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World Championships - CM

Verona, Italy, September 27-October 3, 2004

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Race 8 - Saturday October 2: Road Race - Junior Men, 132.75km

Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Tim Maloney and Shane Stokes

Complete live report

Live coverage starts: 9:00 CEST
Estimated finish time: 12:30 CEST

09:11 CEST    7km/125.7km to go
Welcome to our live coverage of the Junior Men's race, which will be conducted over nine laps of the Verona circuit for a total of 132.75 km. It's a cool morning here in Verona, but once again it's dry.

After 2 km of racing, there was a crash involving a Ukrainian, Danish and American rider. All three got up and are chasing.

At the base of the Torricelle for the first time, Viktor Renäng (Sweden) attacks and takes three riders with time: A Polish, Russian and Czech rider, names to be confirmed.

09:25 CEST    16km/116.7km to go
Nick Clesen (Luxembourg) leads the now compact peloton through for the end of lap 1, with the riders completing it in a time of 23'05 (a little over 38 km/h). Prominent at the front of the peloton are the Dutch, Ukrainian and Italian teams.

Due to an early crash, there's already a group of 16 riders chasing at 45 seconds, led by a tall New Zealand rider, Avery Clinton.

09:37 CEST    22km/110.7km to go
It's gruppo compatto in the juniors race for the second time up Torricelle. At the front is Roman Kireyev (Kazakhstan).

09:49 CEST    30km/102.7km to go
At the end of lap two, it's still gruppo compatto with the large field coming across the start/finish line in Verona. That lap was ridden in a relatively slow 23'44, with Marcel Barth (Germany) riding on the front. There is a chase group of eight at 50 seconds, victims of an early crash.

10:00 CEST    38km/94.7km to go
As they go up the Torricelle for the third of nine times, there is an attack by Kevin Seeldrayers (Belgium). He is joined by a Ukrainian, Russian and Spanish rider, and they have a 5 second gap over the peloton, which is still riding tempo.

10:15 CEST    45km/87.7km to go
At the end of lap three, we have a breakaway of six riders: Kevin Seeldrayers (Belgium), Pierre Rolland (France), Vitaliy Buts (Ukraine) and Ivan Rovnyi (Russia) all attacked on the climb, and were joined by Marco Corti (Italy) and Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spain) on the descent. They came through the finish with a 30 second lead over the peloton, having ridden the lap in 22'40, the fastest to date.

Note: Marco Corti is the son of Claudio Corti, 1977 World Champion and current manager of Saeco.

Adam Switters (USA) crashed during lap three and has abandoned. There was also a crash through the team box area, which is very tight.

10:21 CEST    52km/80.7km to go
They're now on the Torricelle for the fourth time, with the Belgians controlling the rather modestly sized peloton of 50 riders at the moment. The break has been caught, and it's Alexandr Pliuschin (Moldova) driving the front of the peloton.

10:22 CEST   
Kevin Seeldrayers (Belgium), who was in the break on the last lap, has attacked again. But it's not a real one and there is a hard counter by a Czech rider. But they're at the top of the climb now.

10:24 CEST    54km/78.7km to go
The Czech rider was Roman Kreuziger, one of the favourites for today. But he wasn't allowed to get clear. There are plenty of Belgian jerseys at the front of the bunch, as well as Simon Clarke (Aus).

10:29 CEST    55km/77.7km to go
The peloton hits the flat at the foot of the descent and Maes (Bel) attacks with Thijs Van Amerongen (Netherlands), Simone Ponzi (Italy), Matthew Goss (Australia) and Geraint Thomas (Great Britain). They are joined by a few more riders, and it's a group of 10 going past the team boxes with a 10 second gap on the peloton.

10:31 CEST    59km/73.7km to go
Alexander Slivkin (Russia) is also there, and he does a turn up the finishing straight. This is a well composed group of 11, but now the peloton is getting organised.

10:33 CEST   
That fourth lap was ridden in 22'58. The group has a 25 second lead on a Czech rider - Petr Novotny - who has attacked the peloton.

