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LIVE REPORT BY SUSAN WESTEMEYER - Welcome again to the second part of today's fun and games. We are about to take to the road with the Under 23 men.
And they're off! 166 young men have taken off on 13 laps of this 13.8km course.
We have our first attack already! It is Khakharman Merey of Kazakhstan.
He is quickly joined by two others, and the field is not far back.
Everyone together again as they take on the first climb.
The field is strung out single file -- these youngsters are going out fast!
The next attack comes form Alex Howes of the US. He is joined by another rider, with a third a few metres back. One of those two is Jonathan Fumeaux of Switzerland.
The three are together now: Jose Cayetano of Colombia, Howes and Fumeaux. They have a nice little lead over the peloton.
Those 13 laps give us a total of 174 kms for the young riders today.
They have finished the first lap now, only 12 more to go.
A sharp left-hand turn for the peloton. Fortunately the road is dry again, unlke the first few laps of the women's race this morning.
The three leaders work their way up the 12% section of the lap's first climb.
The trio has about a minute lead. Two riders attack out of the field, but don't get away.
Howes has now built up a slight lead over the other two.
The three are together again.
A rider attacks again out of the field. It may be another Kazakhi.
The leaders now have 47 seconds on the bunch.
It is indeed Ablay Shugaipov of Kazakhstan.
We apologize for the paucity of information, but are not getting much ourselves.
The leading trio works its way up the 10% section of the second climb in the lap.
Shugaipov now finds himself just about halfway between the leaders and the chase group.
The young Kazakh rider must be quite a climber, he has nearly caught the three leaders.
Or perhaps the leaders are just slowing down, as the peloton is right there, too.
Looks like we are all together again.
Two Germans now lead the peloton.
The group crosses the finish line again -- together.
Two laps down, 11 to go.
The peloton is still together as it heads up the climb.
The next attack goes. A Swiss rider?
Two riders have managed to get away, and they are now joined by a third. And a fourth. But the peloton is not far back.
We have an Australian in the lead, Mark O'Brien.
Nope, we read that number wrong. It is actually Martin Schöffman of Austria.
This circuit course passes a number of large cemetaries.
Another attack out of the field.
It was a German rider, but he is now caught, and we think Schöffman too.
No. Sorry, this is all quite confusing. Schöffman is still ahead, but we don't know what his lead is.
Schöffman is climbing again.
The young Austrian has 45 seconds on the group.
It has obviously warmed up. The women wore long sleeves this morning, and now some of the guys have their jerseys flapping open.
Schöffmann continues in the lead, with over a minute gap.
Once more over the finish line for Schöffmann. 10 laps to go.
The field is over a minute and a half down, but is not giving seriious chase.
To be precise, the gap was 1:35.
Lots of Netherlands orange jerseys at the front of the peloton.
Nearly two minutes now for our leader.
The peloton has picked up its tempo. A Kazakh rider is in the lead as they fly along in single file.
We have had a crash, and one rider is receiving some serious medical attention. It looks like four or five riders were involved, and all the others are ok.
Four riders have pulled away a few metres in front of the field.
They are caught again.
Schöffmann continues on his lonely way.
Another rider escapes from the field, which is about 1:30 behind Schöffmann.
Betancur Gomez Carlos Alberto is the one to have slipped away.
Or, to give him his proper name, Carlos Albert Betancur Gomez.
Schöffmann crosses the finish line. Nine laps to go. How far back is Betancur Gomez?
The Colombian is over a minute, down, with the peloton about 20 seconds behind him.
Betancur Gomez keeps looking back to see where the pack is.
Oops, not a crash, but several riders got to close to the barrier at a sharp turn, and had to step out of their pedals.
The peloton is now over two minutes back. Betancur Gomez is in between the leader and the peloton.
Betancur Gomez is now 1:10 behind Schöffmann.
Schöffmann is 22 years old. He started riding last year with the Continental team RC Arbö Resch & Frisch Gourmetfein Wels, before joining the Professional Continenal Team Elk Haus-Simplon this year.
Matthews of Australia has broken out of the peloton and is chasing.
Matthews is now only 49 seconds behind Schöffmann, with the peloton at 1:32. We don't know what happened to the Colombian.
