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75th World Championships - CM
Varese, Italy, September 23-28, 2008
Race 4 - September 26: Under 23 men's road race - 10 laps, 173.35km
Colombian Duarte spoils Italian party
By Bjorn Haake, with additional reporting from Gregor Brown in Varese
Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo of Colombia became the new U23 road race world champion with an unbeatable attack in the final turn which left Italian Simone Ponzi highly frustrated in second. Germany's John Degenkolb took the final medal spot ahead of Great Britain's Ben Swift.
Duarte was beaming after the finish. "It has been three months of concentration," he said of his pre-race preparation, and explained that he had planned his move strategically after making the winning move. "I decided to save myself for the last 500 metre. I am not a great sprinter, so it was the only way I could win. I decided to risk it and thanks to God I am now the world champion." Duarte had the mind and the legs to win it today. "I was in the break all day and I felt good on the last climb."
Ponzi, riding for the host country, Italy, wanted to win, and a silver medal wasn't going to do it for him. He banged his bars in frustration as he crossed the line, but by the time he received the silver medal he had calmed down and could smile again. "I am satisfied. Unfortunately the Colombian anticipated the sprint on the last curve, and it left a bitter taste. The medal is very important for me. It repaid all the sacrifices from this year." Ponzi is now off to the professionals, as he will join Lampre next year.
Ponzi joined the group for medal contention rather late, but early enough to have a little strategy discussion with his two teammates, who were in the lead group for three laps. "I joined the lead group on the last lap. ... We talked at the top and decided to do a sprint for me, because Caruso and Oss did not so feel so well after the long escape."
Things went fine until the Colombian messed up a group sprint with his well-timed surge. "He anticipated and I tried to close the gap, it was not enough. I did my sprint all the same," Ponzi said.
Tough battle for bronze
The battle for third place was close, and it looked like Swift was going to take it, but Degenkolb gave it all in the end to pass the British rider. Degenkolb's third place crowned his good season. "I am very happy, it is the first time for me to be at this level." The Germans also showed that they were willing to ride for the strongest man. "During the race, when we were in the group, we made an agreement. [Dominik] Nerz said he did not have the legs so I attacked and it went well."
Ben Swift rode strongly to get back to the leaders, but had left it all out on the road and narrowly missed out on a medal. "I was starting to cramp with three laps to go. I was trying to hold on for the climbs and go for the sprints. One guy, the Colombian, just clipped off the front. I knew who the fast guys were and I was just trying to mark them."
As always it was hard to control the U23 race and the formation of the front groups changed constantly. It wasn't until four laps from the finish when a promising move formed. Both the Italian and the German had taken a timeout to chat strategy and then went to the front.
An unruly race
The U23 races are usually hard to control, and Friday's race was no exception. With a huge range in abilities - from riders on Professional Continental teams to amateurs from far-away countries - and relatively small teams, the group broke up early and the lead groups changed composition regularly.
It wasn't until four laps from the finish when a promising move formed. Three German gathered to talk tactics. The Italian did the same and that seemed to help. Both squads went to the front and blew away the lead group.
A moved formed with Italian Daniel Oss, Germans Degenkolb and Dominik Nerz as well as Colombian Duarte. They were chased by a trio including another Italian, Damiano Caruso. The other two chasers were Swift and Frenchman Cyril Gautier.
Caruso then jumped his companions on the hill to move up to the leaders, evening out the numbers of the Germans and Italians. But Swift and Gautier eventually joined the lead group as well.
The seven worked well together and still had a lead of 38 seconds over a lone chaser, Daniel Martin from Ireland when the bell for the last lap was rung. Martin desperately tried to bridge up and came agonizingly close. "I got it down to 10 seconds. I almost got down to the back of them and my legs just went boom. It is always a hard race to read anyway. I did it all perfect, I ate perfect, I drank perfect; maybe it was a tactical error on my part."
