World Championships - CM
Stuttgart, Germany, September 26-30, 2007
Results & report
Race 5 - September 29: Under 23 men's road race - 9 laps, 171.9km
Complete live report
Live commentary by Susan Westemeyer and Bjorn Haake
Live coverage starts: 15:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 18:00 CEST
Hello and welcome back to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the 2007
World Championships in Stuttgart. We are now heading on to the second race of
the day, which is the U23 road race.
Until recently three men were in
front, several minutes ahead of the peloton: Andreas Frisch (Denmark), Esad
Hasanovic (Serbia) and Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa). But the Serbian
struggled on the last climb and fell back behind. So only two leaders on the
Both the chasers and the Serbian
have been caught by the peloton. The sun is out and it is much warmer than this
morning when the women raced.
The peloton is organising a chase
and it strings out the field. Steven Kruijswijk (Netherlands) and Canadian Bradley
Fairall are heading the front, as the field is in the fourth lap out of a total
Kenyan Christopher Froome is on the
attack. He doesn't look like a typical rider from this country, being pretty
pale and possibly risking a sunburn this afternoon.
The duo in the front is now heading
up to the finish area, passing the one-kilometre to go sign. We will have times
and gaps soon.
15:30 CEST 76.4km/95.5km to go
There are a lot
of people in the grand stands already. The front runners have now completed
76.4km in just under two hours.
Fromme comes through 2'35" later,
but the bunch is on his heels. They point at 3'30"
It is getting really tight in the
feed zone, which is right after the start finish and the bunch is slowing down.
In fact there has been a crash, as Norwegian Stian Sommerseth fell.
Frenchman Guillaume Levarlet was
also affected and gets back on his bike to chase. Ouch, this hurts and he may
have to pay for his efforts later.
The American team consists of Max
Jenkins, Craig Lewis, Thomas Peterson, Peter Stetina and Tejay Van Garderen.
secured a contract with T-Mobile.
Francis De Greef of Belgium sets
the pace now, as some riders are having trouble again with that pesky little
hill. Latvian Martins Trautmanis struggles a bit, but pushes hard to get back
on the end of the line.
Simon Clarke, Zakkari Dempster, Wesley
Sulzberger and Johnnie Walker are flying the Australian flag today. They are
sitting in the bunch right now.
Fromme is still trying to catch the front
duo of Van Rensburg and Van Rensburg, but finds it hard to do by himself.
Fromme has gained about 20 seconds
and is now 2'10" back, while the peloton could only gain ten seconds since the
start finish line. The shadows of the racers are getting longer already. Autumn
is here and the days are getting shorter.
Even though Stuttgart is a big city
and has almost 600,000 inhabitants, there are many trees that provide some green.
The women didn't find it too cool, though, as the shady areas were the treacherous
ones this morning, when the roads were still wet.
Fromme has now been caught by the
peloton, thanks to an acceleration in the bunch. About eight riders are off
the front right now.
"The city of Stuttgart and basically
the whole country is crazy," Lewis has written on his website. "They are only
looking for the bad news in cycling. Little school kids chant 'doper' as we
ride by the schoolhouses." He wasn't really too worried, though. "But I am sure
it will all be forgotten when we hit the road in a few hours. I am feeling really
good, but it is a bike race, so who knows what will happen."
Edvald Boasson Hagen
Photo ©: Stephen McMahon
Boasson Hagen is on the front, bumping
shoulders with a Dutch rider. Please, no crashes now.
15:52 CEST 89.9km/82km to go
on the peloton has quickly reduced the gap to 1'30" Not looking good for the
front runners, who still face more than 80 kilometres.
Ignatiev attacks! After silver in
the TT he really wants to win today.
Ignatiev is too well known and the
others react quickly. There is nervous tension in the bunch now.
16:00 CEST 95.5km/76.4km to go
Four more laps,
as the two leaders cross the line. But the bunch is close! They are now only
43 seconds behind as Van Emden leads them across the line
That feed zone looks crazy. The tents
for the soigneurs are on the right, but they make the road really narrow. The
bunch funnels through and it slows them down. With the madness of getting the
musettes, there is always a bit of nervousness, especially with the fact that
some riders aren't used to always ride in fields this size.
- Andreas Frisch (Denmark) and Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa)
- Peloton at 0.43
Andrey Klyuev is the next Russian
to give it a go, as the lead has dropped to 25 seconds. The duo in the front
swings left and right as the there are a few turns on the downhill part. There
are quite a few spectators out now and cheer them on. They found it entertaining,
but not as hot, as some wear coats.
16:07 CEST 101.9km/70km to go
Klyuev is passed,
as Frisch is the lone leader now. Van Rendsburg has dropped back, as the hill
is too much for him.
And Frisch is now caught too, but
he and Van Rendsburg stay in the small break that has developed. They shake
hands and smile at each other after their long time together.