Another handful of riders has gotten away from the field.
Schöffmann is climlbing again.
The chasers have caught Matthews.
We apologize again for the lack of information.
The leader remains the same, even if the situation behind him changes. There is now a group of four only13 seconds behind Schöffman, with the peloton at about 29 seconds.
Riders are now starting to drop off the back of the field.
The four chasers are Darwin Atapuma Hurtabo (COL), Nico Keinath (GER), avid Veilleux (CAN) and Timothy Roe (AUT).
They catch Schöffmann about 250 m before the finish line.
The quintet has a lead of about 45 seconds as they go into the next round.
The leaders pass through the feed zone and pick up new drinks.
Three more riders break out of the peloton, as Mario Cipollini visits the race village.
A flat tyre for a Swiss rider.
We have now lost all contact with the race, and will work on getting it back.
The five leaders are about a minute ahead of a chase group, with the field at 1:45.
There are about 15 riders in the chase group.
Nicolas Edet of France has crashed.
No, he just broke a chain, no crash.
Edet gets a new bike and is on his way. Russia is now leading the chasing peloton.
Once again, sorry for the problems. We are working hard to find a solution.
We think we have our problems solved now and will try to figure out what is going on in the race.
The Australian in the lead group is Matthews, not Roe.
The field is flying now and about to catch a group of four escapees.
The five leaders approach the finish line again.
The five leaders head into lap seven with a lead of over a minute.
Let's make that 88 km ridden, not 96.
The peloton heads through the feed zone, but few of them take a bag of goodies.
Matthews leads the head group up the climb.
Ah, that lovely 12% section......
The Australians are also at the head of the chasing peloton.
The peloton is riding past a lovely mountain stream, but we doubt they have time to look at it.
The peloton seems content to let this group stay away, but it is not letting it get too far away.
The Australians continue to lead the peloton, with U-23 time trial world champion Jack Bobridge at the head of things.
Another trip through the feed zone, with some riders doing some fancy weaving in and out
Meanwhile, the leaders are climbing again.
The gap has increased now, to 2:07.
The leaders go up over the top of the final climb of this lap.
And now the peloton comes over the climb.
The five leaders hit the finish line again, and take off on the seventh round.
The peloton comes across at 1:41 down. A group of four is a few metres ahead of the pack.
It looks like those four are caught again already. A Dutch rider leads the way, but we have the next attack.
That attack is caught, too.
Italy and Australia lead the chase.
Italy continues to lead the chase -- hoping for their second gold medal of the day?
The gap is shrinking dramatically now, only 47 seconds.
How soon will the peloton catch the escape? And who will be the next to go?
A Russian rider takes off out of the field on the climb.
And just like tht, he catches the five leaders. It is Andrey Solomennikov.
The peloton will catch the escapees any minute now, they aren't at all far behind.
Everyone nears the finish line. The leaders have a lead of only 8 seconds.
That's it, the escape is caught. And the next rider takes off already.
A German-- Martin Reimer. He is immediately followed by three others.
All together again.
Bobridge is now at the back of things.
Another Colombian rider goes, Sergio Luis Henao Montayo. He quickly builds up a small lead on this climb.
His gap is five seconds.
He is followed by a group of five which includes a Dutch and a German rider.
The chase group is caught by the peloton.
Dutch rider Michel Kreder leads the chase.
It looks like Montoya has been joined by two other riders, with more coming up.
Another rider takes off in pursuit, a British rider?
If we have counted correctly, there are now 8 riders in the lead.
There is a group of five behind them, with the field not far back.
The two front groups have come together.
13 riders in the lead, with the peloton breathing down their necks.
The group is holding on to its narrow lead, and, boy, is it a narrow lead.
The lead group has split up now. Actually everyone is together again.
Blaz Furdi of Slovenia is the next to attack. He has a minimal lead.
The peloton is now only about 50 riders as they hit the finish line again. Furdi is caught and they go over in a group
Only three more laps to go!
The field is climbing again.
One rider is in the lead, with several smaller groups behind him. Sorry, we don't have names or numbers.
It is number nine, Alexandre Geniez of France, who is in the lead. But he has now been joined by two more.
He again has a lead over his two pursuers.
