Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

75th World Championships - CM

Varese, Italy, September 23-28, 2008

Main Page    Results & report      Race Details      Previous Race   Next Race

Race 4 - September 26: Under 23 men's road race - 10 laps, 173.35km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Susan Westemeyer

13:06 CEST   
The youngsters are on stage again today, to see who will be best on the road. Like all the races, it has its start and finish at the horse racetrack which is serving as Worlds headquarters. The U-23 riders face the same circuit as the women and men will face later, a figure-eight shaped 17.35km long course, which they will ride 10 times for a total of 173.35km.

13:10 CEST   
The race started about half an hour ago, and the riders are in the second lap already. A group of 11 riders has a 1.40 lead over the field.

13:11 CEST   
One rider did not start today, Anatoliy Kashtan of the Ukraine. And Anuar Manan of Malaysia has already dropped out.

13:16 CEST   
The leading group consists of: Dominik Nerz (Germany), Alexander Porsev (Russia), Stefano Borchi (Italy), Cyril Gautier (France), Ricardo Van Der Velde (Netherlands), Fabio Andres Duarte Arvalo (Colombia), Dejan Bajt (Slovenia), Thomas De Gendt (Belgium), Jonathan Monsalve (Venezuela), Rafael Valls Ferri (Spain) and Rafael Andriato (Brazil).

13:17 CEST   
Several rider attack out of the main field in an attempt to catch the break.

13:19 CEST   
The lead group works well together, with each taking a turn in the lead. Behind them are three riders, including one from the German team, and a Dutch rider is then chasing that trio.

13:20 CEST   
The lead group starts its way up the second climb on this circuit.

13:21 CEST   
The circuit features two climbs. First is the Montello, 1,150km with an average gradient of 65%. It has a very technical descent. Then is the Ronchi climb, with 4km to go. It features 3,130km and an average gradient of 4.5%.

13:22 CEST   
The Dutch rider has caught the chasing trio. We now have a Dutch, German, French and Russian rider in the group, and we apologize for not being able to catch their numbers or names.

13:23 CEST   
The Dutch rider has caught the chasing trio. We now have a Dutch, German, French and Russian rider in the group, and we apologize for not being able to catch their numbers or names.

13:24 CEST   
And here are in fact the names: Tony Gallopin (France), Martin Reimer (Germany), Alexei Kunshin (Russia) and Michael Kreder (Netherlands).

13:26 CEST   
The 11 leaders are 1.04 ahead of the chase group, with the main group 1.29 minutes behind them.

13:31 CEST    52km/121.35km to go
The leaders now cross the finish line and set out on the fourth lap of the course. They have been underway for 1:15.28.

13:33 CEST   
The four chaser are 1.14 back, and the field comes in at 2.07.

13:34 CEST   
More good news for the riders today: good weather! Cyclingnews' Gregor Brown is on the spot and says it is a nice sunny day, about 18°.

13:38 CEST   
The peloton is falling apart, partially because of the high speed and partially because they are on the first climb of the circuit.

13:42 CEST   
There's not a whole lot happening here The leaders still lead, the chasers chase and the peloton continues to fall apart.

13:43 CEST   
The leaders are 1:15 ahead of the four chasers, and the field is 1:40 behind the quartet.

13:48 CEST   
Borchi leads the escape group up the next climb.

13:51 CEST   
Belgium's Tom Boonen was on the road today in Varese -- literally. He crashed while training, landing on his elbow, but was able to continue his training rider uninjured.

13:59 CEST   
The fourth round is over and the leaders have a lead of 1.12 over the next chasers. Behind them the riders dribble over in small groups, with the large field coming in at 2.21.

14:01 CEST   
This race situation is very confusing and we apologize for not being really able to keep up with it. It looks as if the 11-man leading group has split into two.

14:05 CEST   
The four chasers are within easy sight of the lead group now, and it looks like they may catch them.

14:07 CEST   
We have 2 birthday boys in the race today: Cyril Gautier of France is celebrating his 21st today , and Elias Schmäh of Switzerland is 22 – we hope they have big cakes waiting for them this afternoon, although they would probably prefer some medals as presents!

14:09 CEST   
The two first groups are together now, so we have a leading group of 15. It sure would be nice to know how much of a lead they have....

14:10 CEST   
There is now a six-man chase group out of the peloton.

14:13 CEST   
In other news from the Worlds, Erik Zabel of Milram announced today that he was retiring at the end of the season. The 38-year-old has over 200 career wins, making him the most successful German pro cyclist ever.

14:13 CEST   
The leading group has a one minute lead over the chase group, which is 2:36 ahead of the field.

14:17 CEST   
One of the Italians who is chasing breaks out of the group in his attempt to catch the leaders.

