World Championships: Mathieu van der Poel confirms cross talent to take junior road rainbow
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Saturday, September 28, 2013

World Championships: Mathieu van der Poel confirms cross talent to take junior road rainbow

by Ben Atkins at 9:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, World Championships
 
Dutch cyclocross star escapes on the final climb

mathieu van der poelMathieu van der Poel of the Netherlands soloed to victory in the Junior Men’s road race at the 2013 World championships, in Florence, Italy, after a late attack on the final climb. The 18-year-old, who took the previous two cyclocross World titles, managed to open up a decisive lead over the short, steep Via Salviati and hold off the chasers all the way to the line five kilometres later.

Mads Pedersen of Denmark took the sprint for second place, at the head of a 21-man group, with Iltjan Nika of Albania taking the bronze medal behind him.

“I hadn’t prepared the attack, but I understood I had to to it once I saw [Frenchman Franck] Bonnamour increasing the gap,” explained van der Poel. “The technical descent helped me a lot. During the time trials, my back hurt, today my leg hurt but it wasn’t too much of a problem.

“My father’s suggestions? [van der Poel is the son of former cyclocross World champion Adrie - ed] He told me that I should wait, because the race would be tough, and so I did. It’s my third world title, but it’s the first in a road race, so it’s very special.”

A 15-rider group escaped on the opening 57.2km leg from Montecatini Terme, and managed to open up a lead of 4’50” over the peloton by the time they had reached the finish line to start the five finishing circuits.

In the group were Michal Schlegel (Czech Republic), Seid Lizde and Pietro Andreoletti (Italy), Dzmitry Zhyhunou (Belarus), Mathias Rask Jeppesen (Denmark), Daniel Martinez (Colombia), Marco Konig (Germany), Daniel Fitter (Australia), Kristjan Kumar (Slovenia), Jaap de Jong (Netherlands), Marius Rognsøy Sylta (Norway), Zeke Mostov (USA), Piet Allegaert (Belgium), Facundo Olaf Crisafulli (Argentina) and David Riviere (France).

By the end of the first lap the break’s lead was down to less than three and a half minutes, and on lap two Schlegel attacked and managed to cross the line 55 seconds clear of the others. The Czech rider was reeled in on the third lap, only for Martinez and Lizde to make their escape. The peloton was just one minute behind the two riders across the line, however, as it steadily reeled in the rest of the breakaway riders.

On the short, steep climb of Via Salviati on the penultimate lap, European champion Bonnamour jumped across the shrinking gap, and he and Martinez set off together. They took the bell just 14 seconds ahead of the peloton, however, and on the final time up the main climb to Fiesole, van der Poel attacked joined Bonnamour on the attack.

On Via Salviati for the final time van der Poel made his second move and left the Frenchman behind. All alone with five kilometres to go, the cyclocross World champion managed to hold off the chase - with time to grab a Netherlands flag from the crowd - to win by three seconds over Pedersen at the head of the charging bunch, to add the road rainbow to that he held in cyclocross.

Result
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands)
2. Mads Pedersen (Denmark) @ 3s
3. Iltjan Nika (Albania)
4. Logan Owen (United States)
5. Lorenzo Rota (Italy)
6. Lucas Eriksson (Sweden)
7. Scott Davies (Great Britain)
8. Artem Nych (Russia)
9. Sergey Shemyakin (Kazakhstan)
10. Benjamin Brkic (Austria)

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