Lutsenko wins under-23 Worlds road race in Valkenburg

Coquard and Van Asbroeck second and third

Alexey Lutsenko gave Kazakhstan its first ever Under 23 men’s world road race title with an audacious but perfectly timed sprint along the barriers.

Lutsenko let other riders start their sprints early and then came from behind to hit the line first at exactly the right time. France’s Bryan Coquard also came up late to take second, with Belgium’s Tom Van Asbroeck taking third. Hugo Houle (Canada) was fourth and Luke Pibernik (Slovenia) was fifth.

As expected, the final climb of the Cauberg, just 1.5km from the finish, sparked attacks but Lutsenko was able to get back to the front and fight for victory.

“The race wasn’t easy. I had to suffer quite a bit and hang on during the last lap. I came back on from behind on the Cauberg, but then the sprint went well,” Lutsenko said in the post-race press conference. “The team worked hard to carry out the preordained tactics and they did some great work, especially on the last lap. So I have to thank my team.”

Lutsenko was overjoyed to win the world title. Bryan Coquard was not so happy to lose by less than a wheel.

“The dominant feeling is one of disappointment, even it’s nice to have silver at least,” he said.

“(Teammate) Warren Barguil was fantastic, he helped to pace me back on after the Cauberg all the way up to the last kilometre, but maybe I needed someone in those next 500 metres. I put in a long sprint and went 350 metres from the line. I went then because I found and opening and I was worried if I waited that I would get blocked in.

“I thought I could win right to the last metre and even on crossing the line, I still wasn’t sure if I’d come first or second. Unfortunately it was second.”

A fast and furious race

As always with Under 23 world championship road races, the 177km race was fast and furious, with riders attacking and chasing each other throughout its duration.

Tomohiro Kinoshita of Japan, Jesper Dahlstrom of Sweden and Australia’s Michael Freiberg. formed the early move, opening an eight-minute gap. They were chased down and eight riders later joined them to create an 11-rider front group after five laps, before a general regrouping. Other attacks came but the peloton responded time and time again during the next three laps.

Italy’s Andrea Fedi was especially aggressive and he and four other riders managed to form a breakaway with a lap and a half to go. The five were: Andrea Fedi (Italy), Lukas Postlberger (Austria), Eduardo Sepulveda (Argentina), Anton Vorobyev (Russia) and Pawel Bernas (Poland).

As the bell rang at the finish line, signalling a lap to go, the quintet had a 15-second lead but it was not going to be enough. The peloton quickly closed the gap and then the Kazakhstan team also chased down a few solo attack on the back of the circuit.

The final climb of the Cauberg would be decisive and confirm if this year’s world championships are better suited to the attackers and climbers, or for the sprinters who opted to wait for the dash to the finish.

Austria’s Georg Preidler and Australia’s Jay McCarthy were the first to attack on the Cauberg and got a gap as the gradient eased. They were joined by a handful of other riders and for an instant they seemed to have a chance of going all the way to the finish. However some of the riders hesitated and refused to work. That slowed the attack, hit their determination and allowed the chasers to close the gap. Although the Cauberg left many struggling, 52 riders made it into the front group and drove towards the finish.

The Belgian team led-out the sprint but they went a little too early into the headwind - it was going to be a hectic sprint. Tom Van Asbroeck (Belgium) came through and probably thought he was going to win after hitting the front in the final 100 metres. But Lutsenko came past him on his left and then Coquard came past him on the right of the road to take first and second.

Lutsenko was overjoyed to win but will not wear the rainbow jersey in 2013. Instead he will join the pro ranks, as the heir to Alexandre Vinokourov’s crown of best Kazakhstan rider in cycling.

“You never know what can happen, many things are possible in a career,” he said when asked if he was ready to take over from Vinokourov.

“All season I’ve tried to stay in good condition to get wins and last month I signed a deal with Pro Team Astana. I hope I can continue to ride well as a professional next season and maybe even get a win along the way.”

