2003 Road World Championships - CM
Hamilton, Canada, October 7-12, 2003
live report Results
Day 4 - October 10: U23 Men Road Race, 173 km
Complete Live Report
Commentary by Chris Henry, with additional reporting by Tim Maloney and Mark Zalewski
Time conversion guide: GMT = CEST - 2 hrs, AEST = CEST + 8 hrs, EDT = CEST
- 6 hrs, PDT = CEST - 9 hrs
Start time: 12:00 EDT
Estimated finish: 16:45 EDT
Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the World Championships and the first day of road racing in Hamilton. This morning the Junior Women kicked off the road events, and it was Loes Markerink of the Netherlands who took home the gold and the rainbow jersey, ahead of Irina Tolmacheva (Russia) and Sabine Fischer (Germany).
This afternoon the U23 Men's road race covers 173 kilometres (14 laps) over the Hamilton circuit. Among the principal contenders are strong teams from Australia, Russia, and the Netherlands, though the field is deep with a number of likely challengers. Australia's Rory Sutherland will race on the road as well as the time trial, and will be joined by strong riders like Gene Bates, Benjamin Johnson and Mark Renshaw, all of whom have impressed the European pro teams with good performances on the continent.
This is an important race for the espoirs riders. Not only is the prize of the rainbow jersey on offer, but a number of team directors from the European squads are on hand, eager to find new talent for the coming years. Strong performances in Hamilton could launch the careers of many young men.
13:41 EDT 60 km/113 km to go
Here's the situation after an hour and a half of racing. The peloton decided to stretch its legs on the first lap, riding piano with no attacks. That changed quickly enough, however, as the second lap saw the pace being forced and several riders (notably from South Africa) trying to go clear. The moves were all marked quickly by the Italians and the race remained together.
Belarussian Viktor Rapinksi, a dark horse for today's race who will ride next season in the Navigators team, tried his luck with an attack on the second climb on lap 3. He gained a gap, but was caught on the descent that followed.
On lap five two riders have moved clear: Assan Bazayev (Kazakhstan) and Alexander Arekeev (Russia). They went clear on the second climb, and are holding an advantage of 40" on the peloton.
The weather is once again cooperating for the riders, with temperatures in the mid 60s and sunny skies. The wind has picked up a little bit, giving the riders a slight push up the climbs.
At the end of the sixth lap the action is picking up and the attacks are continuing. Matic Strgar (Slovenia) attacked on the descent into Hamilton and built a small advantage but he was caught by the flying field and a new set of riders including Vincenzo Nibali (Italy), Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spain), Michal Pawlyta (Poland), and Preben Van Hecke (Belgium) was trying to get clear.
14:34 EDT 99 km/74 km to go
Johan Van Summeren of Belgium continues the attacks and has a small gap at the end of lap 8.
Cyclingnews spoke with Dr. Daniele Gaetano, Italian team doctor for the U23 team and doctor for US Postal Service. "Giovanni Visconti's in great shape," he said, "also Emanuele Sella is another guy who could be a favourite, but he's better on longer, harder cliumbs where there's more of a selection."
Opinions continue to vary on whether the hills in the Hamilton parcours will really provide enough of a challenge to break up the fields in the road races.
Cyclingnews also spoke with young American Patrick McCarty before the U23 race. McCarty is among the top ranked amateurs in the world and has signed a contract with US Postal Service for 2004. He wasn't too nervous before the start, and looked ready to test himself against the World's field.
"We're just going to go for it," he said of the American team. "We'll see what the road brings and how our legs are... there's no leader. Some of the other guys are nervous because they're looking for contracts for next year."
14:47 EDT 108 km/65 km to go
After nine laps a break has formed with an interesting composition. Most notably, Giovanni Visconti is out ahead, along with Belgium's Van Summeren and Sergey Lagutin (Uzbekistan).
The Russian team is mounting a serious chase, clearly aware of Visconti's potential.
the lead group has swapped names, and now it's Visconti's teammate Emanuele Sella in the move for Italy alongside Lagutin of Uzbekistan. They have a gap of 30" over the peloton.
The average speed after nine laps was 40.771 km/h.
15:13 EDT 125 km/48 km to go
The Ukranian and Dutch teams are doing most of the chasing now behind Lagutin and Sella, while a small group of five riders is lodged in between the break and the field. The Americans are looking good, riding up front and watching the moves.
In fact, Patrick McCarty is among the five riders trying to reach the two leaders, along with Australia's Rory Sutherland.
They've now caught the two leaders with nearly 30" on the peloton.
Shawn Milne (USA) has abandoned.
The group of seven has been caught thanks to a strong chase from the French. Rory Sutherland, riding strongly, has launched another counter attack to try to keep the move going on the second climb. McCarty and another rider have gone with him.
Great Britain's team manager explained that "We are riding for Tom Southam, so our guy who [retired] after the first five laps, was looking after him- feeding him. And we go to James Flannigan, he is there now. He is going to try to go the distance and help Tom in the finale. It has steadily gotten fast and faster each lap, so we are expecting an explosion."
At the top of the climb the lead group has established itself once more. The group still includes Sella, Sutherland, and Lagutin, along with Italy's Massimo Ianetti, who was powering a big gear up the climb. Nine riders have now gone clear, including some of the previous break, although McCarty looks to have dropped back. The gap is around 10".
15:24 EDT 141 km/32 km to go
The gap is 18" with just three laps remaining. The peloton is not letting the break get far, but if they continue to work together the advantage could go up. The Hamilton parcours is indeed not provoking the selection.
At the beginning of the 12th lap, Van Summeren made a big attack. Van Summeren rides for the Quick.Step amateur team, and has very good legs today. On the climb of Beckett Drive, Lagutin has come across to Van Summeren and Sella is driving the remainder of the break chasing the two leaders.
