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World Championships - CM

Verona, Italy, September 27-October 3, 2004

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Race 7 - Friday October 1: Road Race - U23 Men, 177 km

Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Tim Maloney

Complete live report

Live coverage starts: 12:30 CEST
Estimated finish time: 16:45 CEST

12:38 CEST   
Thomas Dekker getting ready
Photo ©: CN
Welcome back to our live coverage of the World Road Championships for the second race on today's program. Today will see the stars of the near future in action as the U23 men tackle 12 laps of the testing Verona course for a total of 177 km.

Favourites include anyone wearing an Italian jersey (Giovanni Visconti, Claudio Corioni and Elio Rigotti in particular), Aussies Ashley Humbert and Aaron Kemps, Belgium's Wouter Weylandt, Holland's Thomas Dekker, Koen De Kort and Bas Giling, Slovenia's World TT champion Janez Brajkovic, Finland's Jukka Vastaranta, Ireland's Nicholas Roche, Luxembourger Andy Schleck and Americans Tyler Farrar and Saul Raisin, among others.

12:58 CEST    16km/161km to go
The large Espoir field comes through the start/finish at the end of lap 1, still all together save for three riders off the back, who were involved in a crash it looks like.

The weather is still fairly hazy, around 20-22 degrees, but it might burn off and we could get a clear afternoon.

13:15 CEST    30km/147km to go
The riders have completed two laps of their allotted 12, and the pace is heating up a little.

13:35 CEST    41km/136km to go
The U23's have ridden up the Torricelle for the third time, still as a big group with what looks like the Ukrainian team controlling the pace. No-one has successfully managed to attack, although Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan) tried along with two others on the climb.

In last wheel at the top of the climb is Ireland's Philip Deignan, who doesn't actually look to be in trouble.

13:45 CEST    46km/131km to go
The peloton has now completed three laps, and is still very watchful. An attack on the Torricelle last time involving Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan) and two others was caught.

13:54 CEST    50km/127km to go
Things are getting interesting again as the Espoirs hit the Torricelle for the fourth time. Aleksejs Saramotins (Latvia) attacks and takes 20 seconds out of the peloton. He is pursued by Dmytro Novosad (Ukraine) and Jorge Azanza Soto (Spain), and at the top of the climb they have 30 seconds on the peloton, which is being controlled by one of the Dutch riders.

14:01 CEST    58km/119km to go
Aleksejs Saramotins (Latvia) has 26 seconds on the two chasers, Dmytro Novosad (Ukraine) and Jorge Azanza Soto (Spain), at the end of lap 4. The peloton is following at a minute.

14:02 CEST    60km/117km to go
The peloton is not too worried about the three leaders, it seems, as there is still a lot of racing to come. A Kazakh rider is in front.

Novosad rides past his team boxes and asks for a bidon. None is forthcoming and he's annoyed.

14:05 CEST   
The two chasers come through the start/finish at 24 seconds, while the peloton has picked up the pace a little, led by a Russian at 55 seconds.

14:07 CEST    62km/115km to go
There are about 750m of cobbles after the start/finish, which would make it pretty interesting in the wet.

In front, it's Saramotins powering along on his own with the Ukrainian and Spaniard in pursuit.

14:11 CEST    66km/111km to go
Saramotins hits the Torricelle for the fifth time, making his way up the steady 3.1 km climb at a constant rhythm. He's not waiting for the two guys behind them, even though they might do better as a trio.

Bernhard Kohl (Aut) is out, after crashing on lap one. His knees are all bloodied.

14:15 CEST   
Novosad has now dropped Azanza Soto on the climb and is closing the gap to Saramotins.

14:17 CEST   
Aleksejs Saramotins (Latvia), Dmytro Novosad (Ukraine) are now together near the top of the climb, but the Russians have upped the tempo in the peloton and have closed the gap to just 15 seconds.

14:21 CEST    68km/109km to go
The descent is 4.5 km, the first part being relatively non technical. The second part is tricky, however. Artur Krol (Poland) bridges up to the two leaders and tries to keep the break going.

In the peloton, it's still one of the Russian riders leading the charge. 2003 Junior World Champion Kai Reus (Netherlands) was off the back over the hill.

The break sits up and the peloton comes back together.

14:26 CEST    73km/104km to go
The peloton passes through the team box area with a small break of three riders, including Chris Isaac (Canada) and Timothy Duggan (USA). Sergey Firsanov (Russia) bridges up. There is also a Ukrainian up there Andriy Pryshchepa.