A small group of riders are still
ahead by a few metres. They include the former breakaway riders and Mickael
Larpe (France), Stefano Pirazzi and Simon Geschke.
As things start to come back together,
Pirazzi attacks! Italy wants to win most medals today and they already have
The Italian faces an uphill and is
riding at around 25 km/h
16:18 CEST 108.9km/63km to go
He has about 11
seconds on the peloton, but it is still a long way. Jarc of Slovenia shows some
nifty downhill positioning, s he tries to catch back up to the peloton. He is
off the saddle and on his top tube. It works, as he regains the end of the peloton
at the bottom of the hill.
Speaking off Slovakia, not Slovenia,
a pair of brothers is in the race: Martin and Peter Velits.
Pirazzi is extending his lead to
22 seconds, but the attacks are coming thick and fast in the field.
And the Velits are not only brothers,
but identical twins. They rode this year for the Professional Continental Team
Wiesenhof-Felt which is losing its sponsor. No word yet on what will happen
with the team or where the twins might ride next year.
Of course the attacking slows everything
down as riders sit up and look at each other. Thomson of South Africa has enough
of that and puts in a vicious jump, in pursuit of the lone Italian on the front.
Thomson didn't manage to shave the
last few days, but we hope it doesn't impede his aerodynamics. And as long as
the legs are shaved, who cares?
The peloton is flying around a corner
in single file and in small groups, followed by a bigger group.
The famous TV tower is visible nearby.
And the devil is here too! We knew he couldn't pass on a race in his home country.
Thomson is caught with one kilometre
to go before the end of the round. Pirazzi is still ahead, but not so terribly
16:30 CEST 114.6km/57.3km to go
The lead is down
to 18 seconds as the riders head through the start finish. After 2'58"26 they
have an average of 38.5 km/h
Ignatas Konovalovas has left the
peloton and catches up with Pirazzi. We have two leaders now, but the advantage
The sun is continuing to shine and
the weather is being as nice as it can be. Much better than the heavy rain which
had been predicted, and much safer!
A Russian rider has joined the two
leaders, and Pirazzi seems to be having a bit of trouble staying with his two
- Stefano Pirazzi (Italy), Christian Meier (Canada) and Ignatas Konovalovas
- Peloton at 0.22
Christian Meier of Canada is trying
to get away from the pack, and has nearly caught the leaders. The Russian has
had to drop back -- he seems to have cramps, or a thigh problem of some sort.
Pirazzi lets the two newcomers take
over the lead work -- he's certainly done his share today.
It looks like the three are working
well together and have built up their lead.
Meier is, of course, riding a Gerolsteiner
bike. More specifically, Ronny Scholz' spare bike. You might remember that the
Canadian bikes were stolen shortly after arrival in Stuttgart and Gerolsteiner
gladly supplied them with spares.
Rafai Ctioui is Tunisia's lone U23
representative. He is also observing Ramadan, so it is more difficult for him
to ride at the moment since he may not eat or drink from sun up to sun down.
Meier is 22 and from New Brunswick,
Alexander Gottfried of Germany is
at the end of the group. We would have expected to see this talented young climber
closer to the front.
Jose Mendas of Portugal is the next
to try his luck and get away from the peloton.
Christian Meier (Canada) on the left
Photo ©: Jerome Lessard
16:48 CEST 126.9km/45km to go
Meier had a bit
of a problem -- his rear wheel slipped out as he made a left-hand turn. Nothing
serious, though, he stayed upright and is still leading the threesome.
The peloton has woken up and its
picking up the pace. They are going about 50 km/h right now. A small group of
10 or so has a slight advantage over the pack. No sooner do we write that, they
are all back together.
The leading trio is holding its lead
Maxim Belkov of Russia takes his
chances now. Will the peloton let him get away? They have been a bit more careful
about that after Meier escaped.
And Belkov is catching up with the
three in front. Norway is leading the pack, trying to close the gap. They are
pinning their hopes on Edvald Boasson Hagen, who will ride for T-Mobile next
16:59 CEST 133.9km/38km to go
We are down to
two laps to go and things slow down again as the riders go through the feed
zone again. The last lap went by in 28'10", with an average speed of 40 km/h.
The leading trio went through with Belkov 13 seconds back and the peloton another
17 seconds down, so 30 seconds between the leaders and the peloton.
Johnnie Walker of Australia
heads through the feed zone and we can't but wonder what is in his bottle, but
guess it's some non-spiced water. He will have to leave to drinking for after
the race. After this long hard day of writing, we may be tempted to join him
in a drink.
- Stefano Pirazzi (Italy), Christian Meier (Canada) and Ignatas Konovalovas
- Maxim Belkov (Russia) at 0.12
- Peloton at 0.25
Belkov is still in no-mans land,
between the leaders and the pack.
Peter Velits of Slovakia, one of
those twins we mentioned earlier, takes off in pursuit.