Pieter Weening, one of the top Rabobank U23 riders, has gotten across to the move for the Netherlands. At the top of the first climb the two attackers are back in the break, which is now 10 strong and looking more serious. Behind the peloton is starting to explode and the cooperation is not great.
In the break: Van Summeren, Bazenov, Renders, Sutherland, Gusev, Ianetti, Matzbacher, Lagutin, Sella, Weening.
Sella has had a mechanical and was forced to have a bike change. He's now in a chase group that's forming, including McCarty.
Sutherland has also flatted out of the break, and after a wheel change is now back in the peloton. The break has about 20" still on the bunch. The Belgians are looking strong, and Van Summeren looks to have the best legs at this point. Lagutin is getting tired, and the break will have to watch out for Gusev, who has a good sprint. Weening is not the fastest finisher but is a very smart and crafty rider.
Van Summeren is hurting the others on the climbs.
The chase is still not too well organized. Meanwhile, somewhat surprisingly, race outsider Rapinski has abandoned.
Patrick McCarty continues to head up the first chase group behind what is now a lead group of 8 after the punctures of Sella and Sutherland.
15:40 EDT 138 km/35 km to go
Spain's Isidro Cerrato is now trying to bridge to the leaders as the race enters the final phases with two laps to go.
The leaders are passing through the pits now and the advantage has gone up quite a bit, nearly a minute.
Van Summeren is once again testing his rivals and has moved off the front. The rest bring him back, but it's a sign of the Belgian's strength. Fatigue will become a major factor in the closing kilometres, and the riders have been racing for 3 hours and 40 minutes.
Cerrato is still trying to get across as the race heads uphill once again on Beckett Drive. In the break the Italian Ianetti is playing a waiting game, and Sella's absence has changed the team's tactics somewhat.
Cerrato has reached the leaders after a very good chase. Van Summeren continues to show the most muscle though most riders are pulling through in the break.
Sella and teammate Vincenzo Nibali have been dropped from the main field, so the Italian climber Sella is no longer an option.
Cerrato is hanging on the back of the break trying to recover from his effort.
The break's advantage is going up over the chase group and the peloton as the leaders head toward the start/finish line.
The chase group includes four riders, 15" behind the leaders and a further 30" ahead of the peloton.
The leaders are starting to watch each other and small gaps are opening between the wheels and the two Belgian riders (Renders and Van Summeren) have opened some distance on the rest. It was not a concerted attack, but seeing the small gap they've started to put in a bigger effort.
15:56 EDT 161 km/12 km to go
Van Summeren is hammering up the second climb now trying to keep the small gap on the rest of the break, along with his teammate Renders. The others are slowly clawing their way back, however. The chase group is also splitting up.
Renders leads the break into the descent, while Cerrato continues to hang on the back, scrambling to hold the wheels.
The crowds are quite big as the leaders head into the start/finish area for the final lap.
At the start/finish the break has more than a minute on the field, which should be enough to hold off until the finish.
The chase group is working its way closer, though, and the lead group could still grow.
16:01 EDT 164 km/9 km to go
The junction is made up front, meaning the lead group is now up to some 10 or 11 riders. Now the counter attacks are bound to come as they hit the first hill.
Here it comes! One rider has gone clear on the climb with a powerful attack. The Uzbekistan's Lagutin attacks and is chased by Italian Ianetti. The break is exploding behind.
It's back together now, but a few have been lost. Cerrato is dropped, and forced to chase now with two other riders.
Van Summeren grabs a drink at the back of the break and checks out the competition.
Another attack has gone clear and it's the lone Italian Ianetti. Renders takes up the chase and Ianetti dangles about 100m ahead.
On the steady descent the break reforms once more and the cat and mouse is about to begin. Heading into the final climb the riders in the break will be hitting the first moment of truth. Will anyone be strong enough to break free and hold on to the finish, or are we looking at a small bunch sprint in the making?
16:09 EDT 170 km/3 km to go
Ianetti still has a few seconds in hand, but more importantly the peloton is closing in! The leaders have been watching each other too long and all of the sudden the peloton is within 30".
A Belgian rider attacks, and naturally it's Van Summeren looking to make a difference on the final climb.
The peloton has almost made contact! The break completely blows now as Van Summeren tries to hold on (Ianetti is back). The Uzbek rider Lagutin now tries a new attack. Lagutin has been strong all day and now is his chance to try to make the decisive move.
Van Summeren reaches Lagutin again with the break essentially together, and still just slightly ahead of the peloton as they reach the top of the final climb.
Watch out for Pieter Weening, who's forcing the pace up front. The pack is within seconds of the break heading into the fast final descent.
Van Summeren continues to put everything into the move.
Weening has been replaced by his teammate Thomas Dekker, who has jumped across to the leaders on the descent and into the final corner. The rest of the break will survive until the sprint.
Dekker leads out the sprint for the Netherlands but Van Summeren comes through. They're pushing each other to all the way to the line, and at the line it's Lagutin who gets the sprint for Uzbekistan.
1 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb)
2 Johan Van Summeren (Bel)
3 Thomas Dekker (Ned)
16:15 EDT - Finish
Lagutin is overwhelmed with joy and full of energy as he stops after the line. Uzbekistan has a new hero and he can't believe it.
1 Sergey Lagutin (Uzbekistan)
2 Johan Van Summeren (Belgium)
3 Thomas Dekker (Netherlands)
4 Jens Renders (Belgium)
5 Matej Mugerli (Slovenia)
6 Alexander Bazenov (Russia)
7 Marcus Fothen (Germany)
8 Pieter Weening (Netherlands)
9 Massimo Ianetti (Italy)
the Cyclingnews commentary team! Latest
live report Results