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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, September 26, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Tour de France: 2020

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World Championship Elite Men's Road Race reports

We posted the report from winner Remco Evenepoel's Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Christophe Laporte's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Christophe Laporte has secured the silver medal at the World Championships in Australia. In the race's latter phases, the Frenchman reentered the fight for silver and bronze behind the unbeatable Remco Evenepoel and did not waste this chance. After a strong sprint, Laporte took the silver, slightly ahead of teammate Wout van Aert, who came in fourth.

Christophe Laporte wins the sprint for second. Sirotti photo.

Early in the race, the tempo was high. Van Aert and world time trial champion Tobias Foss were in a select group of favourites. At 75 kilometres from the finish, it was Pascal Eenkhoorn's turn. "I jumped in at the right moment. A little later, we got ahead with a nice quartet of riders", the Dutchman said.

"It's fantastic for my confidence that I was able to ride the final here", continued Eenkhoorn. The Team Jumbo-Visma rider seemed to be in contention for the medals for a long time. "Unfortunately, I simply couldn't follow on the final climb. I returned in the last kilometre and tried to pass right away."

Van Aert and Laporte moved back up to a medal position when Eenkhoorn's group stalled. Laporte won the sprint for silver but was unsure about the outcome. "I didn't know in what position I crossed the line. I'm happy with the silver. We came for the rainbow jersey, but we can be satisfied. We were unsure of the specifics of the course situation. With one lap remaining, we could have been able to take action if we had known this sooner ", Laporte said.

Van Aert was labeled a top favourite beforehand and ended up finishing fourth. The Belgian witnessed his compatriot Remco Evenepoel grab the world title. "We rode an excellent race. In the end, having fellow countrymen up front was a good thing. If there is different racing in our group, I can get to the final in an excellent position. I think many other riders also adjusted the course to me. Maybe that also gave Remco just a little bit more space. I'm glad I was able to fulfil that role. In the end, the strongest has won here", Van Aert concluded.

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Here's the report from third-place Michael Matthews' Team BikeExchange-Jayco:

Australian Michael Matthews secured a brilliant bronze in a thrilling sprint for the medals in the Men’s Elite UCI Road Race World Championships in Wollongong.

It had looked like a small chase group would sweep up the final medals behind the solo winner Remco Evenepoel, but the peloton charged passed them in the 300 final metres to fight for the silver and bronze.

In a messy and chaotic dash for the line, Matthews used all his experience and speed to sprint to a special third place on home soil, his second medal of the week after taking bronze in the mixed relay event on Wednesday.

The podium, from left: Christophe Laporte (2nd), Remco Evenepoel (1st) & Michael Matthews (3rd). Sirotti photo

Michael Matthews (3rd):
“I think if you told me I was going to be third in the morning, I might have been a little bit disappointed, but now the way the race panned out I’m definitely happy.

"Standing on the podium in front of my home crowd here in Australia, it doesn’t get much bigger than that. Unfortunately, it wasn’t with the rainbow stripes around my chest, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. My team were amazing today, I rode my race and we came away third.

"We had no idea [what medal we were sprinting for], especially with no radios it’s really hard to understand where everyone is. Only in the last 500 metres we caught the final bunch that was just in front of us, so we were sprinting, but we actually had no idea which position it was for.

"I must admit after the first few laps I went to the front of the bunch and soaked up the crowd, but after that it was back into race mode again. In the last two laps the crowd was so loud, we were going so fast up the climbs and I couldn’t really feel my legs too much because of how loud the crowd was. It was super special out there, I had tears in my eyes.”


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Here's the report from sixth-place Alexander Kristoff's Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert:

Alexander Kristoff took sixth place at the Road World Championships in Wollongong this Sunday, the best result ever for a rider of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in the elite category.

The peloton races along the coast. Sirotti photo

The race started in a traditional way with an initial early breakaway, until the French team accelerated on Mount Keira, isolating a group of 30 riders with Lorenzo Rota (Italy), Tadej Pogacar or Wout Van Aert.

Thanks to the work of the teammates of Georg Zimmermann (Germany), the dangerous counterattack was caught after the entry of the local circuit in Wollongong. Taco Van der Hoorn (The Netherlands) then took the lead of the peloton, controlling the gap to the breakaway of sixteen riders for more than two hours.

With three laps to go, or 75 kilometer, a new counterattack of twenty riders with Rota, Quinten Hermans (Belgium) and his compatriot Remco Evenepoel managed to escape. This group rapidly took a one minute gap on a disorganized peloton, that kept on loosing time.

With Evenepoel making his decisive attack, Lorenzo Rota battled in the first chasing group in the final race hour. He was in contention for a medal for a very long time, but in the end the peloton caught the Italian rider in the final kilometer. Norwegian rider Alexander Kristoff managed to sprint to sixth place.

“In the final of this hard race we were convinced that we were racing for the top 30. In the final kilometers the French team did a lead out for Christophe Laporte, followed by Matteo Trentin, Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews and myself. In the last hectometers we caught several groups, riders were literally everywhere so there was no room to sprint. My sixth place came out of nothing, because only after the finish I heard that we sprinted for the medals. It’s a pity that I couldn’t do the sprint as I wanted, with some more luck I maybe could have won a medal. But I’m satisfied about my performance. Also here on this hard course in Australia I showed that I’m able to achieve a good result at the World Championships. I’m now looking forward to my next race, Binche-Chimay-Binche, a race which is equally highly regarded by the partners of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux!” - Alexander Kristoff


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And here's the report from ninth-place Ethan Hayter's Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Ethan Hayter sprinted to ninth place in the World Championship men's road race for Great Britain.

The Grenadier was part of a fast-finishing peloton which reeled in a number of breakaway riders during a rapid final lap in Wollongong. It had looked like a group of riders, including GB's Ben Tulett, would stay clear to contest the top 10 positions before a late surge from the pack.

Tulett had done well to follow a decisive move with 75km to go, which also featured eventual race winner Remco Evenepoel (Belgium). The 25-strong group opened out a good advantage of over two minutes, and also consumed the day's early breakaway.

The Grenadiers also had representation in that initial move through Pavel Sivakov (France) and, on home roads, Luke Plapp (Australia).

With two laps to go Evenepoel was able to solo clear on Mount Pleasant, with the Belgian eventually winning by a dominant margin of 2:21.

Hayter secured a top-10 behind, with Christophe Laporte (France) and Michael Matthews (Australia) taking the remaining medals.

Tulett held on for 14th, with a number of Grenadiers also helping Team GB on the day. Luke Rowe, Ben Turner and Ben Swift got through a lot of work during the 266.9km race.

Here's INEOS rider Luke Rowe on the course. Sirotti photo

Dylan van Baarle (Netherlands) came home in the peloton, with Jhonatan Narvez (Ecuador) just behind, while Magnus Sheffield (United States) gained some great experience in his first senior Worlds road race.

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