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2003 Road Worlds
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2003 Road World Championships - CM

Hamilton, Canada, October 7-12, 2003

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Day 5 - October 11: Junior Men Road Race, 124 km

Strong solo for Reus

By Mark Zalewski in Hamilton, Ontario

Kai Reus celebrates
Photo: © M.Zalewski/CN
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Dutchman Kai Reus confirmed himself as the number one junior rider of 2003 by taking out the World Championship in a solo breakaway. At the end of the 12 laps (124 km) Reus crossed the line 14 seconds in front of Danish rider Anders Lund, with Lukaz Fus (Czech Republic) taking third.

When the Junior Men's Road race began this morning, it was hard to tell what way the course went even 200 meters in front of you. Fog once again enveloped Hamilton, as well as slick road surfaces. Similar to the Junior Women's race, an early crash ended the day for a handful of riders.

But as the day went on, the roads began to dry and the action started. Attacks came and went. An gutsy solo effort from Australia's Matt Goss came with more than 100 km remaining. But that effort was wasted due to an unlucky puncture. In the end, it was a five-man break on the last lap that launched the winner. Two dutch riders, Kai Reus and Sebastian Langeveld, were able to work together against the others, taking turns attacking in the finals kilometres. Eventually Reus was able to get away from the group and soloed to the win from 3.5 km to go.

How it unfolded

Photo: © M.Zalewski/CN
Click for larger image

There were many strong teams lining up for the race today, totaling 143 riders. The pace was a cautious one in the early laps, as the wet pavement led to riders losing control of their rear wheels. On the second lap, down James Mountain Road on the second descent, an Irish rider momentarily locked up his rear wheel. He was able to save it, but other riders were already reacting and a chain-reaction ensued. Five riders went crashing over each other into the barriers, the worst of which involved Canadian Kevin Lacombe. Lacombe went head-first over his handlebars, landing on his head. Medical teams soon responded to the scene, rushing him to hospital. As of noon he was listed in critical condition with head injuries, but this was later downgraded to concussion.

With drier roads, the racing picked up and Australian Matt Goss decided to try his luck. More than 100 km from the finish, the solo effort was met with mixed reactions from the peloton. Goss soon had 23 seconds on the pack coming through the start/finish, with a few riders deciding to chase. Alexandr Kovdiy and Julen Goikoetxea began to make progress in bridging the gap. But on the climb up Becket Drive, Goss suffered a rear puncture and lost most of his lead.

He remounted with only an eight second lead on the chasers, who by then had 25 seconds on the pack. The three eventually joined up and worked together up to the second climb. But the lead wasn't big enough, and the peloton easily reeled in the gamblers as they ascended the climb.

Problems for Taylor
Photo: © M.Zalewski/CN
Click for larger image

The Americans were rather quiet up to this point, staying safe and conserving energy in the group. However, through the feed zone on lap five, Zach Taylor gave his coaches a little unwanted excitement. As riders were grabbing for bottles, a few reached too far and quickly ended up on the deck. Following this, Taylor had no chance to avoid the crash. Luckily, it was right in front of his team box, and a quick bike change got him back on his way only a few hundred meters down.

After the chaos of the feed zone, France's Julien Loubet powered away up Becket Drive, the second of the two major climbs, and came down into Hamilton with a mere ten second lead. But anything under a minute on the course here in Hamilton is not worth much, and the pack was able to snag the young Frenchmen at the top of the next climb.

It wasn't until 3.5 laps remained, that a significant move came. Slovakia's Simon Spilak stirred things up, with Thomas Frei of Switzerland and Andy Schleck of Luxembourg following. Two more riders, Italy's Mauro Finetto and Sweden's Johan Lindgren, joined the effort at the top of the first climb. This strung out the main pack, as the pace quickened. The break worked for a short while, but wasn't meant to be. However, this started the flurry of moves that would eventually decide the winner, one of these coming from Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukraine).

With 33km, Grabovskyy had 15 seconds on a chase by Spilak, who himself had 23 on another five, which included American rider Zach Grabowski, German Carlo Westphal, France's Nicolas Hartmann, as well as Reus and Langeveld. As in the other races to this point, the chase came together on the second descent. This group gained on the pack and increased to almost thirty seconds.