They are caught by another six or seven riders but the peloton wakes up and closes the gap.

14:28 CEST    74km/103km to go
Duggan keeps going and leads the peloton by five seconds at the end of lap 5. He hammers on the cobbles and opens up a bigger gap.

Kasper Klostergaard (Den) has abandoned, looking completely disappointed.

14:29 CEST   
Kai Reus has abandoned.

14:32 CEST    75km/102km to go
Konstantin Schubert (Germany) has snapped his rear gear cable, and the neutral service is trying to fix it. He needs another bike, but he's past the team boxes.

Duggan looks back and sees that he has 15 seconds at the foot of the Torricelle.

14:35 CEST   
Duggan is joined on the climb by Polish rider Tomasz Marczynski (Poland). The peloton follows at 10 seconds.

14:38 CEST    78km/99km to go
Artur Krol joins the two leaders and straight away goes to the front and hammers. Duggan has problems following, and drops off as a Canadian and Bielorussian bridge the gap. Four leaders, but not by much.

14:39 CEST    80km/97km to go
No dice - it's all back together with less than 100 km to go.

14:45 CEST    83km/94km to go
A crash on the descent as two French riders miss one of the sharp corners. Sebastian Minard is one of them, Arnaud Gerard is the other. They are both up and riding again. An American rider also crashed - not sure who he is.

A Spanish rider has attacked at the foot of the descent.

14:48 CEST    86km/91km to go
The Spaniard is Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil, who gets 15 seconds as he reaches the boxes at the end of lap 6. Duggan is back on the front of the peloton.

Schubert gets his bike change - beats riding in the 39 or 53 x 12 all the time.

14:49 CEST    88km/89km to go
Rojas Gil sits up and the peloton, led by Duggan, catches him again. All together. Duggan decides to have another go. This time he gets one of the Aussies with him.

14:51 CEST    89km/88km to go
Jorge Azanza Soto (Spain) has abandoned. He was one of the first attackers.

At the end of lap 6, the two leaders Duggan and Peter Dawson (Aus) have 20 seconds. Dawson is riding on a borrowed bike after his got stolen last night.

14:54 CEST    91km/86km to go
Dawson powers the break with Duggan also doing his turns, and the two now have 40 seconds lead as they approach the Torricelle.

14:57 CEST    94km/83km to go
One of the Kazakhstan riders attacks the peloton in pursuit of Dawson and Duggan, who hold a 59 second lead on the peloton on the seventh climb of the Torricelle. This is an interesting break, but perhaps too early.

14:58 CEST   
Now a Spaniard sets off in pursuit of the two leaders. Dawson is doing most of the work on the climb, but now takes a break behind Duggan.

15:00 CEST    96km/81km to go
Visconti is leading the peloton now in pursuit of Dawson and Duggan, who are nearly at the top. In between is Andrei Kunitski (Belarus), who is chasing solo. He has bridged the gap at the top.

15:02 CEST   
A Polish rider attacks from the peloton, but straight away has Australian Ben Johnson on his wheel. The pace slows again.

15:04 CEST    97km/80km to go
The three leaders are just 18 seconds ahead of the peloton, which has split on the climb, led by the Italians. Visconti is one of them. We now have 9 leaders on the descent, including two Italians.

15:11 CEST    101km/76km to go
Two Italians drive the nine man break, but the peloton - very strung out - is coming back to them on the descent. The Irish riders are towards the rear of the field at the moment.

Nibali and Visconti are in the break, along with Breschel (Den), Machado (Ven), Dawson (Aus), Duggan (USA), Kunitski (Blr) and two more. But the gap is nearly closed at the foot of the descent.

15:13 CEST    103.3km/73.7km to go
The peloton is really thinning down as it approaches the start/finish for the end of lap 7. Dawson and Duggan are still driving it, as Thomas Dekker chases back on in a small group. Another Aussie counters, but gets two Italians for company, followed by another 150 or so riders. That's not a desirable breakaway composition.

At the end of lap 7, the average speed is a tad over 38 km/h.

Stian Remme (Norway) has abandoned.

15:15 CEST   
Ashley Humbert (Australia) has attacked at the start of Lap 8. The Aussies want to keep the tempo high, it seems.

Wouter Weylandt (Belgium) won't be sprinting for the win today - he's already in a group 1'20 off the back.

15:17 CEST    105km/72km to go
Humbert is brought back to the peloton.

Andriy Buchko (Ukraine) abandons with a puncture.