With Martin falling back, others from the chasing bunch came across. As the lead group was looking a bit too much to each other the final time up the hill, Rui Costa of Portugal, Egor Silin of Russia and Ponzi joined the leaders. With three Italians out of 10 riders they seemed to have the best hand, but Duarte's move spoiled the party.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Riccardo Scanferla
Images by Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.net
Images by Sirotti/www.sirotti.it
1 Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Colombia) 4.17.02 (40.500 km/h) 2 Simone Ponzi (Italy) 3 John Degenkolb (Germany) 4 Ben Swift (Great Britain) 5 Rui Costa (Portugal) 6 Cyril Gautier (France) 7 Egor Silin (Russian Federation) 8 Daniel Oss (Italy) 0.05 9 Dennis Van Winden (Netherlands) 0.07 10 Damiano Caruso (Italy) 0.12 11 Ben Hermans (Belgium) 0.15 12 Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark) 0.22 13 Domenik Klemme (Germany) 14 Nikolas Maes (Belgium) 15 Martin Schöffmann (Austria) 16 Elias Schmaeh (Switzerland) 17 Alexander Kristoff (Norway) 0.33 18 Maciej Paterski (Poland) 19 Alexei Kunshin (Russian Federation) 20 Oleg Berdos (Republic of Moldova) 21 Simon Clarke (Australia) 22 Niki Ostergaard (Denmark) 23 Dmitry Kosyakov (Russian Federation) 24 Laurent Beuret (Switzerland) 25 Tejay Van Garderen (United States Of America) 26 Troels Ronning Vinther (Denmark) 27 Jose Bone Leon (Ecuador) 28 Pawel Cieslik (Poland) 29 Pavel Kochetkov (Russian Federation) 30 Blaz Furdi (Slovenia) 31 Simon Geschke (Germany) 32 Travis Meyer (Australia) 33 Andi Bajc (Slovenia) 34 Cameron Meyer (Australia) 35 Stefan Denifl (Austria) 36 Marcel Wyss (Switzerland) 37 Herberts Pudans (Latvia) 38 Sander Maasing (Estonia) 39 Chad Beyer (United States Of America) 40 John-Lee Augustyn (South Africa) 41 Romain Zingle (Belgium) 42 Ruslan Karimov (Uzbekistan) 43 Jacobus Venter (South Africa) 44 Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia) 45 Stefano Borchi (Italy) 46 Patrik Moren (Sweden) 47 Kristjan Koren (Slovenia) 48 Vegard Stake Laengen (Norway) 49 Amador Bikkazakova (Costa Rica) 50 Ben Gastauer (Luxembourg) 51 Paul Voss (Germany) 52 Peter Stetina (United States Of America) 53 Jan Bakelandts (Belgium) 54 Vitaliy Buts (Ukraine) 55 Adriano Malori (Italy) 56 Andreas Frisch (Denmark) 57 Jaroslaw Marycz (Poland) 0.39 58 Dan Martin (Ireland) 59 Carlos Manarelli (Brazil) 1.33 60 Rob Ruijgh (Netherlands) 61 Oleksandr Polivoda (Ukraine) 1.35 62 Alex Meenhorst (New Zealand) 63 Mantas Bliakevicius (Lithuania) 64 Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa) 1.51 65 Dominik Nerz (Germany) 1.57 66 Vadim Shaekhov (Uzbekistan) 2.15 67 Stefano Pirazzi (Italy) 2.30 68 Christoph Sokoll (Austria) 69 Vitor Rodrigues (Portugal) 2.42 70 Wesley Sulzberger (Australia) 3.45 71 Castroviejo Nicolas (Spain) 72 Martins Trautmanis (Latvia) 4.45 73 Eldar Mukmenov (Uzbekistan) 74 Tomas Mice (Lithuania) 75 Rafael Andriato (Brazil) 5.23 76 Daniel Schorn (Austria) 77 Jonathan Bellis (Great Britain) 78 Mitchell Docker (Australia) 79 Tobias Eggli (Switzerland) 80 Eric Boily (Canada) 81 Jarlinson Pantano Gomez (Colombia) 82 