And the three are together, with a 10 second or so lead over the field.
Australia's Leigh Howard jumps out of the peloton in an attack.
Howard, who will ride for Columbia-HTC next year, catches the three leaders.
The peloton keeps getting smaller and smaller, maybe 40-50 now.
Another Colombian jumps. Their team has been very active in this race.
The Colombian is Sergio Luis Henao Montoya again.
The six have a nice little lead over the peloton. Three riders in the lead group attack, and the other three give chase.
he gap is now 20-some seconds.
The lead group is now down to five. Jerome Baugnies of Belgium is chasing.
We have three rides in the lead: Montoya, Furdi and Brambilla.
A group of five crosses the finish line. Two laps to go!
The field is 40 seconds back.
Our lead group is Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Colombia), Alexandre Geniez (France), Blaz Furdi (Slovenia), Gianluca Brambilla (Italy) and Leigh Howard (Australia)
Jérôme Baugnies (Belgium) is the one trying to bridge.
The group is building up its lead.
A one-rider crash at the back of the peloton.
The lead group has split on the climb, but the others struggle and catch up.
Everybody catches up: the peloton is there, too. All together again.
Less than 25km to go now.
The peloton has pulled apart, and 26 riders are now in the lead, six seconds ahead of the next group.
Multiple attacks out of the group. Three riders are building up a lead, with two more behind them.
A Dutch rider is in the lead.
Romain Sicard of France and Michel Kreder of the Netherlands have a slight lead.
With, of course, a Colombian giving chase.
They are all really flying now......
The two leaders are sharing the work. Nicolas Edet of France is chasing his own landsman.
Edet is 13 seconds back.
Is the peloton slowing down? The gap to Edet is getting larger and larger.
Kreder indicates that Sicard should take his share of the leadwork now, thank you very much.
Edet is joined by a Russian, but the peloton is not far back. They are caught now.
Sicard and Kreder go over the final climb of the lap.
There is now a chase group of five.
The two leaders come up to the finish line. What is their gap?
Only one more lap -- 13.8 km -- to go!
Their chances are looking good. the first chasers are 30 seconds back, with the peloton at 32 seconds.
Will these two let it come down to a sprint? Or will one take off? Or will they be caught?
The remaining peloton isnt wasting any time here...
Italys Daniele Ratto jumps to try and bridge to the leaders.
We see a group of eight being followed by one, witha peloton of 15-20 further back. Ratto leads the chase group of 8.
But our two leaders are still holding firm.
It looks like there are three Colombians in the chase group.
Up they go......
These climlbs aren't long, but you can tell they are getting to those young legs.
Sicard pulls away from Kreder.
Sicard pulls away.....
The Frenchman now has a huge lead!
He only has about 10 km to go, can he hold on to it?
He has 39 seconds now.
Sicard looks back to see see no one behind him. Well, other than the motorcycles.
It is looking good for Sicard!
Kreder is now caught by the chase group.
Sicard tops out at the very final climb of the race.
He is starting to grin now.....
The first two chasers hit the top now, an Italian and a Colombian.
Only 2.4 km for Sicard. Can he hold off his two chasers? They are 33 seconds back, so it seems likely.
Not an Italian, but a Russian: Silin. And the Colombian is Betancur.
The end is in sight for Sicard! And it wil be a happy ending!
The last km for him...
He looks back once again befre raising his arms in victory!
The next two sprint for silver, with Betancur taking it ahead of Silin.
The top four:
1 Romain Sicard (France)
2 Betancur Gomez Carlos Alberto (Colombia)
3 Egor Silin (Russia)
4 Peter Kennaugh (Great Britain)
Congratulations to our new World Champion, 21-year-old Romain Sicard of France!
Our top seven in the world:
1 Romain Sicard (France)
2 Betancur Gomez Carlos Alberto (Colombia)
3 Egor Silin (Russia)
4 Peter Kennaugh (Great Britain)
5 Jérôme Baugnies (Belgium)
6 Marko Kump (Slovenia)
7 Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kazakhstan)
That was an exciting and exhausting day! But we aren't done, there is more to come. Join us again tomorrow for the Elite Men's Road Race. And thanks for reading along with us today.