10:37 CEST    63km/69.7km to go
The lead group contains: Nicolas Maes (Belgium), Thijs Van Amerongen (Netherlands), Simone Ponzi (Italy), Matthew Goss (Australia), Pawel Cieslik (Poland), Alexandre Binet (France), Márcio Barbosa (Portugal), Geraint Thomas (Great Britain), Alexander Slivkin (Russia), Sebastian Hans (Germany) and Hector Gonzalez Baeza (Spain). They lead Novotny by 35 seconds at the foot of the Torricelle, but there are now more reactions coming from out of the peloton.

10:40 CEST    65km/67.7km to go
Maes does a short turn on the climb, then Van Amerongen does an even shorter one. The peloton is riding as a solid block, with no-one chasing yet.

Jorge Pereira (Portugal) has crashed, and is not getting up in a hurry.

10:41 CEST   
Michael Schär (Switzerland) has joined the leading group after chasing on the climb.

10:43 CEST    66km/66.7km to go
Marcel Barth (Germany) and Blel Kadri (France) are chasing the lead group of 12, which has reached the top of the Torricelle for the fifth time. They're at about 15 seconds. The peloton is another 15 seconds back.

10:46 CEST    68km/64.7km to go
Over the top of the climb, the peloton is in bits again, but has made contact with the break. All together, more or less.

10:48 CEST    70km/62.7km to go
Roman Kreuziger (Cze) gives it the gas on the descent, trying to establish a break. The peloton is strung out behind him.

10:51 CEST   
At the base of the descent, Kreuziger urges one of the Italian riders on, trying to get him to work a bit more. Alexander Slivkin (Russia attacks), but Maes brings the bunch back to him.

10:52 CEST    72km/60.7km to go
There are two pelotons now, separated by about 15 seconds. In front there are perhaps 35-40 riders, with another slightly smaller group behind. Blel Kadri (France) attacks, just before the team boxes.

10:54 CEST    73km/59.7km to go
Edwin Crossling (NZl) has pulled out.

In front, Kadri is joined by Kevin Seeldrayers (Belgium). They have about 10 seconds. An Aussie and a Russian are trying to get up to them.

10:57 CEST    75km/57.7km to go
Chasing Seeldrayers and Kadri are Jempy Drucker (Luxembourg), Pavel Kochetkov (Russia) and Matt Goss (Australia). The peloton is another 10 seconds back as they head across the river Adige again. The chase group has made contact.

10:58 CEST    77km/55.7km to go
Clarke (Aus) is on the front of the peloton, slowing it down and allowing the five leaders to get 34 seconds.

In front: Kevin Seeldrayers (Belgium), Blel Kadri (France), Jempy Drucker (Luxembourg), Pavel Kochetkov (Russia), Matt Goss (Australia).

11:01 CEST   
Goss does a hard turn as they hit the lower part of the Torricelle. The five are working well - much better than the big break on the last lap. Seeldrayers is strong today.

11:03 CEST    80km/52.7km to go
It's 56 seconds to the bunch, which is now led by a couple of Swedish riders.

Seeldrayers is now off the front - Goss can't hold his wheel. Kadri is also in trouble, but he's hanging on. Seeldrayers keeps looking back - he should wait for another lap because he needs the help on the flat.

11:04 CEST   
The peloton is now being led by the Belgian team, which is not riding particularly hard obviously. Now one of the Italians attacks.

11:06 CEST    82km/50.7km to go
The Italian is Simone Ponzi, but he is caught by Oleg Opryshko (Ukraine) and then the rest of the peloton.

Seeldrayers now has about 15 seconds on Kadri, Drucker, Kochetkov and Goss as he reaches the top of the Torricelle.

11:09 CEST   
Drucker is leading the chase group behind Seeldrayers, while Kreuziger is towing the peloton, nearly taking himself out by looking back at the same time as overlapping the wheel in front. Favourites do that sometimes.

At the top of the climb, Seeldrayers is still away, while the front part of the peloton has made contact with the four chasers.

11:10 CEST    83km/49.7km to go
Chris Stockburger (USA) is just off the back of the peloton over the top of the climb.

Seeldrayers is now on the descent, taking time to eat.

