Posted by Editoress on 09/23/08
Road World Championships - U23 Men's ITT Varese, ITA
The 2008 Road World Championships opened on Tuesday in Varese, Italy with an extremely popular home win by 20 year old Adriano Malori in the Under-23 time trial. Malori, the last rider to start, was the fastest through all checkpoints to win the 33.5 kilometre in a time of 41:35.98 . Patrick Gretsch (Germany) finished second at 49.67 seconds, despite crashing with three kilometres to go, while Cameron Meyer (Australia) took the bronze medal at 1:04.36 . The top North American was American Peter Stetina with a very strong sixth place, 20 seconds out of the medals. Canada's David Veilleux was 20th, 2:08.72 in arrears. Eric Boily took 39th, at 3:09.76 .
The weather forecast had been for perfect conditions for the entire week, however, riders woke up to heavy rain and cold temperatures. Luckily, the grey skies started to break up two hours before racing began, and by the time Veilleux rolled down the ramp as the first rider off, it was sunny and the pavement was beginning to dry out.
"I was careful because the road was really slippery when I rode at the beginning of the field," explained Veilleux. "By going too fast in those conditions I could easily crash and lose a minute or more. It was a good course for me, and for the final section I was able to open it up more and go harder."
Veilleux was one of only four riders to hold the Hot Seat position, holding it through 21 riders until Meyer knocked over a minute off his time. Veilleux started slow, but finished quickly, recording the seventh fastest time for the final ten kilometres.
"I was 36th last year, so 20th is good, I think it is a really good result. I didn't do any specific training here for the time trial, and I knew that the guys in the top ten, they all prepare specifically for this race and many don't do the road race [on Friday], so this result shows that I will be in good shape for Friday."
After Meyer took the lead he wasn't challenged until Gretsch, eighth from the end, took 14.5 seconds off the leading time. Gretsch's excellent ride came despite crashing and sliding across the road, frighteningly followed by a TV motorcycle also on its side.
"It was in the right turn after the tunnel that I went down," explained Gretsch. "It was not the moto's fault, I crashed on the wet road and then he crashed also. Of course, I am disappointed to crash, but overall happy with my race and to get a medal."
But Malori was already on course and setting new fast times at every check point, so the crash probably did not change the final standings. The current European champion was one second ahead after eight kilometres, 14 seconds after 15, 22 seconds in front at 23.5 kilometres and more than doubled that in the final run to the finish.
"I don't feel easy racing when it is raining," Malori commented "so when I saw the sun coming out at two o'clock, I knew it would be a good day for me, and everything went perfect. It's incredible, to win in Italy means I was feeling great emotions."
"I used a 55x11 for my top gear, because I always prefer racing with big gears, it is my style. I also knew that for the last long descent before the finish it would be very important to have a big gear. But I knew I was doing well, and that I was first at the intermediate check. At the top of the climb, I knew that all I had to do was maintain the gap, and I was confident that I could do that to the finish, with the gear choice that I had made."
Stetina, who is coming off a very strong ride at the Tour de l'Avenir, slowed in the middle portion of the course, but finished very strongly, with the fourth fastest time for the final ten kilometres.
"L'Avenir was the perfect build up to World's. I made a lot of gains during that race and it gave me the perfect amount of time to recover. I didn't come here with any specific expectations. I wasn't nervous. I just wanted to come here and see what I could do. Everyone's been very supportive of me. My coach, Allen Lim, told me I could podium here. Garmin-Chipotle has supported me since I was 15 and USA Cycling has supported me since I was a junior."
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