September 25, 2015 (Richmond, VA) – The road races at the 2015 UCI Road World Championships got off to a great start for Team Canada as Adam de Vos delivered a top-10 result with a strong 9th-place finish in the U23 Men’s competition while Katherine Maine took home a great result in the Junior women’s race finishing 13th.
Junior Women’s Race
The 64.9km, 4-lap, Junior women’s race saw the action begin with Emma White (USA) attacking with Ksenia Tcymbaliuk (Russia) to open an 8-second gap. Agnieszka Skalniak (Poland) gave chase and then Chloe Dygert (USA), the recently crowned ITT champ, also bridged.
Maine was in the lead chase group while her teammates, Gillian Ellasy and Liah Harvie, were not far behind. When Dygert attacked again there was no stopping her as White sat on Skalniak’s wheel.
Dygert continued to forge ahead as Juliette Labous (France) replaced Tcymbaliuk in break while Canada’s Maine held her own in the chasing pack. Dygert’s margin as she crossed the finish line for the second time was around 18 seconds, but she had enough fuel in the tank to remain ahead of the chasing trio the last lap and claim an impressive lone victory to go with her ITT title.
At the finish the Indiana-born Dygert soloed in for her second gold at 1:23 ahead of her teammate White who bested Skalniak for the silver. Canada’s Maine had been sitting in 21st and able to move up in the final charge to the line to claim 13th.
This was another solid result for Maine as the season comes to an end as she recently won the inaugural Criterium National du Montreal in the rain and was on the podium with Tara Whitten at the Green Mountain Stage Race as well.
Under the threat of rain the U23 Men’s 162.5km race saw several initial attacks as the Canadian squad with de Vos, Benjamin Perry, Nigel Ellsay and Alex Cataford sitting comfortably in the pack.
Finally three riders got away as Eddie Dunbar (Ireland), Jose Luis Rodriguez (Chile), and Davide Martinelli (Italy) stretched their legs. Soon after Oleg Zemlyakov (Kazakhstan), Maximilian Schachmann (Germany), already a silver medallist in the Time Trial earlier in the week, bridged across.
This break stuck for more than three quarters of the race but five became three again, as Dunbar and Martinelli lost contact with the latter suffering a mechanical. On the second last ascent of Libby Hill, the lead trio were caught some 20 kilometres from the finish with the strong Italians and French teams keeping a close watch.
After a brief but intense five kilometre move by Denmark’s Soren Kragh Andresen failed to gain traction, the last round of attacks from a front group of some 90 riders began as they closed in on the final three climbs amidst increasingly heavy rain.
De Vos and Perry were near the front of the peloton while Ellsay and Cataford were further back as the day took its toll on many in the pack including some late race crashes on the slippery roads.
Positioning was now crucial on the final lap, with France and Italy well-placed as the pack reached the foot of the first ascent on the last lap. Crashes combined with the steeper, cobbled, first two climbs left the peloton split apart, but both French and Italian riders remained prominent in the shattered front group.
“It was difficult to keep your position,” De Vos told Pedal. “Libby Hill was tough for sure with the cobbles, but I found the steep 23rd St-climb to be more challenging – especially having to tackle it ten times.”
Martinelli briefly went clear again before Ledanois seized the moment and shot away with some two kilometres to go as Italian and Austrian riders led the chase. Italy’s Simone Consonni, aided by his teammate Gianni Moscon, was clearly motivated to catch Ledanois but France Anthony Turgis went with them shadowing their moves.
Consonni closed on Ledanois, who constantly looked back yet maintained his lead of less than ten seconds as he roared onto the final ascent up Governor Street and round the last sweeping left-hand bend.
The long finishing straight clearly took its toll on Ledanois as Consonni’s counter-attack almost worked. Visibly getting more and more exhausted, Ledanois alternated between standing and sitting to work the pedals as best he could. He finally crossed the line barely two or three bikelengths ahead of the deeply frustrated Italian for the biggest win of his career as Turgis claimed the bronze putting two French riders on the final podium.
Perry who was 8th at the start of the final lap fell back near the end to finish 26th while De Vos managed to keep pace and sprinted to a fine 10th-place finish adding to his best season to date. Cataford and Ellsay got caught up behind and did not finish.
“The WorldTour races were great preparation for the Worlds,” commented De Vos. “Getting to ride with top-level riders is the best way to learn how to maintain your pace and position at this level.
“This has been my best season yet and for sure my results at San Dimas, Gila and Philly have helped my confidence build through the season. The team energy has been great and this is definitely a highlight of the season and my biggest international result so far – a great way to finish the season.”