From September 21st to September 28th,the city of Ponferrada, Spain will be hosting the 2014 UCI Road World Championships. Check back to this page for a daily rundown of results. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for New Zealand’s very own Linda Villumsen who is the hot favourite to take out the rainbow jersey in the Women’s Elite Individual Time Trial!
2014 UCI Results:
Sunday, September 28th
Men's Elite Road Race
The Elite men took to the 18.2km circuit in Ponferrada on Sunday with miserable conditions to content with, making the 254km race ahead even tougher than expected. As racing was underway, many riders took a chance at getting into the breakaway right from the gun. By the time the first lap was completed, a break of 4 was established, including riders from Colombia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Croatia. The group of 4 quickly built up a substantial lead, with the peloton taking It relatively easy behind.
After about 70km of racing, the lead was out to 15 minutes, and it was time for the peloton to begin taking control of the race. As the kilometres ticked by, the breakaway’s lead would shrink. Once the lead was down to approximately 2 minutes and there was 80km of racing remaining, several other riders in the peloton took their chance. An attack was led by Fabio Aru (Italy) who managed to bridge across to the breakaway. Several others joined him, including dangerous riders like Tony Martin (Germany), Sep Vanmarcke (Belgium) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway).
This newly formed group had promise, however the peloton didn’t let them out of their sight. Tony Martin jumped from the group, trying to go alone – however he was caught and the race was back together with two laps of the circuit remaining. On the second last lap, a small group of 4 riders got away again, including Allessandro De Marchi (Italy) and Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus). This group looked dangerous, and had a chance at stealing the race – however this never substantiated, and they were caught with under 10km to go.
The peloton was larger than expected at this stage of such a long and hard race, with over 50 riders still remaining on the final lap. It was on the descent of the second last climb of the day where Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland) applied some pressure at the front of the race, and found himself with a small gap. He continued to push, and built up a 10 second lead over the peloton.
As the peloton hit the final climb, it was time for the favourites to launch their attacks. Amidst the fireworks, a group including Simon Gerrans (Australi), Phillipe Gilbert (Belgium), Alejandro Valverde (Spain), Greg van Avermaet (Belgium) and Tony Gallopin (France) found themselves a few seconds ahead of the peloton. They worked together to chase down Kwiatkowski in the fast run in to the finish – however with 1km to go it seemed they were not going to catch him. They closed in fast as they opened up the sprint – but it was too little too late, as 24 year old Michal Kwiatkowski crossed the line just one second ahead of Simon Gerrans and Alejandro Valverde. Kwiatkowski is the first Polish rider to win the Elite men’s road world championship, and will wear the rainbow jersey throughout the 2015 season.
1st Place: Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland)
2nd Place: Simon Gerrans (Australia)
3rd Place: Alejandro Valverde (Spain)
Saturday, September 27th
Women's Elite Road Race
After Marianne Vos (Netherlands) was dropped during the Team Time Trial earlier in the week, the rest of the women’s peloton saw a chink in her seemingly unbreakable armour. As the race began, a few riders tried their hand at getting away, however the attacks were short lived and it seemed the peloton was destined to stay together.
A devastating crash on lap 2 of the race saw a large portion of the field hit the ground at high speed. The majority of the favourites including Tiffany Cromwell (Australia) managed to escape the carnage and stay upright, however pre-race favourite Marianne Vos needed her team to guide her back to the front of the race. As the riders recouped after the crash, attacks began again – but it wasn’t until 27km to go when Rachel Neylan (Australia) put in a vicious attack that the race really started to take shape. Neylan’s attack saw the peloton strung out over the climb, and a small group of big hitters quickly found themselves with a gap. As the final lap began, this small group was caught by the peloton – however the attacks continued.
As the race went over the final climb of the day, Sweden’s Emma Johansson made an attack which Marianne Vos, Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) and Lizzie Armistead followed. This group of four were a race winning combination, and looked set to take the win until they reached the final 2 kilometres. The four riders refused to work together to make it to the finish, and their chances at the rainbow jersey went up in flames, as they were caught by a chasing group of 7 riders from behind. Marianne Vos tried to lead the sprint out early, however she was easily overcome by the young French rider Pauline Ferrand-Prevot who took the win ahead of individual time trial winner Lisa Brennauer (Germany) and Emma Johansson (Sweden). Australian Tiffany Cromwell produced a very strong sprint and secured a fantastic 5th place result.
1st Place: Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (France)
2nd Place: Lisa Brennauer (Germany)
3rd Place: Emma Johansson (Sweden)
Friday, September 26th
Men's Under-23 Road Race
The Under-23 Men set out with sunny skies in the city of Porferrada to tackle the 182km race. The Australian team had confidence in their Orica-Greenedge signee Caleb Ewan, who is strong enough to get around the hilly circuit and able to beat most in a sprint finish. Several riders attacked throughout the race, with small groups getting an advantage at various times – however none of these groups were particularly threatening, and the peloton never allowed them any serious advantage.
The Australian team attempted to keep control of the race on the final lap, however on the climb it was every man for himself, as riders took their last chance to get away. Sven Erik Bystrom of Norway found himself with a handful of seconds at the crest of the final climb, and began the fast descent towards the finish with a gap over the peloton. His technical ability on the descent and his power once the road flattened out saw him unable to be caught. He had time to savour the moment, and came across the finish line seven seconds ahead of the bunch. Caleb Ewan (Australia) proved his strength, easily taken the bunch sprint for second ahead of Kristoffer Skjerping (Norway).