15:19 CEST    107km/70km to go
Dominique Cornu (Belgium) has abandoned. The peloton is now on the Torricelle, riding a steady tempo with the Slovenian team to the fore.

15:21 CEST   
Vastaranta will not be going for the win today either - he's also in the Weylandt group.

The main peloton is still a good 100 riders strong. Dawson is now towards the back.

15:24 CEST    110km/67km to go
Nybö Haavard (Norway) has abandoned, as has Waylon Woolcock (South Africa). There are still a couple of South Africans left in the bunch.

A Ukrainian rider is setting the tempo on the climb, but it's not quick enough for Fredy Orlando Piamonte Rodriguez (Colombia), who attacks and drives hard.

15:27 CEST    111km/66km to go
Piamonte Rodriguez gets a nice gap as one of the Ukrainians reacts. But the Italians are watching the Ukrainians closely and no-one can get away.

A Slovene counters, then an Australian - Benjamin Johnson. The Colombian only has a handful of seconds at the top as the peloton reforms.

Weylandt has abandoned, saying that he felt terrible and couldn't hang on on any of the climbs.

15:29 CEST   
Fredy Orlando Piamonte Rodriguez is actually back in the peloton and it's his teammate Julian David Muñoz Giraldo who is attacking on the descent, driving as hard as possible.

15:30 CEST    113km/64km to go
Muñoz Giraldo takes good advantage of the technical part of the descent, which thins out the peloton again. He digs into his jersey for some energy, and finds a squeezy of some sort. There is no panic in the peloton as Serge Pauwels (Bel) leads.

15:34 CEST   
The Colombian rides through the team boxes, pursued by three riders - an Italian, Czech and a Slovenian. The peloton is very close behind.

15:38 CEST    118km/59km to go
The peloton crosses the line at the end of lap 8, 15 seconds behind a break of seven riders, including Claudio Corioni (Italy) and Julian David Muñoz Giraldo (Colombia). The Australian team is leading the chase.

15:39 CEST    119km/58km to go
Dustin Mcburnie (Canada) has abandoned. The breakaway is caught, thanks to the efforts of the Australians. It's all back together for the ninth time up the Torricelle.

15:41 CEST    121km/56km to go
The peloton hits the feed zone and one of the Irish riders attacks - Philip Deignan. He is chased by Saul Raisin (USA) and has a small gap at the foot of the Torricelle. The pair are now together.

15:43 CEST   
Deignan and Raisin have a bit of a gap over the peloton, which is hammering up the climb led by Visconti (Ita). Benjamin Johnson (Australia) is very attentive at the front.

15:45 CEST    124km/53km to go
Armenia's only entrant, Tigran Korkotyan, has abandoned. As has Christopher Myhre (Norway).

Mads Christensen (Denmark) has closed the gap to Raisin and Deignan, but the peloton is hot on his wheels. All together again, very strung out.

Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy) counters, and again it's Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) on his wheel.

15:46 CEST   
Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) is off in pursuit of the two leaders - he makes contact, and we have two Italians in the lead group of three.

15:49 CEST   
Vincenzo Nibali and Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy) and Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus) hammer over the top of the climb, having ridden it in 6'59, the fastest split of the entire race. The peloton is about 15 seconds back, with a group of three chasing, including Pauwels.

15:52 CEST    130km/47km to go
Kunitski almost misses one of the corners, but holds it up. The three chasers include Nic Ingels (Bel), De Maar (Ned) and Christensen (Den).

15:53 CEST   
At the foot of the descent, we have Vincenzo Nibali and Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy), Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus), Nic Ingels (Belgium), Marc de Maar (Netherlands) and Mads Christensen (Denmark) in front, with a group of 30 riders chasing at 15 seconds. The rest of the peloton is in tatters.

15:55 CEST   
Another seven riders bridge the gap to the six leaders as they passe through the team boxes. Visconti is there, meaning we have three Italians in the break.

15:59 CEST    134km/43km to go
Matti Breschel (Denmark) and Andriy Grivko (Ukraine) are two of the riders who have bridged, and straight away they attack. They are joined by Marc de Maar, whose teammate Thomas Dekker has joined the group.

16:01 CEST    135km/42km to go
In the lead we have: Matti Breschel (Denmark), Andriy Grivko (Ukraine) and Marc de Maar (Netherlands), who are about to be joined by one of the Italians. It's Nibali.

The group behind has Giovanni Visconti and Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy), Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus), Nic Ingels (Belgium), Thomas Dekker (Netherlands), Mads Christensen (Denmark), Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia), Andreas Dietziker (Switzerland) and Ashley Humbert (Australia).

