World Championships: Matej Mohoric takes emotional solo victory in under-23 road race
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Friday, September 27, 2013

World Championships: Matej Mohoric takes emotional solo victory in under-23 road race

by Ben Atkins at 11:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, World Championships
18-year-old Slovenian breaks clear on penultimate lap

matej mohoricMatej Mohoric of Slovenia took a spectacular solo victory in the World Championship road race for under-23 men,in Florence, Italy, after breaking clear of the peloton in the penultimate lap. The 18-year-old - who was Junior Men's World champion in 2012 - jumped across to lone attacker Flavien Dassonville of France, then left him behind on the main climb of the race’s 16.57km course to Fiesole and rode alone to the finish.

South African Louis Meintjes put in a lone chase of the Slovenian on the final lap, but could only get to within three seconds of the celebrating Mohoric as he crossed the line.

The bunch sprint, from a peloton of just 18 riders, was taken by Sondre Enger of Norway, ahead Australia’s Caleb Ewan and Latvia’s Toms Skujins, 13 seconds behind.

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The race’s opening 57.2km leg from Montecatini Terme saw a breakaway from Andzs Flaksis of Latvia, Kolya Shumov of Belarus, Jaka Bostner of Slovenia, Meron Teshome Hagos of Eritrea, Mihkel Raim of Estonia and Zoltan Sipos of Romania, who were 4’31” ahead of the peloton as they crossed the finish line for the first time.

Raim was left behind on lap one and was back in the peloton at the beginning of lap two, while Sipos lost contact on the climb to Fiesole on lap three, leaving just four up front.

The peloton was just 1’19” behind by the end of the lap, with several attacks seeing Ihar Mytsko of Belarus and Julio Paspuezan of Ecuador getting away on the Fiesole climb. Up ahead Shumov was unable to follow the other three as Bostner accelerated. Several accelerations at the head of the peloton saw a group pull clear but this just had the effect of catching the two counterattackers

The trio was just 45 seconds clear as it crossed the line with three laps to go, as France’s Alexis Gougeard attacked out of the bunch.

The Frenchman then passed the leaders on the Fiesole climb, with only Teshome Hagos able to stay with him. The USA’s Nathan Brown was in pursuit, with Gougeard’s teammate Clement Chevrier, but the race was all back together on the climb of Via Salviati.

With the peloton coming together, a third Frenchman in the shape of Flavien Dassonville escaped, and managed to get a gap. Jasha Sutterlin of Germany, Frederik Ludvigsson of Sweden and Dylan van Baarle of the Netherlandsgave chase, and caught the French rider before he crossed the line with two to go.

The group of four was 45 seconds ahead of the peloton at the start of the lap, with Australia and Great Britain leading the chase on the climb to Fiesole. Ludwigsson lost contact, while Sutterlin was struggling, as van Baarle and Dassonville pushed on. They were just 18 seconds clear over the top, however, as several riders tried to counterattack.

France’s Julian Alaphilippe managed to escape on top of the climb, and joined his teammate in the break after a fast descent. The group of four now contained two Frenchmen, alongside one German and one Dutchman.

Dassonville then attacked again, with Alaphilippe going over the top on the steepest section of Via Salviati. The Italian team had brought the peloton right up to the break’s heels, however, and the Frenchman was just eight seconds clear over the top.

A chase group formed behind the Frenchman, with Meintjes, but the presence of Dassonville in the group meant that it made little progress. Mohoric counterattacked the group and joined up with Alaphilippe with just two kilometres to go in the penultimate lap.

The duo was 20 seconds clear at the bell, with Dassonville still present at the front, and disrupting the chase once more, until Italy took over onto the Fiesole climb again.

Mohoric led over the top, then escaped on the descent as Meintjes gave chase. Over Via Salviati the Slovenian was just 8 seconds ahead of the South African with five kilometres to go, but several riders were breaking clear of the peloton just a few seconds behind them.

Mohoric powered down the descent, however, and was holding his lead as he approached the final short, sharp bump over the railway with 2.5km left. Mientjes appeared to be edging closer, but the Slovenian was still several seconds clear as he rode under the flamme rouge.

The peloton was gaining on the South African, but looked to be far too far away to be able to do anything more than contest the bronze medal.

Looking back on the finishing straight Mohoric began to realise what he was about to achieve and began to celebrate with 200 metres to go. This allowed to Mientjes to close a little, but the Slovenian had plenty of time to cross the line and take an emotional victory.

Mientjes was just three seconds behind as he took the silver medal, while Enger sprinted into bronze after 13 seconds.

1. Matej Mohoric (Slovenia)
2. Louis Meintjes (South Africa)
3. Sondre Enger (Norway)
4. Caleb Ewan (Australia)
5. Toms Skujins (Latvia)
6. Davide Villella (Italy)
7. Dylan van Baarle (Netherlands)
8. Silvio Herklotz (Germany)
9. Julian Alphaphilippe (France)
10. Patrick Konrad (Austria)


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