With one lap to go the pack really hit the gas, and began to close the gap down. The lead group responded and quickened its pace, shedding a few riders. With less than 10 km remaining, the break had shrunk. The two Dutch riders, Reus and Langeveld, were in command with Hartmann and another rider trying to stay with the lead. The gap to the peloton had dwindled to just 15 seconds, and had the leaders in sight.

At this point, the two teammates began to attack the other two riders in an effort to break free. "We indeed had a tactic," said Reus. "Sebastian was the fastest of us two. He told me, 'If you go, then you will break the group,'" clearly trying to get Langeveld the win. However, when Reus attacked at 7 km to go as planned, Hartmann couldn't respond, and the Dutch rider created a gap.

On the descent, Reus tucked into an aero position to hold his slim margin, as Langeveld covered a last-ditch effort by Hartmann. By now, the peloton had caught the remaining chasers and had their sights set on Reus. Into the final two kilometres, Reus nervously looked over his shoulder at the swarming pack. "I didn't expect to stay away from the group," he explained. "I didn't have too much reserve, but I was so willing to win - I was in the flow of the race, so I thought, 'I'm gonna win this race - I'm gonna get this win!'" And he did, crossing the line with enough time to celebrate.

A few hundred meters behind the race for silver hit full-tilt. Second place Anders Lund knew what he needed to do. "I know it was important for me to be in the front in the last corner. But actually, I was first in the [chase] group until the last kilometre. I only reached the front within the last kilometre. It was just straight ahead in the group and just sprinting. It was very hectic and you didn't have much time to think about it."

Reus, a former marathon speedskater who turned to cycling only one year ago, reported before the race that he wasn't feeling too well. "I wasn't feeling good throughout the race - but that kept me sharp, very intense. At one point I was even riding in the second group. Until I said to myself: what do you really want? Then I decided to ride to the front for a change, so I sprinted away - and you see the result, it wasn't a problem at all."