11:11 CEST    84km/48.7km to go
Seeldrayers has got his biggest gear wound up very fast as he tackles the descent, with a bunch of some 30 riders forming behind him, at 15 seconds. The peloton is growing, as more riders chase on.

11:13 CEST   
One of the Aussies - is that Goss again? - has attacked on the descent in pursuit of the Belgian.

11:15 CEST    85km/47.7km to go
Goss closes the gap at the bottom of the descent, and rides past Seeldrayers, doing a big turn. The peloton is only a few seconds back, with Kreuziger on the front. Perhaps 60 riders in the bunch again now.

11:16 CEST    87km/45.7km to go
Goss sits up and sees Michael Schär (Swi) bringing up three riders. The peloton is not far behind as it races through the team boxes. All together, in a long line.

11:19 CEST    88km/44.7km to go
Three laps to go, as the Moldavian rider Alexandr Pliuschin hammers across the start/finish with a five second gap. Schär is in pursuit, with the 60 rider peloton close behind. They're on the cobbles, and Schär closes the gap.

11:22 CEST    90km/42.7km to go
It's the tall Michael Schär (Switzerland) and the much shorter Alexandr Pliuschin (Moldova) in the lead on lap 7 as they approach the Torricelle. A German rider attacks the bunch in pursuit. The Germans haven't been prominent in the breaks today.

11:23 CEST    92km/40.7km to go
Kreuziger has caught the chasers, which also included Maes, leaving just two riders in front. The Czech must be feeling good today, as he's spent a lot of energy chasing down breaks rather than making them.

Pliuschin and Schär are now on the climb.

11:25 CEST    93km/39.7km to go
Another chase group has formed with Marco Corti (Italy), Pierre Rolland (France), Simon Clarke (Australia) and one other.

Schär is too strong for Pliuschin, even though he wants to wait for him. He decides that he's better off riding his own tempo.

11:26 CEST   
Phillip Seubert (Germany) is the fourth rider in the chase group.

11:28 CEST    95km/37.7km to go
Rob Ruigh (Netherlands) has joined the chase group, which also has Marco Corti (Italy), Pierre Rolland (France), Simon Clarke (Australia) and Phillip Seubert (Germany).

They are closing in on Alexandr Pliuschin (Moldova), but Michael Schär is still away.

11:28 CEST   
Samuel Dias Coelho (Portugal) has abandoned.

11:32 CEST    97km/35.7km to go
Schär has about 15 seconds on Pliuschin, 27 seconds on the five chasers and 46 seconds on the peloton. The Swiss rider looks very good, built the same as yesterday's winner Siutsou.

The reactions have started in the peloton, and Jacobs (Bel) and Spilak (Slo) have closed the gap to the chase group of five.

Schär is at the top of the climb. Kreuziger hammers with Jacobs on his wheel and about 10 others. The Moldavian is caught. Peloton in tatters, yet again.

11:34 CEST    98km/34.7km to go
Schär takes time to eat on the descent, as a group of 12-13 comes back to him on the descent. There are two Belgians there, including Jacobs. Another bigger group is at 20 seconds. They should come back.

11:36 CEST    99km/33.7km to go
We now have Michael Schär (Switzerland), Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic), Simon Spilak (Slovenia), Simon Clarke (Australia) in the lead, with another group of 12 or so trying to close the gap. Kreuziger is flying, trying to keep the pace up.

At the bottom of the descent, there are 16 riders together. Then bits and pieces of the peloton chasing.

11:39 CEST   
The group of 16 sits up a bit by the team boxes, grabbing food and drink. The peloton is about 15 seconds back.

11:42 CEST    102km/30.7km to go
The group has Michael Schär (Switzerland), Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic), Simon Spilak (Slovenia), Simon Clarke (Australia), Ben Hermans and Pieter Jacobs (Belgium), Robert Gesink and Rob Ruigh (Netherlands), Eros Capecchi and Marco Corti (Italy), Geraint Thomas (Great Britain), Pierre Rolland (France), Alexandr Pliuschin (Moldova) in it, but there is a counter attack just before the end of the seventh lap.

Five leaders: Geraint Thomas (Great Britain), Simon Clarke (Australia), Rob Ruigh (Netherlands), Pierre Rolland (France) and Rob Ruigh (Netherlands). Maybe 10 seconds on the strung out peloton with two laps to go.

