By Gregor Brown in Varese, Italy
Italy's Adriano Malori made an impressive push to the Under 23 UCI World Time Trial podium's top step in Varese, Italy today. The 20 year-old's agility has improved since finishing fifth in Stuttgart, Germany last year. The step up in the youngster's performance enabled him to power a 55x11 ratio and take the rainbow jersey ahead of Germany's Patrick Gretsch and Australia's Cameron Meyer.
"The sun that came out at two o'clock was a sign that the day would go well," said Malori. "I needed the physical and weather conditions to be right - everything to take the medal. I don't race very well on the wet roads."
The morning's heavy rains passed by the start of the Under 23's race and the roads were truly dry by the start of Malori's run, at 15:34 local time. He safely manoeuvred on the roads where silver medallist Gretsch crashed.
"It is my nature to ride with this big gearing," he said. "I saw the course and I knew that the gearing would be right. I am sure that it was the right choice. This gearing allowed me to take the win.
"I worked specifically for the time trial with respect to the last year," he added. "I did not use this gearing last year very efficiently; I was very fatigued from the gearing. I think I have improved and the others stayed the same."
His directeur sportif, Rosario Fina, kept him informed through the race. Fina told him that he had the best splits coming into the finale, but the fans confirmed the results.
"Rosario told me through the headset that I was going well," he said. "When I arrived at the top of the climb, he said I had a good advantage. I also thought that the gearing was good, and it all gave me a good morale.
"I am very happy with this jersey; it is incredible for my career and special because I am in Italy," he said. "I think that a boy is not able to understand all that is going on...all the emotion. It is something indescribable. When I reached the finish, I knew I had won from their cheers."
Malori, who followed Lance Armstrong's career as a youngster, is not sure how he will develop as a rider. He prefers to give himself time to develop and for cycling to become a better work environment.
"I think that a boy of 20 years old can't answer what he expects from the future," he said. "Right now, I can only understand the Under 23 situation. I don't know how it is going in the professional ranks, I know it is getting better and there will be a better future for cycling."