16:05 CEST    137km/40km to go
The four leaders hit the Torricelle for lap 10, with a disorganised chase happening in the group behind them. Nibali attacks the break, and De Maar follows. Brajkovic chases them, as do Dekker and Pozzovivo. Kunitski and one of the Danes is closing the gap.

Nibali goes again!!

16:07 CEST   
Dekker chases down Nibali and the Italian slows again. We have seven leaders, with Vincenzo Nibali (Italy), Thomas Dekker and Marc de Maar (Netherlands), Matti Breschel (Denmark), Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy), Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus), Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia).

Pozzovivo and Kunitski counter.

16:11 CEST    141km/36km to go
Pozzovivo and Kunitski ride to the top of the climb with a 20 second gap over a chase group of nine with Vincenzo Nibali and Giovanni Visconti (Italy), Thomas Dekker and Marc de Maar (Netherlands), Nic Ingels (Belgium), Mads Christensen and Matti Breschel (Denmark), Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia), Andreas Dietziker (Switzerland), Andriy Grivko (Ukraine).

Humbert comes over the top with a Russian rider, another 20 seconds down.

16:12 CEST    143km/34km to go
The Dutch and Danish riders are trying to organise a chase, as they're not going to get any help from the Italians. Pozzovivo and Kunitski have a nice gap on the descent.

16:16 CEST   
The chase group is working, but the gap is 26 seconds to the two leaders, who are working very well together.

Visconti is sitting on the back of the chase group, suffering from cramps.

16:18 CEST    147km/30km to go
Pozzovivo misses a bidon through the team boxes, definitely not his own fault as the soigneur sort of threw it at him. The chasers do a bit better, grabbing plenty of bidons. There's a Portuguese(?) rider in the chase group too - not sure of the name.

16:21 CEST    148km/29km to go
This is interesting - Visconti attacks the chase group, perhaps to disrupt the rhythm. The gap is 30 seconds at the end of lap 10. Two laps to go!

Humbert, Mazur and Kozantchouk are another 30 seconds behind the group, which is attacking each other. Breschel goes just past the start/finish, but sees Visconti on his wheel and sits up.

The peloton is a good minute behind the main chase group.

16:21 CEST   
Filipe Cardoso (Portugal) is the 11th rider in the chase group.

16:23 CEST    150km/27km to go
The smallish peloton passes under the start/finish banner 2'13 behind Pozzovivo and Kunitski.

Dekker has started a little counter move from the chase group behind. Ingels, Brajkovic, Visconti, Breschel and Christensen are there.

16:25 CEST   
In front it's still the tall Bielorussian Kanstantsin Siutsou and the pocket climber Vincenzo Nibali in the lead. They start the Torricelle for the second last time.

Dekker is hammering in pursuit, but those with him do not want to let him go. The rest of the group is coming back up to Dekker's five man chase. It's 32 seconds to the two leaders.

16:28 CEST    153km/24km to go
With two riders half a minute up the road, there is no time for playing games in the chase group. But no-one wants to bury themselves in pursuit and the Italians have the race well in hand. It's now 45 seconds as Grivko attacks. He takes Christensen with him, but he blows up. The Italians ride the gap closed.

16:29 CEST   
Grivko's effort was too much and he's now off the back of the chase group. Ouch. It's 47 seconds as De Maar does a turn. There's no cooperation though. Grivko realises this and gets to the front again! He has Visconti on his wheel.

16:31 CEST    155km/22km to go
Grivko swings off but no-one goes round. The gap is now 51 seconds, and the two leaders are definitely not coming back. The chase group is racing for bronze.

16:33 CEST   
Kunitski and Pozzovivo now have a minute on the chasers as they reach the top of the Torricelle for the second last time. Grivko is still leading the chase group, which means that they're not going fast enough. The Ukrainian is really suffering. The rest don't seem interested.

16:35 CEST   
Breschel, De Maar and Ingels lead the chase group on the descent, but they'll have to do an amazing lap to catch the two leaders. Brajkovic tows the rest of the chase group up.

16:37 CEST   
An important correction, Kanstantsin Siutsou is the Belarus rider in the lead, not Kunitski. Our apologies!

