Mads Würtz Schmidt (Denmark) continued his impressive run of results this year to claim the U23 time trial title at the UCI Road World Championships. The Dane profited from an early start time, free from the strong wind and light rain that punished the last starters. The same advantage went to silver medallist Maximillian Schachmann (Germany) who started six minutes later.
Favourites Ryan Mullen (Ireland), Steven Lammertink (Netherlands) and Lennard Kamna (Germany) suffered as the final three. Kamna fought valiantly, coming through with the third-best time at the second check and holding on in the ferocious headwind to nab the bronze medal. Mullen was out of the saddle trying to sprint up the final climb, but dropped outside of the top 10 by the finish, while Lammertink fared even worse in 14th.
Kamna nudged Norway's Truls Engen Korsaeth off the podium, and after almost three hours of sitting in the hot seat, Wurtz Schmidt could finally celebrate his world title.
"This means everything. This year I have done a little extra in my training and my preparation, so it’s just … I can’t believe what I’ve achieved," Wurtz Schmidt said.
"I knew the course pretty well. Nothing surprised me. I had all the corners in my head, and I knew how to do it and when to push hard. I had a good plan and I stuck to it and I won in the end.
The race took place in four waves of 11 riders each, followed by a final wave of eight. Canada’s Sean MacKinnon set the best time of the first wave with a mark of 38:47.08, but his lead didn’t last long as the second wave started finishing.
Gregory Daniel (USA), the first rider from the second wave upset MacKinnon’s time, but it was Denmark’s Wurtz Schmidt who crushed the course with a time that was more than a minute faster than any of the previous riders. His performance wasn't a surprise as he had won the time trial at Tour of Denmark and a stage of Tour de l'Avenir.
Australian Miles Scotson went through the second time check just seven seconds down on Schmidt’s time, but a mechanical during his second lap cost him precious time.
By the time Britain's Owain Doull took to the course in the fourth wave, the wind was picking up and gusty. He was fourth at the first check but suffered in the middle and landed in fifth.
Rain started falling and wind picked up for the final handful of riders. American U23 time trial champion Daniel Eaton went through the second check third fastest, but faded to eighth by the time he finished, telling Cyclingnews that the wind became so strong in the final leg that it was almost blowing the 1km to go banner over.
Wurtz Schmidt said he too had a headwind coming back to the finish, and credited his training with being able to hold his speed.
"I’ve done a lot of special training, and in the headwind back from he bridge to was important to do good. I went into my aero position and just went full gas everytime, so that’s how we won."
Now that he's world champion, finding a team has become significantly easier. He hadn't had any firm offers before the race, but said calls are already coming in.
"It’s already started. My manager just called and said congratulations. He said his his phone is red hot."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mads Wurtz Schmidt (Denmark)||0:37:10|
|2||Maximilian Schachmann (Germany)||0:00:13|
|3||Lennard Kamna (Germany)||0:00:21|
|4||Truls Engen Korsaeth (Norway)||0:00:37|
|5||Owain Doull (Great Britain)|
|6||James Oram (New Zealand)||0:00:38|
|7||Miles Scotson (Australia)||0:00:41|
|8||Thery Schir (Switzerland)||0:00:42|
|9||Marlen Zmorka (Ukraine)||0:00:43|
|10||Daniel Eaton (United States of America)||0:00:44|
|11||Ryan Mullen (Ireland)||0:00:50|
|12||Davide Martinelli (Italy)||0:00:58|
|13||Filippo Ganna (Italy)||0:01:00|
|14||Steven Lammertink (Netherlands)||0:01:04|
|15||Jan Marcus Karlsson (Sweden)||0:01:12|
|16||Soren Kragh Ansersen (Denmark)||0:01:19|
|17||Nathan Van Hooydonck (Belgium)||0:01:27|
|18||Jose Luis Rodriguez (Chile)||0:01:28|
|19||Gregory Daniel (United States of America)||0:01:31|
|20||Sean MacKinnon (Canada)||0:01:37|
|21||Merhawi Kudus Ghbremedhin (Eritrea)||0:01:43|
|22||Stepan Astafyev (Kazakhstan)||0:01:46|
|23||Marc Fournier (France)|
|24||Krists Neilands (Latvia)||0:01:47|
|25||Josef Cerny (Czech Republic)||0:01:48|
|26||Tom Wirtgen (Luxembourg)||0:01:49|
|27||Ignacio Prado (Mexico)||0:01:51|
|28||Nikolay Cherkasov (Russia)||0:01:54|
|29||Gregor Muhlberger (Australia)||0:01:58|
|30||Ruben Pols (Belgium)||0:02:00|
|31||Michal Schlegel (Czech Republic)||0:02:07|
|32||Nickolas Dlamini (South Africa)||0:02:14|
|33||Alex Cataford (Canada)||0:02:18|
|34||Scott Davies (Great Britain)||0:02:20|
|35||Jhonatan Ospina (Colombia)||0:02:32|
|36||Jhonatan Restrepo (Colombia)|
|37||Morne Van Niekerk (South Africa)||0:02:33|
|38||Eddie Dunbar (Ireland)||0:02:35|
|39||Roman Kustadinchev (Russia)||0:02:40|
|40||Oleg Zemlyakov (Kazakhstan)||0:02:56|
|41||Adil Barbari (Algeria)||0:02:58|
|42||Anass Ait El Abdia (Morocco)||0:03:09|
|43||Kyeongho Min (Korea)||0:03:15|
|44||Altan-Ochir Erdenebat (Mongolia)||0:04:19|
|45||Xavier San Sebastian (Spain)||0:04:25|
|46||Abderrahmane Mansouri (Algeria)||0:04:31|
|47||Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (Rwanda)||0:04:33|
|48||Valens Ndayisenga (Rwanda)||0:04:49|
|49||Atsushi Oka (Japan)||0:05:21|
|50||Yuma Koishi (Japan)||0:05:30|