Worlds – Under 23 Road Race


Kristoffer Halvorsen of Norway won the bunch kick to decided the Under 23 World Road Race Championship, Britain’s Jon Dibben was 9th

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Worlds – Under 23 Road Race

Kristoffer Halvorsen of Norway won the bunch kick to decided the Under 23 World Road Race Championship, Britain’s Jon Dibben was 9th

Halvorsen was the fastest by just over a wheel’s breadth as the bunch blasted across the finish line in Doha’s Pearl Island, beating Germany’s Pascal Ackermann into silver. Italy’s Jakub Mareczko was another half wheel or so back, ahead of Phil Bauhuas of Germany in fourth whilst Amund Grondahl (Norway) rounded out the top five. Jon Dibben of Britain was 9th.

Dibben said of the team, “It was alright, the boys were really good, it went to plan. James did a really good job when the gap got up to three minutes to bring it back. The finish was down to me, it was just carnage. I had good legs but it was quite sketchy in the finish there.”

An exhausted James Shaw said: “It was tough, it was really warm out there. I was constantly on the pedals out there, it was really fast. I’m dead now!” Gabz Cullaigh added: “It was quite tough really. Our plans kept changing during the race, we didn’t kow whether to be aggressive or help control it and in the end, we tried to help control it with the Norwegians. We got together with a lap to go, but it was all over the place and hectic.”

Halvorsen is Norway’s second winner in three years of the U-23 Men’s Road Race after Sven Erik Bystrom in 2014, who in turn followed compatriot Kurt-Asle Arvesen’s gold in the same event back in 1997.

For the 166 kilometre event to be decided by final bunch sprint had been widely predicted but for a long while it looked like anything but a certainty. A nine-man break, formed after 100 kilometres, worked well together until the closing kilometres, gaining a gap of up to three minutes.

By the last of the ten 15.2 km laps of the twisting Pearl circuit, though, the gap shrank to just 22 seconds. As the breakaway slowly disintegrated, USA rider Greg Daneil was the last rider to throw in the towel, after Norway, GB and Germany had collaborated to bring back the final survivor from the break with 10 kilometres to go.

The race continued at a ferociously high pace on the flat, technical course around the Pearl as the sprinters teams made certain that their men would not lose their chance in the finish. Britain, France and Spain also collaborated to ensure that none of the brief moves that followed when the break was caught could not get more than a few bike lengths, but France’s fine collective effort was shattered when a crash took place in the last 500 metres and two of their riders went down.

Seconds later, on a boulevard’s slightly rising curve to the right to the finishing gantry, Germany began their move early. But then in the last 200 metres Halvorsen came through alongside Ackermann, and managed, finally to get past the German almost at the last possible moment.

Jon Dibben 9th
Chris Latham 35th
Tao Geoghegan 45th
Gabz Cullaigh 79th
James Shaw 112th




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