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Sept 25, 2015 – More than three quarters of the men’s u23 road race were dominated by a long, five-rider break initially comprising Eddie Dunbar (Ireland), Jose Luis Rodriguez (Chile), and Davide Martinelli (Italy). Oleg Zemlyakov (Kazakhstan), Maximilian Schachmann (Germany), already a silver medallist in the Time Trial earlier in the week, then bridged across. The Under 23 Men’s Road Race remained far less clear cut until there was less than five kilometers to go.
Five became three again, however, as Dunbar and Martinelli lost contact, and on the second last ascent of Libby Hill, some 20 kilometres from the finish, the trio were caught. After a brief but intense five kilometer move by Denmark’s Soren Kragh Andresen failed to gain traction, the last round of attacks from a front group of some 90 riders began as they closed in on the trio of final climbs amidst increasingly heavy rain.
Positioning was therefore crucial, with France and Italy well-placed as the pack reached the foot of the first ascent. Crashes combined with the steeper, cobbled, first two climbs left the peloton split apart, but both French and Italian riders remained prominent in the shattered front group. Martinelli briefly went clear again before Ledanois seized the moment and shot away with some two kilometers to go. Italian and Austrian riders led the chase, but Ledanois, despite constantly looking back, maintained his lead of less than ten seconds as he roared onto the final ascent up Governor Street and round the last sweeping left-hand bend.
“I waited for as long as possible because last year I attacked a lap too early,” Ledanois said. “This time I waited and when the rain came, it was my moment.”
The long finishing straight clearly took its toll on the Frenchman as Italy’s Simone Consonni, aided by Gianni Moscon laid down a fierce pace behind to try and catch his rival. And despite another Frenchman, Anthony Turgis, shadowing their moves, Consonni’s counter-attack almost worked.
Ledanois, visibly getting more and more exhausted, alternated standing and sitting to work the pedals as best he could, finally crossing the line barely two or three bike lengths ahead of the deeply frustrated Italian. A bronze medal for Turgis underlined France’s superiority at the end of a tumultuous race where no nation seemed capable of dominating proceedings.
The 2015 Road World Championships continues on Saturday with the Junior Men’s Road Race and the Elite Women’s Road Race, both over a distance of 129.8 kilometers.
Final kilometers of U23 World Championships RR
1. Kevin Ledanois (France) 3:54:45
2. Simone Consonni (Italy)
3. Anthony Turgis (France) 0:00:02
4. Gianni Moscon (Italy)
5. Alexander Kamp Egested (Denmark) 0:00:05
6. Fabian Lienhard (Switzerland)
7. Michal Schlegel (Czech Republic)
8. Lucas Gaday Orozco (Argentina)
9. Adam De Vos (Canada) 0:00:10
10. Lennard Kamna (Germany) 0:00:12
11. Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eritrea)
12. Tom Bohli (Switzerland)
13. Jack Haig (Australia)
14. Tim Kerkhof (Netherlands) 0:00:13
15. Mihkel Raim (Estonia)
16. Michal Paluta (Poland)
17. Benjamin Declercq (Belgium)
18. Jakub Kaczmarek (Poland)
19. Maxime Farazijn (Belgium)
20. Miguel Angel Benito Diez (Spain) 0:00:16
21. Alexander Wachter (Austria)
22. Sam Oomen (Netherlands)
23. Twan Brusselman (Netherlands)
24. Imanol Estevez (Spain)
25. Rok Korosec (Slovenia) 0:00:24
26. Benjamin Perry (Canada)
27. Lucas Eriksson (Sweden)
28. Felix Grossschartner (Austria)
29. Soren Kragh Andersen (Denmark)
30. Sebastian Schonberger (Austria)