Full Results
1 Alexey Lutsenko (Kazakhstan) 4:20:15  
2 Bryan Coquard (France)    
3 Tom Van Asbroeck (Belgium)    
4 Hugo Houle (Canada)    
5 Luka Pibernik (Slovenia)    
6 Jhoan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Colombia)    
7 Hernando Bohorquez Sanchez (Colombia)    
8 Kenneth Van Bilsen (Belgium)    
9 Wouter Wippert (Netherlands)    
10 Sam Bennett (Ireland)    
11 Patrick Konrad (Austria)    
12 Jan Polanc (Slovenia)    
13 Soufiane Haddi (Morocco)    
14 Moreno Hofland (Netherlands)    
15 Haavard Blikra (Norway)    
16 Sergei Pomoshnikov (Russian Federation)    
17 Silvan Dillier (Switzerland)    
18 Lawrence Kalil Warbasse (United States of America)    
19 Jay McCarthy (Australia)    
20 Michael Valgren Andersen (Denmark)    
21 Sven Erik Bystrøm (Norway)    
22 Sebastian Lander (Denmark)    
23 Janis Dakteris (Latvia)    
24 Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden)    
25 Michel Koch (Germany)    
26 Sean Patrick Downey (Ireland)    
27 Arman Kamyshev (Kazakhstan)    
28 Ilia Koshevoy (Belarus)    
29 Nikias Arndt (Germany)    
30 Juan Ernesto Chamorro (Colombia)    
31 Kristian Haugaard Jensen (Denmark)    
32 Philip Lavery (Ireland)    
33 Karel Hnik (Czech Republic)    
34 Kirill Yatsevich (Russian Federation)    
35 Natnael Brhane Teweldemedhin (Eritrea)    
36 Rick Zabel (Germany)    
37 Joshua Atkins (New Zealand)    
38 Gijs Van Hoecke (Belgium)    
39 Fabio Felline (Italy)    
40 James Oram (New Zealand)    
41 Vegard Breen (Norway)    
42 Pit Schlechter (Luxembourg)    
43 Nathan Davis Brown (United States of America)    
44 Tim Mikelj (Slovenia)    
45 Jan Hirt (Czech Republic)    
46 Alex Kirsch (Luxembourg)    
47 Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spain)    
48 Pawel Poljanski (Poland)    
49 Gavin Mannion (United States of America)    
50 Joshua Edmondson (Great Britain)    
51 Jasper Stuyven (Belgium)    
52 Warren Barguil (France)    
53 Georg Preidler (Austria) 0:00:09  
54 Tom Skujins (Latvia) 0:00:15  
55 Tom Thill (Luxembourg) 0:00:25  
56 Oleksandr Prevar (Ukraine)    
57 Eiichi Hirai (Japan)    
58 Sergei Chernetski (Russian Federation)    
59 Andrei Holubeu (Belarus)    
60 Reda Aadel (Morocco)    
61 Piotr Gawronski (Poland)    
62 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Denmark)    
63 Marcel Aregger (Switzerland)    
64 Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan)    
65 Lukasz Wisniowski (Poland)    
66 Josef Cerny (Czech Republic)    
67 Louis Meintjes (South Africa)    
68 Andris Smirnovs (Latvia)    
69 King Lok Cheung (Hong Kong, China)    
70 Gennady Tatarinov (Russian Federation)    
71 Sebastian Anaya (Venezuela)    
72 Sebastian Henao Gomez (Colombia)    
73 Pawel Bernas (Poland)    
74 Davide Villella (Italy)    
75 Daan Olivier (Netherlands)    
76 Nikola Kozomara (Serbia) 0:00:31  
77 Antoine Duchesne (Canada)    
78 Anasse Ait El Abdia (Morocco)    
79 Adam Phelan (Australia)    
80 Lukas Postlberger (Austria)    
81 Anton Vorobyev (Russian Federation)    
