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2008 Road World Championships – Men\’s ITT Report, Full Results, Photos – Canada\’s Tuft Wins Silver

September 25, 2008 (Varese, Italy) – Svein Tuft of Langley, B.C., overcame a flat tire with five kilometres remaining and won the silver medal in the men’s time trial at the 2008 Road World Cycling Championships on Thursday.

Tuft, 31, is the first Canadian male to win a medal at the Road Worlds since Steve Bauer took the bronze in 1984 in the road race.

“This is a shock really,” said Tuft, who placed seventh in the event at the Olympic Games. “As soon as we finished I couldn’t believe the time especially after the flat. It’s crazy.”

Bert Grabsch of Germany, who was the next rider after Tuft, won the gold medal clocking 52 minutes and 01.60 seconds on the 43.7 kilometre course with an average speed of 50.397 kilometres an hour. Tuft, who posted the fastest times on the first two splits, followed in 52:44.29 averaging 49.715 kilometres an hour. David Zabriskie of the U.S., was third in 52:53.87.

Tuft’s race was derailed with about five kilometres to go when he hit a pot hole and his front tire flatted out. Tuft praised Canadian team mechanic Chad Grochowina of Dundas, Ont., who quickly grabbed his second bike off the roof of the team car ran it up to Tuft and pushed him off back into the race.

“The flat was a nerve wracking moment,” Tuft said. “I hit the pothole but I still thought I was O.K. Then when I rounded the bend it just went right flat to the rim. I just about lost it there through the next corner. Thankfully Chad was there switching the bike out right away and ready to go. I just put my head down and pushed as hard as I could to the finish.”

Aside from the pothole, Tuft liked the course.

“It really suited me,” he said. “It was a real power course. The first section was quite technical but there was a long section around the lake that you could just settle into a good rhythm and push with everything you have. You can’t really conserve at worlds but I managed this course perfectly to have energy right to the finish.”

Thursday’s result caps a great season for Tuft. Aside from his performance here and at the Olympics, he placed first overall at Tour de Beauce stage race – the first Canadian to accomplish that feat since 1995- and was a triple gold medallist on the track at the Pan Am Championships.

“My performance at the Olympics gave me a ton of confidence and was a huge moment,” said Tuft. “Coming in here I knew my form was good and I’d be up there but I didn’t expect to pull off a second place.”

Canadian national team coach Vincent Jourdain was elated with Tuft’s performance.

“This is absolutely wonderful for Svein and for Canadian cycling,” he said. “Everybody here on the team is on cloud nine right now. We couldn’t be happier for him. He gained a lot of confidence at the Olympics and realized he could ride with the best in the world.”

Thursday’s race was Tuft’s last major ride of the year.

“A great year, it couldn’t have gone any better,” he said. “All things that I put on my checklist I’ve improved upon. I’m really happy with 2008.”

1. Bert Grabsch (Germany) 52:01.60 (50.407 km/h)
2. Svein Tuft (Canada) 0:42.8
3. David Zabriskie (United States Of America) 0:52.3
4. Levi Leipheimer (United States Of America) 1:05.4
5. Gustav Larsson (Sweden) 1:05.8
6. Stijn Devolder (Belgium) 1:15.4
7. Tony Martin (Germany) 1:16.3
8. Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia) 1:25.2
9. David Millar (Great Britain) 1:25.3
10. Sylvain Chavanel (France) 1:25.8
11. Vladimir Gusev (Russian Federation) 1:27.1
12. Michael Rogers (Australia) 1:33.3
13. Marco Pinotti (Italy) 1:34.1
14. Manuel Quinziato (Italy) 1:36.8
15. Serhiy Honchar (Ukraine) 1:38.0
16. José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spain) 1:54.6
17. Matej Jurco (Slovakia) 1:58.0
18. Vasili Kiryienka (Belarus) 2:11.7
19. Lars Ytting Bak (Denmark) 2:23.4
20. Fredrik Ericsson (Sweden) 2:27.8
21. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway) 2:28.4
22. Stef Clement (Netherlands) 2:30.9
23. Eugen Wacker (Kyrgyzstan) 2:34.0
24. Michael Blaudzun (Denmark) 2:40.5
25. Stephen Cummings (Great Britain) 2:55.0
26. Mikhail Ignatiev (Russian Federation) 2:55.5
27. Andrei Kunitski (Belarus) 3:08.6
28. Lukasz Bodnar (Poland) 3:11.6
29. Rein Taaramae (Estonia) 3:20.3
30. Rubens Bertogliati (Switzerland) 3:21.0
31. Tanel Kangert (Estonia) 3:29.6
32. Ruben Plaza Molina (Spain) 3:29.8
33. Leif Hoste (Belgium) 3:30.7
34. Adam Hansen (Australia) 3:49.5
35. Gregor Gazvoda (Slovenia) 3:57.9
36. Maciej Bodnar (Poland) 4:01.1
37. Ignatas Konovalovas (Lithuania) 4:01.2
38. Frantisek Rabon (Czech Republic) 4:01.4
39. Cardenas Ravalo (Colombia) 4:11.6
40. Sergiy Matveiev (Ukraine) 4:19.2
41. Thomas Frei (Switzerland) 4:24.4
42. Jerome Coppel (France) 4:25.6
43. Ruslan Ivanov (Republic of Moldova) 4:28.1
44. Muradjan Khalmuratov (Uzbekistan) 4:32.0
45. Roman Kireyev (Kazakhstan) 4:32.1
46. Raivis Belohvosciks (Latvia) 4:34.8
47. Andrey Zeits (Kazakhstan) 4:56.5
48. Henry Mendez Raabe (Costa Rica) 5:00.0
49. Benoît Joachim (Luxembourg) 5:07.3
50. Robert Nagy (Slovakia) 5:38.2
51. Dan Craven (Namibia) 5:39.4
52. Matti Helminen (Finland) 5:40.8
53. Vladimir Tuychiev (Uzbekistan) 5:46.4
54. Zoltan Madaras (Hungary) 6:32.4
55. Esad Hasanovic (Serbia) 7:17.1
56. Gabriel Sorin Pop (Romania) 8:24.5
57. George-Daniel Anghelache (Romania) 8:43.1
DN S Juan Mauricio Soler Hernandez (Colombia)

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