then was runner-up at La Course by Le Tour de France. Beaten only by Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv), the signs of some very nice form were there. Then at the Ladies Tour of Norway, she was third overall behind a once again dominant Vos and her teammate Coryn Rivera.

Worlds courses suitable to her skillsets

The courses in Yorkshire look well suited to Kirchmann. The Harrogate finishing circuit f the road race is undulating with very few flat roads over the 150 km. Her performances of late leave no doubt that she should be there with the best. Team Canada will have good support for Kirchmann with Karol-Ann Canuel and Marie-Soleil Blais looking like good riders to put around her.

Kirchmann is a strong sprinter but as she’s gained experience in the WorldTour, has diversified her skillset. The road race in Yorkshire looks poised to be an attacking affair that could potentially be one in a reduced bunch sprint or by daring attacking. With the form she is currently on, she should be in the mix.

Kirchmann has also been time trialling well this season. She was second at the Chrono Gatineau and helped her team to third at the Postnord UCI WWT Vårgårda WestSweden TTT. To go along with the Canadian title. The 30 km course in Yorkshire has some challenging lumps in the second half so should suit her powerful riding.

Kirchmann has been close to a medal at worlds in the past. Enjoying a great season, Kirchmann looks ready to contend for a medal for Canada.