14:21 CEST   
We have one Tour de France rider in the field today, John Lee Augustyn (South Africa) who finished 48th after some impressive riding in the mountains and a very spectacular crash in stage 16 when he fell over the road fence and slid several metres down a slope before he, with help of some fans, climbed up on the road to continue.

14:23 CEST    86.75km/86.6km to go
The race is halfway over now, as the leaders cross the finish line after the fifth lap. The group of 15 has a very slight lead over the chasing group of five, make that 10 seconds.

14:24 CEST   
We apologize again, it is very difficult to get information on the race situation. Riders continue to dribble over the line in small groups between the leaders and the large field.

14:26 CEST   
The field is now 1.58 behind the leaders.

14:29 CEST   
The five chasers are Daniel Oss (Italy), John Degenkolb (Germany), Damiano Caruso (Italy), Biel Kadri (France) and one we are still trying to track down.

14:31 CEST   
Actually, they aren't chasers any more, they have caught the leaders.

14:32 CEST   
Ben Swift of Great Britain was the fifth rider.

14:34 CEST   
Three riders are chasing, including Stefano Pirazzi of Italy.

14:36 CEST   
There are three Germans in the lead group, and they just got together for a quick chat. Lots of secrets being shared here -- can we expect to see one of them take off soon?

14:37 CEST   
The three chasers are Pirazzi, Oleg Opryshko (Ukraine) and Gatis Smukulils of Latvia.

14:39 CEST   
The other riders here today with Pro Continental contracts are Maxime Bouet (Fra) Agritubel, Nikolas Maes (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen, Rui Costa (Por) Benfica and Troels Ronning Vinther (Den) Cycle Collstrop.

14:45 CEST   
There are also a number of trainees in various pro teams, even at Pro Tour level. These are Biel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, Jonathan Bellis (GBr) Team CSC - Saxo Bank, Marcel Wyss (Swi) Scott - American Beef, Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Milram and Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Française des Jeux, while Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Tinkoff Credit Systems and Rémi Cusin (Fra) Agritubel are trying out in Pro Continental teams.

14:46 CEST   
The leaders are back in downtown Varese right now. There are a goodly number of people out on the street watching and cheering.

14:47 CEST   
Now it is the Italians' turn to gather in the lead group for a chat. The five followers have now caught the lead group, so there is yet another Italian in the break.

14:49 CEST   
The now very large lead group hits the one km marker.

14:50 CEST    104.1km/69.25km to go
They cross the finish line again, and now have four more laps to go. Two more riders have broken away and are trying to catch them. The duo is is now about 40 seconds back. And where is the field? Not far away -- only 1.07 back.

14:51 CEST   
Cameron Meyer of Australia led the peloton into the seventh lap.

14:53 CEST   
The Italians and the German try to break away. Oss is the first to go.

14:53 CEST   
Oss, Degenkolb and a Russian now have a small lead over their former break companions.

14:55 CEST   
Another German has joined the three leaders -- advantage Germany! They are quickly building up a nice little lead. And it is not a Russian, but a Colombian, Fabio Andres Duarte Arvalo. The second German is Nerz.

14:59 CEST   
Riders with the right age but under contracts in Pro Tour races are not allowed in the U23 category. That is why young riders like Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Columbia) rides the elite race Sunday instead, despite his tender age of 21.

15:01 CEST   
Degenkolb is one of the youngest riders in the race, being only 19 years old.

15:03 CEST   
The chasing peloton is spread out single file, as they seem to have finally realized it is time to do something -- or is it already too late?

15:06 CEST   
The four leaders are now 40 seconds ahead of their nearest chasers, with the field 66 seconds back.

15:10 CEST   
Ben Swift of GB gives chase. He is now joined by Italy's Caruso and Smukulis.

15:13 CEST   
Did we say that Degenkolb is young? Nerz is even younger. He only turned 19 the end of August.

15:14 CEST   
The four leaders have passed under the 1km marker on their way to the finish line and the end of the seventh lap.

15:16 CEST   
The four cross the line in a time of 2:59. They have a lead over the three chasers of 39 seconds. The field isn't far away, either. The riders are really tearing along and come in 1.11 down

15:17 CEST   
Oss turns around to look where his teammate is -- he wants support to match those two Germans!

15:18 CEST   
Caruso takes off from Swift and Smukulis to get up to the front.

15:19 CEST   
Daniel Oss is 21 and will ride for Liquigas next year.

15:20 CEST   
Three more laps to go, and the four leaders are looking good.

15:24 CEST   
Fabio Andres Duarte of Colombia is 21 and rides for Serramenti PVC Diq.-Selle Italia.

15:25 CEST   
Tony Gallopin of France has dropped out of the race.

15:26 CEST   
Caruso will catch the four leaders in a second or two.

15:27 CEST   
The Colombian must be worried -- he is alone in the lead with two Germans and two Italians.

15:35 CEST   
There is still a 1.15 minute gap to the field, which is led by Ireland's Daniel Martin.