11:46 CEST    106km/26.7km to go
Clarke does a big turn as the break heads over the Adige and up towards the climb. The break is looking back too much, not really working hard.

In the bunch, one of the Belgians pushes his teammate to do a turn, from second wheel. Then Michael Schär (Switzerland) counters, taking a Russian with him and Thomas Vedel Kvist (Denmark).

Maurice O'Brien (Ireland) has abandoned, looking reasonably happy. Fabio Donesna (Italy) is another one out.

11:48 CEST    108km/24.7km to go
A crash brings down Hector Gonzalez Baeza (Spain) and two Swiss riders.

In front we have eight riders now, but the Belgians are driving the peloton back up to them. It looks like Seeldrayers doing the damage. Spilak is on his wheel, and does a wheelie! What the?? First time I've seen that in the front group in any race.

11:51 CEST   
We've now got a group of 15 riders in front, with Spilak, Kreuziger, Schär and more. Spilak and Kreuziger keep attacking. This is causing much pain.

11:53 CEST    110km/22.7km to go
Spilak attacks for the third time on the Torricelle, and now has a gap. He's feeling it too. That was a hard attack. He comes back.

Eros Capecchi (Italy), Roman Kreuziger, Spilak, Jacobs, Hermans, Gesink are all there. This is looking interesting. Kreuziger rides a little way off the front, but he can't get clear.

11:55 CEST    111km/21.7km to go
Over the of the climb, which was ridden in 7'17 - the fastest yet - we have Simon Spilak (Slovenia), Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic), Robert Gesink (Netherlands), Ben Hermans and Pieter Jacobs (Belgium), Eros Capecchi (Italy).

At 17 seconds is a group of three containing Geraint Thomas (GBr). This should be the winning move in front.

11:57 CEST    112km/20.7km to go
Kreuziger leads the man group on the descent. Schär and Thomas are chasing at 14 seconds, and also a Portuguese rider: Vitor Rodrigues. They catch the leaders.

11:58 CEST    113km/19.7km to go
We now have nine riders leading on the descent: Simon Spilak (Slovenia), Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic), Robert Gesink (Netherlands), Ben Hermans and Pieter Jacobs (Belgium), Eros Capecchi (Italy, Geraint Thomas (Great Britain), Michael Schär (Switzerland), Vitor Rodrigues (Portugal). There are more riders chasing back on, and they could well make contact.

11:59 CEST    114km/18.7km to go
The cooperation is terrible in the front group, particularly between Kreuziger, Spilak and Capecchi. More riders catch on.

Hermans decides to attack - good thinking.

12:00 CEST   
Kreuziger and Ruigh join Hermans, followed by the rest of the bunch. Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Belgium) is also there, as is Clarke (Aus).

12:01 CEST   
Two riders - Cyril Gautier (France) and Rafaâ Chtioui (Tunisia)- attack through the team boxes, with the Chtioui completely missing his bidon. Ooops. Only one more lap anyway.

12:02 CEST    116km/16.7km to go
Chtioui is too strong for the Frenchman but has to sit up and wait for the rest of the group. It reforms for the final lap, with perhaps 20 riders in contention.

12:04 CEST    118km/14.7km to go
Belgium has four riders in the front group and is the best represented nation: Van Aelbroeck, Jacobs, Seeldrayers and Hermans. One more lap it's surely the winner will come from this group. That last lap was ridden in 22'27.

12:04 CEST   
The next group comes across the line at 55 seconds. It's not coming back.

12:05 CEST    119km/13.7km to go
Michiel Van Aelbroeck drives hard on the cobbles with Kreuziger on his wheel. The plan is to make it as hard as possible for the final climb.

12:07 CEST    120km/12.7km to go
Van Aelbroeck is putting in an enormous effort, and will keep it going for as long as possible. Kreuziger is stuck to his wheel, followed by Cyril Gautier (France).

12:08 CEST    121km/11.7km to go
Van Aelbroeck drives and drives to the foot of the Torricelle. Kreuziger is happy. Now Jacobs moves up. Van Aelbroeck pulls off.

