September 27, 2013 (Florence, Italy) – More champions were crowned on Day 4 following yesterday’s rest day at the 2013 UCI Road World Championships as the road races began with the Junior Women and U23 Men with more rainbow jerseys up for grabs.
Dideriksen Takes the Junior Women’s Title
Denmark’s Amalie Dideriksen took the rainbow jersey in the Junior Women’s 82.8km race that was fought from the very beginning. Dideriksen bridged to the lead group of three that escaped after the third of five laps in a gutty breakaway that worked for all four contenders.
The Dane didn’t have it easy battling Anastasia Iakovenko (Russia) at the finish line for the top podium place, both finishing at 2:32:23 with the bronze going to Olena Demydova (Ukraine) at 3 seconds. Jessenia Gonzalez Meneses (Columbia), who showed impressive climbing skills, had bad luck as she flatted in the final 500 meters to finish at 18s. The leaders enjoyed their biggest time advantage over the chase group at over 2:30 until they were slowly reeled in with about 40km to go, but there was never a serious concerted effort to bring back the dangerously fast breakaway.
Dideriksen, the 2013 Danish Junior National ITT Champion, used this weapon to finish off Iakovenko in the end with a strong sprint, kicking home with about 100 meters to go with no serious response from the Russian.
Canada’s Tessa Pinckston crossed the line in 49th place at 2:43:02 at 10:39 behind the leader while Kinley Gibson worked with her in the race after being dropped, climbing back in the last few laps to place 51st another 4 seconds behind Pinckston. Climber Dafne Izquierdo finished 57th with a time of 2:45:55, and Marie Poisson did not finish after some bad luck with a crash at the beginning, claiming “the pack was very nervous and suddenly riders were swerving everywhere and I crashed.” She did fight back to not be dropped but then a mechanical finished her hopes.
Qoutes from the podium:
Amalie Dideriksen (DEN): “I’m very happy, I didn’t think I would manage to get into a breakaway from the beginning, this wasn’t the plan. But once we were there, we helped each other to the end. In Denmark, we don’t have any climbs as tough as Via Salviati, I had to work hard to keep the pace but I managed not to get caught.”
Anastasiia Iakovenko (RUS): “We all wanted to win, we did a great race and collaborated well. I tried to give that last sprint all I had, but Amalie was stronger. She deserved to win today.”
Olena Demydova (UKR): “My idea worked well today, I was the first to attempt the breakaway. I’m not disappointed, I believe I did all I could. I actually enjoyed the race and although it was hard, I think it was a good race and course.”
Matej Mohoric Secures the U23 Men’s Rainbow Jersey
The Under 23 Men World title won by Slovenia’s Matej Mohoric had all the excitement one could expect from the hills of Fiesole, especially the hill they call the wall which spit riders out and left more than half of them kicked to the curb, not finishing.
Last year in the Netherlands where he battled the fearsome Cauberg hill for various laps, Mohoric (or M2 he’s been called) repeated his impressive climbing skills to show the world that as he moved up in age categories, from under 19 to Under 23, he wasn’t going to be intimidated. “I think this course suited me well and although it’s my first year in this category, I can say that I’ve improved a lot from last year in various ways and felt prepared for this course.”
Mohoric caught Julian Alaphilippe (France), who had escaped on his own and had a 10s-lead, as the two started the final lap with the pack chasing hard. As the Slovenian started to drop Alaphilippe on the climb Louis Meintjes (South Africa) attacked from the chasing pack and caught the Frenchman and then went after Mohoric.
But Mohoric was not easy prey and Meintjes struggled to reel him in as the kilometres ran down and the finishline approached. Meintjes fought hard but Mohoric was untouchable as the South African held off the charging pack for the silver. The Italian crowd cheered for their last man standing, Davie Villella, who rallied for a futile but valiant attack (placing 6th) after the last descent. It was Norway’s Sondre Enger who out-sprinted Australia’s Caleb Ewan in the final dash to the line for the bronze.
Mohoric’s heroics rang the bell on the rest, having the courage to put the title on the line on a sesational solo journey in the last tough kms. The chase group was not far behind, but he rode his chariot like few do – off the saddle but on the top tube to wrap himself lower on the bike while descending, a style well-known in Italy from their beloved and controversial former double Tour winner, Il Pirata, aka Marco Pantoni.
Mohoric did whatever it took to conserve his energy those last kilometres as the wolves were knocking on his door, yet he saved just enough to gut out another epic win.
Canada’s Antoine Duchesne placed 46th in the second group at 4:22:51, but pleased with the course and his performance. See his interview below.