82 Maxime Daniel (France)    
83 Vladislav Gorbunov (Kazakhstan)    
84 Emanuel Buchmann (Germany)    
85 Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands)    
86 Jan Sokol (Austria)    
87 Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Ethiopia)    
88 Jakub Filip (Czech Republic)    
89 Eduardo Sepulveda (Argentina)    
90 Danny Van Poppel (Netherlands)    
91 Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (United States of America)    
92 Nikita Umerbekov (Kazakhstan)    
93 Damien Howson (Australia)    
94 Klemen Stimulak (Slovenia)    
95 Mark Dzamastagic (Slovenia)    
96 Enrico Barbin (Italy)    
97 Scott Thwaites (Great Britain)    
98 Jasha Sütterlin (Germany) 0:01:14  
99 Anatoliy Sosnitskiy (Ukraine) 0:01:35  
100 Théo Vimpere (France) 0:01:43  
101 Angelo Tulik (France)    
102 Bob Jungels (Luxembourg) 0:02:24  
103 Andrea Fedi (Italy) 0:02:48  
104 Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Italy)    
105 Thomas Scully (New Zealand) 0:03:18  
106 Mattia Cattaneo (Italy)    
107 Jhonatha Salinas (Venezuela)    
108 Simon Yates (Great Britain) 0:03:34  
109 Salaheddine Mraouni (Morocco) 0:04:08  
110 Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (Denmark) 0:06:29  
111 Maxat Ayazbayev (Kazakhstan) 0:07:16  
112 Kim Magnusson (Sweden)    
113 Ali Riza Tanriverdi (Turkey) 0:09:38  
114 Dieter Bouvry (Belgium) 0:10:09  
115 Nikita Zharoven (Belarus) 0:10:18  
116 August Jensen (Norway) 0:13:00  
HD Adel Barbari (Algeria)    
HD Olivier Le Gac (France)    
HD Panagiotis Chatzakis (Greece)    
HD Tomohiro Kinoshita (Japan)    
HD Takero Terasaki (Japan)    
HD Mieszko Bulik (Poland)    
HD Mats Andersson (Sweden)    
HD Fernando Briceño (Venezuela)    
DNF Gabriel Chavanne (Switzerland)    
DNF Zico Waeytens (Belgium)    
DNF Jack Wilson (Ireland)    
DNF Yonder Godoy (Venezuela)    
DNF Muhammad Zulhilmie Afif Ahmad Zamri (Malaysia)    
DNF Ian Boswell (United States of America)    
DNF Nick Aitken (Australia)    
DNF Jan Tratnik (Slovenia)    
DNF Rohan Dennis (Australia)    
DNF Michael Freiberg (Australia)    
DNF Manuel Andres Sanchez Cuevas (Dominican Republic)    
DNF Andreas Hofer (Austria)    
DNF Jorge Abreu (Venezuela)    
DNF Siarhei Safonau (Belarus)    
DNF Hillard Cijntje (Netherlands Antilles)    
DNF Faycal Hamza (Algeria)    
DNF Omar Muhammad Faiz Izzuddin (Malaysia)    
DNF Nik Mohd Azwan Zulkifle (Malaysia)    
DNF Ki Ho Choi (Hong Kong, China)    
DNF Hiroshi Tsubaki (Japan)    
DNF Quinten Winkel (Netherlands Antilles)    
DNF David Boily (Canada)    
DNF Filip Eidsheim (Norway)    
DNF Jonas Ahlstrand (Sweden)    
DNF Andzs Flaksis (Latvia)    
DNF Ulises Alfredo Castillo Soto (Mexico)    
DNF Sofian Nabil Mohammed Bakri (Malaysia)    
DNF Hamidun Hamdan (Malaysia)    
DNF Jesper Dahlström (Sweden)    
DNF Oleksandr Golovash (Ukraine)    
DNF Carlos Eduardo Quisphe-Quisphe (Ecuador)    
DNF Armands Becis (Latvia)    
DNF Bryan Van Rutten (Netherlands Antilles)    

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