Images by Jon Devich/www.www.epicimages.us

Images by Mark Zalewski/Cyclingnews.com

Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti

Images by Robert Naish/www.bikecrazie.com


1 Kai Reus (Netherlands)              3.01.30
2 Anders Lund (Denmark)                  0.14
3 Lukaz Fus (Czech Republic)                 
4 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spain)             
5 Johan Lindgren (Sweden)                    
6 Pieter Jacobs (Belgium)                    
7 Grega Bole (Slovenia)                      
8 Mikael Cherel (France)                     
9 Tom Leezer (Netherlands)                   
10 Sebastian Langeveld (Netherlands)         
11 Valerio Agnoli (Italy)                    
12 Maxim Belkov (Russia)                     
13 Julien Loubet (France)                    
14 Rafaa Chtioui (Tunisia)                   
15 Viktor Panaev (Russia)                    
16 Jan-Thomas Hessling (Germany)             
17 Juan Pablo Suarez (Colombia)              
18 Danilo Wyss (Switzerland)                 
19 Martin Velits (Slovakia)                  
20 Remy Di Gregorio (France)                 
21 Michael Randin (Switzerland)              
22 Pawel Wachnik (Poland)                    
23 Jonathan Hivert (France)                  
24 Anton Reshetnikov (Russia)                
25 William Walker (Australia)                
26 Simon Spilak (Slovenia)                   
27 Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic)          
28 Geraint Thomas (Great Britain)            
29 Igor Klak (Poland)                        
30 Thomas Frei (Switzerland)                 
31 Joris Costermans (Belgium)                
32 Peter Velits (Slovakia)                   
33 Craig Lewis (USA)                         
34 Tom Stamsnijder (Netherlands)             
35 Rasmus Fjordside Lehrmann (Denmark)       
36 Berendt Hansen Anders (Denmark)           
37 Andy Schleck (Luxembourg)                 
38 Daniels Ernestovskis (Latvia)             
39 Viktor Renaeng (Sweden)                   
40 Luke Mccarthy (New Zealand)               
41 Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Belgium)           
42 Gasper Svab (Slovenia)                    
43 Jelle Vanendert (Belgium)                 
44 Pavel Kalinin (Russia)                0.21
45 Anatoliy Yugov (Ukraine)              0.38
46 Enrico Peruffo (Italy)                    
47 Matthias Schroeger (Austria)              
48 Pawel Cieslik (Poland)                    
49 Jempy Drucker (Luxembourg)                
50 Mauro Finetto (Italy)                     
51 Maciej Bodnar (Poland)                    
52 Ivo Vilumovs (Latvia)                     
53 Fabio Sabatini (Italy)                    
54 Rui Costa (Portugal)                      
55 Nicolas Hartman (France)                  
56 Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukraine)               
57 Simon Clarke (Australia)              0.50
58 Brandon Crichton (Canada)                 
59 Andrey Zeits (Kazakhstan)                 
60 Zachary Grabowski (USA)                   
61 Kota Nishimura (Japan)                    
62 Clemens Fankhauser (Austria)              
63 Daniel Zsombok (Hungary)                  
64 Vid Ogris (Slovenia)                      
65 Alexander Gottfried (Germany)             
66 Denis Cioban (Moldavia)                   
67 Andrius Buividas (Lithuania)              
68 Andrew Wyper (Australia)                  
69 Nazareno Rossi (Switzerland)          0.59
70 Michael Schaer (Switzerland)          1.01
71 Viktor Tonev (Bulgaria)               1.05
72 Carlo Westphal (Germany)              1.07
73 Leon Nel (South Africa)               1.20
74 Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia)              
75 David Klyne (Australia)                   
76 Ruslan Sambris (Moldavia)             1.36
77 Wilson Marentes (Colombia)            1.37
78 Norbert Duerauer (Austria)            1.39
79 Ignatas Konovalovas (Lithuania)       1.45
80 Stian Sommerseth (Norway)             1.59
81 Jurgen Roelandts (Belgium)                
82 Steven Cozza (USA)                    3.15
83 Oleg Chuzhda (Ukraine)                3.20
84 Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic)        4.32
85 John Devine (USA)                     5.22
86 Raphael Tremblay (Canada)             5.47
87 William Thompson (New Zealand)        5.50
88 Yusuke Hatanaka (Japan)               6.36
89 Francesco Masciarelli (Italy)         6.51
90 Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spain)               
91 Nico Graf (Germany)                   6.57
92 Jakub Slotta (Slovakia)               7.21
93 Alexandr Kovdiy (Kazakhstan)          7.56
94 Kristofers Racenajs (Latvia)              
95 Veaceslav Talasimov (Moldavia)        8.29
96 Janis Ozols (Latvia)                 10.49
97 Juha-Matti Alaluusua (Finland)            
98 Oliver Dalberg (Estonia)                  
99 Egan Tarr (South Africa)             11.57
100 Bogdan Stoytchev (Bulgaria)              
101 Ervin Korts-Laur (Estonia)          12.08
102 Lars Boom (Netherlands)             13.04
103 Kasper Jebjerg (Denmark)                 
104 Justas Volungevicius (Lithuania)    14.13
105 Bruno Lima (Portugal)                    
106 David Studnicka (Czech Republic)         
107 Roderick Muscat MLT                      
108 Christian Meier (Canada)                 
109 Julen Goikoetxea Garate (Spain)     16.37
110 Jose Antonio Redondo Ramos (Spain)       
DNF Diego Milan Jimenez (Spain)              
HD Matthew Goss (Australia)                  
HD Mathias Belka (Germany)                   
HD Raivis Ritums (Latvia)                    
HD Zachary Taylor (USA)                      
HD Gilber Kask (Estonia)                     
HD Akos Haiszer (Hungary)                    
HD Gergely Liska (Hungary)                   
HD Haakon Lilland (Norway)                   
HD Yarden Gazit (Israel)                     
HD Matthew Brammeier (Great Britain)         
HD Paul Brady (Ireland)                      
HD King Wai Cheung (Hong-Kong)               
HD Gregory Prince (South Africa)             
HD Christian Herforth Finnerup (Denmark)     
HD Leonard Snoeks (Norway)                   

Note: HD = Hors Delai/outside time limit