1st Place: Sven Erik Bystrom (Norway)
2nd Place: Caleb Ewan (Australia)
3rd Place: Kristoffer Skjerping (Norway)
Wednesday, September 24th
Men's Elite Individual Time Trial
The Men’s Elite individual time trial was to always going to be a hotly contested affair, with several of the sport’s strongest performers being present. Tony Martin (Germany) was aiming to take out his fourth consecutive time trial world championship, while 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins (UK) had come to Spain aiming to win the event before he begins focusing on future olympic track cycling goals.
Tony Martin came into the race as overwhelming favourite, and quickly asserted his dominance, clocking the fastest time at the first time split. The second half of the course was heavily focused on climbing, which played into the hands of Wiggins who is a climbing expert. Wiggins gained time on Martin during the uphill sections of the course, and powered through the descents to find himself ahead. By the end of the 47.1km course, Wiggins had extended his margin and took the win with a 26 second advantage over Martin.
Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) who is best known for his sprinting talent, rode strongly throughout the entire course and narrowly took out the bronze medal, just seven seconds ahead of Belarusian, Vasil Kiryenka. Young Australian rider Rohan Dennis continues to impress, and finished up in fifth place – less than a minute slower than Wiggins. Dennis was also part of BMC’s team time trial squad who took the rainbow jersey in that event. This is only Dennis’ second year as a professional and he is a talent who is sure to shine in the future.
1st Place: Bradley Wiggins (UK)
2nd Place: Tony Martin (Germany)
3rd Place: Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands)
Tuesday, September 23rd
Men’s Junior Individual Time Trial
An impressive effort from German Junior Lennard Kemna proved to be unbeatable in the Men’s Junior time trial, as he took the win convincingly – with a 44 second margin back to the silver medallist Adrien Costa (USA). Kemna’s impressive effort has him being compared to German Elite superstars Tony Martin and Marcel Kittel, both of whom won the same event in their junior days. Australian Michael Storer rounded out the podium, coming in just under a minute off the time of Kmna. This result marks the great success of the Australian National Team, having taken a podium position in five of the six events held so far at the championships.
1st Place: Lennard Kemna (Germany)
2nd Place: Adrien Costa (USA)
3rd Place: Michael Storer (Australia)
Women’s Elite Individual Time Trial
A win in the Women’s Elite time trial by Lisa Brennauer saw Germany win its second rainbow jersey for the day. Brennauer was no certainty to win, and was clocked at 5th fastest at the first time check. Brennauer cites the lengthy course and her risk taking on the wet descent as the reason for her taking the win. Her strong finish saw her come in 18 seconds ahead of Ukraine’s Anna Solovey and 21 seconds ahead of Evelyn Stevens (USA). Australia’s Katrin Garfoot rode strongly and came in 1min 23sec behind the winner, taking 11th place.
1st Place: Lisa Brennauer (Germany)
2nd Place: Anna Solovey (Ukraine)
3rd Place: Evelyn Stevens (USA)
Monday, September 22nd
Women’s Junior Individual Time Trial
Wet conditions in Ponferrada made the going tough for the Junior Women’s time trial, however the Australian team prevailed, dominating the results. Macey Stewart (Australia) completed the 13.9km course with the fastest time, beating Pernille Mathiesen (Denmark) by 10 seconds. Australians Anna-Leeza Hull and Alexandra Manly came in next best, taking out the bronze medal and fourth place positions.
1st Place: Macey Stewart (Australia)
2nd Place: Pernille Mathiesen (Denmark)
3rd Place: Anna-Leeza Hull (Australia
Men's Under-23 Individual Time Trial
Success continued for Australia in the Under-23 category of the individual time trial, with Campbell Flakemore taking the win. Flakemore was 20 seconds down on Ryan Mullen (Ireland) at the intermediate checkpoint, but powered home in the final kilometres to take the win by a five tenths of a second. Stefan Kueng of Switzerland finished in third place, 9 seconds back on Flakemore.
1st Place: Campbell Flakemore (Australia)
2nd Place: Ryan Mullen (Ireland)
3rd Place: Stefan Kueng (Switzerland)
Sunday, September 21st
Men’s Team Time Trial
Team BMC took out the Team Time Trial, after a 4th in 2013 and a 2nd in 2012. The team covered the 57.1km course at an average speed of 53.9km/h. Orica-Greenedge rode strongly all race, and were within 8 seconds of BMC at the final checkpoint however had to settle for their second silver medal in as many years. The reigning champions Omega Pharma-Quickstep were unable to take their third consecutive championships, and finished in 3rd place after an incoming thunderstorm hampered the final part of their ride.
1st Place: BMC Racing
2nd Place: Orica-Greenedge
3rd Place: Omega Pharma-Quickstep
Women’s Team Time Trial
Team Specialized-Lululemon showed again they were no match for the rest in the Team Time Trial event, coming in over a minute clear of second placed Orica Greenedge. Specialized-Lululemon have now won every occurrence of the Team Time Trial since it was re-instated at the World Championships in 2012. Team Rabo-Liv were forced to abandon the race, after their lead rider clipped a barrier and forced three of the four riders to the ground.
1st Place: Specialized-Lululemon
2nd Place: Orica-AIS
3rd Place: Astana BePink Womens Team