Jennifer Walker of Edmonton, Alberta,
Canada, lets us know that Meier is the current Canadian U23 champ, and was 2nd
on GC this year in the Vuelta a El Salvador (with the Symmetrics team). Thanks,
and it's always nice to hear from a friend!
The front of the peloton has splintered,
as many riders realize it's now or never. A Netherlands rider has caught up
with Velits, there are several small groups behind them, and they are all getting
away from the peloton rather quickly.
There is now a following group of
eight about to catch up with the three leaders. And one of them is Lars Boom,
who won the U23 time trial. Simon Clark of Australia is also there.
Unfortunately Clark couldn't keep
up the pace and has fallen back. But Tony Martin of Germany has moved up to
join the group.
We are not sure what happened to
our former three leaders -- we gather the peloton finally caught them. Right
now we have a fairly unorganised group of about a dozen riders in the lead and
we will try to catch all their names.
As soon as we started to write down
their names, three riders have escaped from the escape group -- one of whom
is Lars Boom! Will he take two medals in this World Championships?
He is not alone of course. His companions
are Simon Spilak of Slovenia and Rein Taaramae of Estonia.
Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark is trying
to catch the three leaders. Behind him, the other 10 or so from the escape group
are also giving their all.
Fuglsang is a mountain biker -- Boom
is a Cross rider -- Kupfernagel is a cross rider -- we are beginning to see
a pattern here....
17:23 CEST 152.9km/19km to go
Fuglsang is still
not caught up with the three leader at the 1 km mark, before the final round.
he is so close, but just not there yet. It doesn't look like the group is far
The Dane makes a final effort and
catches up. A fourth rider is only 2 seconds back, and followers another 8 seconds
or so. The main peloton is some 50 seconds back, and may not have a chance any
more. They whipped through that lap with a speed of 41.9 km/h.
A rider has taken off in the lead
-- Spilak has quickly built up a nice little lead.
This is about the same point that
our winner this morning made her move -- will it prove equally lucky for the
His chances are looking good as he
has a sizeable lead. Behind him the peloton has realized what is happening and
turned on the gas.
The peloton has nearly caught the
chasers now. Spilak's lead wasn't as big as we thought, as he now has company.
Boom won't make it -- he is dropping back.
There is a group of five in front
now, including a Netherlander -- Bauke Mollema
Our leading group is: Spilak, Bauke
Mollema (Netherlands), Benat Intaxausti Elorriaga (Spain), Kristof Vandewalle
(Belgium.) and Rein Taaramae (Estonia). They have about a 20 second advantage.
Rui Costa of Portugal has joined
the leaders, giving us a sextet.
The following group has caught the
leaders. The Estonian tries to get away now.
12 riders now in the lead, and the
peloton is not far behind. They will catch the leaders pretty soon.
Two riders are off in front, and
Julien Simon makes it one rider as he takes off.
It's a hard race. Simon has his mouth
wide open, trying to catch as much oxygen as possible.
Simon remains in the lead with the
following group splintered behind him. And behind them is the onrushing peloton.
But will they be able to move quickly enough to catch him on this difficult
Five riders behind the young Frenchman,
The Russian Ivan Rovny has come out
of nowhere to make chase.
Rovny is about to catch the French
rider. Will he stay with him or zip on by?
- Julien Simon (France) and Ivan Rovny (Russia)
- Peloton at 0.10
He tries to zip on by, but Simon
is watching and goes with him. The peloton is moving ever closer. Will we actually
have a mass sprint finish here?
And the escape is over. The head
of the peloton has caught them.
17:47 CEST 167.9km/4km to go
Only 4km to go and
we have a huge peloton.
17:48 CEST 169.4km/2.5km to go
Ignatiev of Russia
tries to get away but the peloton isn't having any of that.
17:49 CEST 170.4km/1.5km to go
Riders dart out,
get nowhere, others try.
17:50 CEST 170.9km/1km to go
Yes, it looks like
we will have a sprint as the 40 man strong peloton comes under the banner.
All together at 500 m.
And they take off in the sprint!
A nasty crash just metres before
the finish line. Kohler of Switzerland is still down.
Peter Velits takes the win.
Wesley Sulzberger of Australia is
That is the second U23 title in a
row for riders from Team Wiesenhof -- last year's winner Gerald Ciolek was with
that team last year.
To finish up the top three, Jonathan Bellis
of Great Britain was third.
This race today just goes to show
that we never what to expect!
Join us again tomorrow for the grand
finale and danke schön for joining us today!
1 Peter Velits (Slovakia)
2 Wesley Sulzberger (Australia)
3 Jonathan Bellis (Great Britain)
4 Tom Leezer (Netherlands)
5 Daniel Wyss (Switzerland)
6 Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Denmark)
7 Domenik Klemme (Germany)
8 Florian Vachon (France)
9 Vitaliy Buts (Ukraine)
10 Andrey Zeits (Kazakhstan)
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