16:40 CEST    162km/15km to go
In the lead we have Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy) and Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus), being chased (in the loosest sense of the word) by Vincenzo Nibali and Giovanni Visconti (Italy), Thomas Dekker and Marc de Maar (Netherlands), Nic Ingels (Belgium), Mads Christensen and Matti Breschel (Denmark), Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia), Andreas Dietziker (Switzerland), Andriy Grivko (Ukraine) and Filipe Cardoso (Portugal) at 1'03.

16:41 CEST   
Pozzovivo and Siutsou are still cooperating well together, and we'll see soon enough who's got the legs to win today. Their gap is around a minute as they hit the start/finish line for the second last time.

16:43 CEST    162.5km/14.5km to go
The leaders are clearly hurting, but they are not going to give away a minute's lead in one lap. The chase group enters the finishing straight in the centre of Verona, led by the Danish riders and Grivko, the Ukrainian doing a lot of work. It's 57 seconds across the line.

The sprint will be wind assisted.

16:46 CEST    165km/12km to go
Grivko does a long turn on the cobbles, keeping the gap at a constant 57 seconds. He pulls off at last and takes a drink. Brajkovic looks nervous but it's too late for that.

16:47 CEST    167km/10km to go
The two leaders have a short discussion, or is Pozzovivo just checking out his opponent?

Ingels is now leading the chase group as the leaders hit the Torricelle for the last time.

16:49 CEST   
Siutsou does another turn on the climb, using a big gear but pedaling it smoothly. Pozzovivo takes over now.

In the chase group, Grivko does another big turn and Visconti drops off his wheel and cramps. Race over for the Italian (essentially).

Siutsou attacks!!

16:50 CEST    168km/9km to go
Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus) smashes a big gear up the Torricelle, leaving Pozzovivo for dead. He's got 10 seconds, now 15 seconds. Pozzovivo is knackered.

16:51 CEST   
Pozzovivo tried to react when the Bielorussian attacked, but he exploded almost immediately. That'll happen at the end of a tough race - the mind is willing, but the legs are empty. Can the Italian hold on for silver?

16:54 CEST    169km/8km to go
Siutsou is hammering up the climb in his 42x15. Behind them, Dekker and Christensen are in pursuit of the dying Pozzovivo. They could well get him. Pozzovivo is already 30 seconds behind the leader. But Dekker and Christensen are more than 40 seconds behind the Italian,, who has recovered a little.

16:55 CEST    170km/7km to go
Siutsou reaches the top of the climb with a huge 41 second gap over Pozzovivo. Dekker and Christensen are another 40 seconds back...

16:57 CEST    171km/6km to go
Dekker drives it all the way to the top with Christensen on his wheel, 1'18 behind the leader. Pozzovivo should be afraid, be very afraid for his silver medal.

The rest of the group is in bits. Marc de Maar and the two Italians (how did Visconti recover?) are in pursuit.

16:58 CEST    172km/5km to go
Siutsou has got the gold in the bag, provided he doesn't overcook it on the descent. But Dekker and Christensen are making big inroads into Pozzovivo - now just 9 seconds. He's gone.

17:00 CEST    173km/4km to go
Pozzovivo is caught by Christensen and Dekker on the descent, and has problems holding on. But he does. They navigate the tricky left hander, 1'09 behind the leader Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus), who rides for the Italian based Palazzago team normally.

17:02 CEST    175km/2km to go
Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus) keeps driving, increasing his gap all the time over the chasers. He has 1'15 as he reaches the team boxes, and throws his bidon towards an official. The rest of the chase group is at 1'42.

17:03 CEST    176km/1km to go
Dekker, Christensen and Pozzovivo are going for the silver medal. Pozzovivo is sitting on, looking very sore. But this might be enough of a break to revitalise his legs.

Siutsou is in the final kilometre.

17:06 CEST    177km/0km to go
The Bielorussian drives all the way up the finishing straight, but he has plenty of time to celebrate his victory in the World U23 Road Championship. A fantastic ride, and he is certainly the strongest on the day.

Christensen attacks for the silver, but Dekker is chasing him. Pozzovivo won't get them. Dekker gets Breschel in the last 150m, sprints around the Dane and takes silver. Pozzovivo fourth.


1 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Bielorussia)      4.33.32
2 Thomas Dekker (Netherlands)               1.01
3 Mads Christensen Denmark)                 1.02
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy)                1.09
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Italy)                   1.30
6 Matti Breschel (Denmark)                  1.38
7 Giovanni Visconti (Italy)
8 Marc de Maar (Netherlands)
9 Andreas Dietziker (Switzerland)           1.50
10 Nic Ingels (Belgium)                     1.51
11 Filipe Cardoso (Portugal)

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