12:08 CEST   
Clarke attacks first.

12:09 CEST    122km/10.7km to go
Clarke has a Russian rider in pursuit as he gives it full gas on the climb. The rest of the front group is watching each other, especially Kreuziger, Jacobs and Spilak.

12:10 CEST    123km/9.7km to go
Ivan Rovnyi (Russia) is pursuing Clarke, but he's not making any ground. Clarke has about 15 seconds on the peloton, and is hurting.

12:11 CEST    124km/8.7km to go
The chase group hasn't reacted, with Kreuziger marshalling the front, watching. Clarke leads, then Rovnyi at 10 seconds, and the bunch at 15 seconds. Clarke looks back.

12:11 CEST   
Clarke is giving it everything as he hits the false flat. Look out - here comes Kreuziger!

12:12 CEST    125km/7.7km to go
Kreuziger has smashed the group and has caught Clarke with Rovnyi hanging on. A few others are up there too - most of the group in fact.

12:13 CEST   
Clarke explodes a little, but keeps trying. Kreuziger is working hard to establish the gap. He can't. The group comes back together.

12:15 CEST    126km/6.7km to go
Kreuziger attacks again, but he hasn't got the strength to get away any more. Jacobs takes over, then Capecchi. Spilak, Gesink , Hermans - all there. Kreuziger slows...

Clarke is about 20 m off the back with Thomas.

One of the South Africans is lapped.

Spilak counters!

12:16 CEST   
Spilak can't get clear either and Capecchi, Kreuziger, Jacobs, Hermans all close the gap. Ruigh is there too. Kreuziger and Jacobs go hard over the top. Ouch.

12:16 CEST   
That was the fastest climb - in 7'13.

12:17 CEST   
Kreuziger, Jacobs, Capecchi, Hermans, Gesink , Spilak and is that Rafaâ Chtioui (Tunisia)?? Yes it is!

12:18 CEST    127km/5.7km to go
Rafaâ Chtioui (Tunisia) keeps going! Kreuziger chases him, followed by Simon Spilak (Slovenia), Rob Gesink (Netherlands), Ben Hermans, and Pieter Jacobs (Belgium), and Eros Capecchi (Italy).

12:19 CEST   
Chtioui and Kreuziger are together on the descent, chased by a group of five riders. The Tunisian is definitely not holding back. He nearly loses it on the left hander, but holds it up.

12:21 CEST    129km/3.7km to go
Kreuziger and Chtioui lead Spilak, Jacobs, Hermans, Gesink and Capecchi by 10 seconds at the foot of the descent. Kreuziger can't believe it - he tried so much to get away on the climb but couldn't.

12:22 CEST    130km/2.7km to go
The two Belgians power the chase group behind the two leaders, who have 3 km to go. The Tunisian Chtioui is giving it everything.

Spilak counters in pursuit. No-one reacts.

12:23 CEST    131km/1.7km to go
Rafaâ Chtioui (Tunisia) and Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic) are now at the team boxes. Kreuziger does a massive turn. Spilak is at 10 seconds, but is caught by Hermans, Jacobs, Gesink and Capecchi.

12:24 CEST   
Kreuziger leads under the archway into Verona. The two leaders aren't home yet - they'll have to work. Chtioui flicks his elbow to ask Kreuziger to come through.

12:24 CEST    132km/0.7km to go
The leaders have 8 seconds with 1 km to go. They're still working hard. The group behind is back together, with the Belgians working. 9 seconds.

12:26 CEST    132.7km/0km to go
Kreuziger leads, then looks back. It slows in front but it slows behind.

Chtioui is in front with 500m to go. Kreuziger has the best spot and starts sprinting and wins the gold medal by a bike length! Chtioui second, then Spilak, Capecchi, Jacobs, Gesink and Hermans.


1 Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic)    3.25.39
2 Rafaâ Chtioui (Tunisia) 
3 Simon Spilak (Slovenia)                0.06
4 Eros Capecchi (Italy) 
5 Pieter Jacobs  (Belgium)
6 Rob Gesink (Netherlands)
7 Ben Hermans (Belgium)
8 Alexandre Binet (France)               0.32

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