Mario Contreras (El Salvador) 6.43 83 Obando Brenes G. (Costa Rica) 84 Maxime Bouet (France) 6.46 85 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spain) 6.51 86 Alexander Porsev (Russian Federation) 7.32 87 Sörtveit Sondre (Norway) 88 Jonathan Mcevoy (Great Britain) 89 Mykhaylo Kononenko (Ukraine) 9.18 90 Ronan Mc Laughlin (Ireland) 91 Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kazakhstan) 92 Coen Vermeltfoort (Netherlands) 9.20 93 Hamed Jannat (Islamic Republic of Iran) 11.18 94 Gaston Aguero (Argentina) 12.01 95 Gustavo Alberto Lopez (Argentina) 96 Kirk Carlsen (United States Of America) 97 Jaime Suaza Lopez (Colombia) 98 Gabor Kasa (Serbia) 99 Christer Rake (Norway) 12.25 100 Hichem Chabane (Algeria) 15.31 101 Hossein Alizadeh (Islamic Republic of Iran) 102 Marius Kukta (Lithuania) 103 Jose Vega Solano (Costa Rica) 16.16 104 Gideoni Monteiro (Brazil) 105 Marius Bernatonis (Lithuania) 16.19 106 Temur Mukhamedov (Uzbekistan) 107 Michel Kreder (Netherlands) 108 Olamaei Mahdi (Islamic Republic of Iran) 17.12 109 Nazar Jumabekov (Kazakhstan) 20.03 DNF Lukasz Modzelewski (Poland) DNF Oleg Opryshko (Ukraine) DNF Rémi Cusin (France) DNF César Fonte (Portugal) DNF Connor Mcconvey (Ireland) DNF Johan Lindgren (Sweden) DNF Alex Dowsett (Great Britain) DNF Gatis Smukulis (Latvia) DNF Jocelyn Bar (France) DNF Jonathan Monsalve (Venezuela) DNF Dejan Bajt (Slovenia) DNF Ricardo Van Der Velde (Netherlands) DNF Johann Rabie (South Africa) DNF Carlos Galviz (Venezuela) DNF Julien Taramarcaz (Switzerland) DNF Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spain) DNF Biel Kadri (France) DNF Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Denmark) DNF Marco Alexandre Ferreira Cunha (Portugal) DNF Martin Reimer (Germany) DNF Thomas De Gendt (Belgium) DNF Chris Barton (United States Of America) DNF Peter Kennaugh (Great Britain) DNF Hossein Nateghi (Islamic Republic of Iran) DNF Tony Gallopin (France) DNF Klaas Lodrwisck (Belgium) DNF Henrique Casimiro (Portugal) DNF Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kazakhstan) DNF Anacona Gomez W. (Colombia) DNF Jay Robert Thomson (South Africa) DNF Michael Torckler (New Zealand) DNF Joao Benta (Portugal) DNF Gediminas Kaupas (Lithuania) DNF Ramiro Rincon Diaz (Colombia) DNF Dave Vuckets (Canada) DNF Roger Ferraro (Brazil) DNF Andrei Nechita (Romania) DNF Francisco Cazar Espinosa (Ecuador) DNF Marko Kump (Slovenia) DNF Muhammad Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi (Malaysia) DNF Luka Grubic (Croatia) DNF Siphiwe Sowella (South Africa) DNF David Veilleux (Canada) DNF Kristijan Durasek (Croatia) DNF Redhouane Chabane (Algeria) DNF Abdelkader Belmokhtar (Algeria) DNF Sergiu Cioban (Republic of Moldova) DNF Clinton Avery (New Zealand) DNF Ryan Anderson (Canada) DNF Gustavo Francisco Borcard (Argentina) DNF Gasper Svab (Slovenia) DNF Aleksandar Dukic (Serbia) DNF Marijan Perkovic (Croatia) DNF Andreas Linden (Sweden) DNF Adrian Honkisz (Poland) DNF Joel Dion-Poitras (Canada) DNF Azizbek Abdurahimov (Uzbekistan) DNF Victor Mironov (Republic of Moldova) DNF Abdellah Ben Youcef (Algeria) DNF Anuar Manan (Malaysia) DNS Anatoliy Kashtan (Ukraine)