15:38 CEST   
The five leaders are working well together, all taking turns at the lead. The Colombian may have the disadvantage of not having a teammate with him, but at 22, he is the oldest and probably most experienced.

15:40 CEST    138.8km/34.55km to go
The five leaders turn on to the final run up again and prepare to take on the ninth lap. Swift and Gautier are only 11 seconds back.

15:41 CEST   
A group of 20 or so comes across the line 1.30 back, and the field is still on its way.

15:42 CEST   
The peloton -- which is rather small at this point -- is now 2.20 back.

15:45 CEST   
The chase group puts on the gas and gives their all to get ahead and save their chances at a win here.

15:46 CEST   
The leading group isn't wasting any time either, they are strung out in single file flying along.

15:47 CEST   
One of Swift's teammates just left the race, Alex Dowsett. And Biel Kadr of France is a DNF, too.

15:50 CEST   
Thomas De Gendt of Belgium is also out of the race.

15:54 CEST   
The seven leaders are all still working together, but we are almost in the final lap, and soon it will be every country for itself.

15:56 CEST   
It's up out of the saddle for the leaders as they go up the final climb of this lap.

15:58 CEST   
Attack. Caruso takes off.

15:59 CEST   
Degenkolb and the Colombian are right behind him and Gautier, too.

16:00 CEST   
They are all together again, but Nerz looks to have been dropped. Degenkolb is the next to try his luck, and then the Italian again.

16:01 CEST   
All six together again. Nerz is no longer in the group.

16:03 CEST   
Now the Italians have the advantage, with two in the lead group. Behind them, Daniel Martin of Ireland breaks out of his group and tries to get up to the front.

16:05 CEST   
The six leaders have gone under the 1km marker and are now approaching the finish line for the next to last time.

16:06 CEST    156.5km/16.85km to go
They cross the line and take off on the bell lap -- only one more round!

16:07 CEST   
Nerz comes cover .38 later, followed by Martin at 1.01.

16:09 CEST   
About two minutes for the peloton -- we doubt they will be able to catch up at this point. There is a group in between at 1.44.

16:09 CEST   
Martin has now caught and passed Nerz.

16:09 CEST   
Who out of the lead group will make the decisive move, and when?

16:11 CEST   
Time for a confidential discussion among Italians at the rear of the lead group.

16:11 CEST   
The six are .36 ahead of Martin, who is a minute ahead of the next group.

16:14 CEST   
French rider Gautier is the European U-23 road champion, and would love to add the Worlds title to his collection.

16:16 CEST   
A Belgian rider takes off out of the second chase group, but his chances of getting up the front must be about nil at this point.

16:18 CEST   
Martin .38 behind the six leaders. Will he reach them, and if so, will he be too tired to do anything more?

16:19 CEST   
Degenkolb has either cramps or a back problem, he is doing as much stretching as he can.

16:21 CEST   
The six leaders start up the final climb. We still expect an attack -- but when?

16:21 CEST   
There's a lot of looking around at each other right now.

16:22 CEST   
They are on a steep section right now, with a number of curves.

16:23 CEST   
Oss leads the way up. Martin .36 behind.

16:24 CEST   
Rui Costa has come out of nowhere to join the leaders!

16:25 CEST   
More riders have joined them, but we don't know who. Costa moves into the lead.

16:25 CEST   
Martin is not in the lead group.

16:26 CEST   
Silin of Russia jumps to the front, but the nine riders now in the group all hang together.

16:27 CEST   
Gautier is the next to go. The Russian follows and the two build up a small lead.

16:28 CEST   
Degenkolb leads the charge to catch them. All together again.

16:29 CEST   
The three riders who joined the leaders are Costa, Silin and Ponzi of Italy. That makes three Italians in the group.

16:29 CEST   
A Dutch rider gives chase, Dennis Van Winden.

16:30 CEST   
The Italians are riding for Ponzi.

16:30 CEST   
A Belgian is coming up too.

16:31 CEST   
The last km!

16:31 CEST   
The Dutch rider joins the group.

16:31 CEST   
The Italians open the sprint.

16:32 CEST   
No, it is the Colombian who takes off and wins the title by three bike lengths!

16:33 CEST   
Fabio Andres Duarte is the new U-23 World Champion. Ponzi is second and Degenkolb third.

16:35 CEST   
Congratulations to our surprise winner Duarte and sympathies to Ponzi, who screams and pounds his bike in frustration as he was outfoxed by the South American and finishes second. Degenkolb's bronze is Germany's fourth medal in four races.

16:36 CEST   
That's it for today. Tomorrow is Ladies' Day, as the women take to this course to see who is Queen of the Road. Join us for the fun!

Provisional results

1 Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Colombia)
2 Simone Ponzi (Italy)
3 John Degenkolb (Germany)
4 Ben Swift (Great Britain)

Back to top