September 17, 2012 (Landgraaf, NED) – On a flip side of yesterday’s perfect Sunday summer day, the Junior men faced a cold and windy day for their TT, with heavy low cloud cover that kept times slower than normal. The surprise winner was Norway’s Oscar Svendsen (ranked 26th ) who came in right after Canada’s Nigel Ellsay (ranked 25th), with a time of 35:34.75. He covered the 26.6km from Landgraaf to Valkenburg with an average speed of 44.857kph to win by over seven seconds. Ellsay finished 31st while his teammate Benjamin Perry crossed the line in 37th.
Matej Mohoric (SLO) took the silver after a slow start making up time between the first and second split moving up from 28th place to 10th, then continuing his climbing prowess by gaining nine positions in the last two climbs and 9km.
Maximillian Schachmann (GER), who, for the first two splits (at 3.6km and 17.5km) was in second and first respectively, ran out of gas coming up the double trouble climbs of Sibbegrubbe (2,100m at 4.1%) and the dreaded Cauberg (1,200m @ 5.8%). Still it was enough to take the bronze by a mere half second from Alexander Morgan (AUS) and about five seconds off the silver. Schachmann, whe turned 22 only two weeks ago, will be back to try to take gold.
The two Canadians on the start line liked the course but both felt it was a tough day in the saddle. Save the last eight kilometres where the two climbs shook the field up, the course had an uber-light elevation in the first 6km of only 50 meters, but the hills were challenging according to Ellsay, the current Canadian TT champ. “Man it was tough out there. The first 10km were tough going full gas but the two finishing climbs were really hard. The Nationals were a good test course for today’s race.”
Ellsay, who will be racing as a U23 next year, felt good about his progress this season racing in Europe and developing as an all round rider with six wins under his belt. “It’s been a very rewarding year for me, and it’s really due to those around me, the staff, the managers, my teammates, and parents…all of them are making it so much easier for me to accomplish my goals and I’m getting ready for a lot more riding in Europe next year…but first, I’m looking forward to Sunday’s road race!”
Perry, who’s background is cyclocross and road racing, was happy with his performance given that he’s not a TT specialist. “It was a good course, with some easy rolling sections and some tougher technical parts like in Europe. I prefer this kind of course to a flat out and back. The Cauberg is a good climb and now I’m looking forward to the road race.” Perry moved up from 44th to finish 37th at 19 seconds behind his teammate Ellsay.
Junior Men’s TT full results and photos HERE.
U23 Men’s TT Report
The wind died down and conditions were near perfect for the 2pm start of the U23 Men’s TT though no one expected such a thrashing from Russia’s Anton Vorobyev, ranked third coming into the race in the Limburg, who left the field in the dust with a blistering pace of 48.23kph and a final time of 44:09.02.
The remaining podium crumbs were scattered to Australia’s Rohan Dennis and Damien Howson +44 and +51 seconds behind him.
For Canada, Hugo Houle (ranked 18th) crossed the line with the 5th best time of the day and ended up just out of the top ten finishing in 13th overall. “I couldn’t have given more, it was a course that suited me well. Of course I wanted to be in the top ten, but those guys rode amazingly well today.”
David Boily, who began ranked 42nd, rose one spot riding at an even pace at the splits staying 41st throughout the race crossing the line at 48:25.35 over 4 minutes off the leader’s time. “It’s a good course and I’m happy with my form. Great to see Hugo riding well too and now we look forward to Saturday’s road race.”
Despite the Aussies sandwiching the Russian on the podium, it should be considered a wake up call to the West as the Russian, Ukraine, and Kazakstan riders took five of the top 20 honors with the Danes taking three of the top seven slots, including top-seeded Christian Quaade, who ended up 5th.
When Denmark’s Norman Hansen blazed in just over 45 minutes (originally ranked 22nd), the crowd erupted, believing no one would touch his time as all previous riders had hovered well over 45mins. But 6th ranked Damien Howson (AUS) stormed to just over 45 minutes stealing Hansen’s thunder – and eventually good enough for the bronze. Soon after Dennis out-paced his teammate but the gusty and spectacular ride by Russia’s Vorobyev, first at every split, showed his total domination.
We talked with the new world champion (by translator) and when asked if he was surprised to shave off over 40 seconds from the then-lead, he responded, “I had a little idea how well my ride was going. Yes, I knew I was doing well and I knew my split times. My coach and I decided to work on my time trialing last year and change my preparations, and as I was on the continental team but raced also with some of the pros from Katusha
“I was able to learn a lot. My Director Sportif (from Germany) considered for me to become a pro this year but we decided that I would benefit most if I stayed one more year in the U23 ranks and train with both teams. It took the pressure off to perform better in my category…now this result shows my form is very good and I’m ready for the next step.”
His coach, German Hans Hockzer, who has turned around a mediocre Katusha team, said when he saw Anton ride he was reminded of another German rider, “Not in success but in style of riding I’d compare him to Tony Martin, he listens well and absorbs, he’s very focused – especially for his age.”
Stay tuned for their next road races this weekend.
U23 Men’s TT results and photos HERE.