UCI Road World Championships: Evenepoel wins Junior Men's road race

Belgian solos to victory over Mayrhofer, Fancellu

Remco Evenepoel (Belgium) steamrollered the opposition into submission to win the junior road title at the UCI Road World Championships, completing the double after winning the individual time trial earlier in the week.

The soon-to-be Quick-Step Floors rider was simply on another level to the competition in Innsbruck, almost single-handedly coming back from a crash and a lone chase on the climb of the Gnadenwald, before a string of attacks whittled down the rest of the field. Such was Evenepoel's dominance that the Belgian rode the final 19 kilometres on his own as the remnants of the peloton fought it out for the rest of the medals.

At times Evenepoel appeared to be riding in fast forward, while the best of the rest were made to look ordinary over the demanding Austrian course. Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic and the USA all had numbers during key stages of the race but no tactics would have unsettled Evenepoel's ride. In the end Marius Mayrhofer (Germany) claimed silver well over a minute down, with Alessandro Fancellu (Italy) in third taking bronze. What started as a race ended in a procession.

"I'm very happy. I actually crashed at a bad moment before the climb and the mechanic didn't see me crash," Evenepoel said. "There was another guy in the team who crashed and he was changing the wheel of the other guy, so I had to wait like 20 seconds, I guess. I was almost two minutes behind the first guys, so I really had to work hard in the back.

"When I was back in the front group and there were just two guys in the front and another two guys - it was no problem because the two climbs were coming in the local rounds. Then there was one more teammate for me, Ilan Van Wilder, he did a great job on the climb. He just made pace and he caught the guys on like 35 seconds. Then there was an American who attacked and I just went behind him and got alone with two other guys at my back. Then I had an amazing descent where I almost dropped the two guys but the German came back after the local round."

How it unfolded

There may have been 159 riders on the start line under the Austrian sun but all eyes were on Evenepoel after his stellar season and win in the time trial earlier in the week. Ahead of the Belgian, and the rest of the peloton, were 84km of rolling roads before two circuits of the 24km finishing course.

The German national team were the early pace-setters as a number of nations looked to shed the field of the weaker riders in the opening kilometres. There was a scare for time trial bronze medallist, Andrea Piccolo (Italy) when the rider was involved in an early crash but there were a flurry of early mechanicals and falls as nerves ran through the main field.

The race changed significantly on the approach to the Gnadenwald when a rider at the front switched wheels and in a brief lapse of concentration, brought down a significant portion of the peloton. Evenepoel was one of those involved and as the cameras panned sideways the Belgian could be seen motioning to his back wheel. The change for new equipment seemed to take an age, especially as a Belgian mechanic was seen assisting another rider before noticing Evenepoel's predicament.

At the front of the race Italy and Germany understandably kept the pace high as Evenepoel eventually remounted and began his chase over the 2.6km ascent. He started the climb around two minutes in arrears but in scenes reminiscent of Alberto Contador chasing back through the field on the Mortirolo at the 2015 Giro, Evenepoel made it look almost effortless. He was unable to make contact before the summit but on the descent he and several remaining teammates were able to latch onto the diminished front group just after Piccolo and Mayrhofer clipped off the front and established a minute's lead.

The pair's advantage mattered little, with Belgian holding the gap at around 56 seconds before Evenepoel - frustrated with the situation - attacked. The first acceleration was just a warning, however, and as the race reached the first ascent of the Iglis the gap dropped to just over 30 seconds.

With just over 40km to go, an attack from an American rider was seized upon by Evenepoel. He drove across to the leaders with only five riders able to follow. One of them was the much-touted Karel Vacek (Czech Republic), who briefly looked to match Evenepoel but on the descent of the climb the class between the Belgian and the rest of the pack was made clear. The Italians were left floundering despite a decent team effort to chase, while Vacek cramped with 29km to go, and despite looking tired in the early break only a startled looking Mayrhofer remained when Evenepoel looked back.

By the time the final lap started the leading pair had over a minute on an Italian-controlled chase but with 19km to go Evenepoel opened up the throttle once more and rode away from his last remaining competitor.

The battle for the minor medals saw Fancellu escape with Alexandre Balmer inside the final 10km, but despite their efforts Mayrhofer hung on bravely for bronze. By the time the main field crossed the line Evenepoel was already talking about taking on the Grand Tours in the future.

"Next year I'll be a pro, so I still have to learn a lot. I'm only biking one year and a half. I still have to learn a lot. We'll see what the future gives. Quick-Step will be a good step for me. I hope I can grow in silence with the team. I have confidence in them, and they in me, so it will be a nice future I guess."

"My main dream is the three Grand Tours. But I know that's a long way. I'm still young and I have a long way to go. We're going to work hard and then hopefully I can win one of the three Grand Tours."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Remco Evenepoel (Belgium)3:03:49 
2Marius Mayrhofer (Germany)0:01:25 
3Alessandro Fancellu (Italy)0:01:38 
4Alexandre Balmer (Switzerland)  
5Frederik Wandahl (Denmark)0:03:20 
6Gabriele Benedetti (Italy)  
7Alois Charrin (France)  
8Kevin Vermaerke (United States Of America)  
9Antonio Tiberi (Italy)  
10Sean Quinn (United States Of America)0:03:25 
11Andrea Piccolo (Italy)0:04:37 
12Karel Vacek (Czech Republic)  
13Biniam Girmay Hailu (Eritrea)0:06:41 
14Jakob Gessner (Germany)  
15Ludvig Fischer Aasheim (Norway)  
16Guilherme Mota (Portugal)  
17Ben Tulett (Great Britain)0:07:20 
18Aksel Bechskot-Hansen (Denmark)  
19Jonathan Bogli (Switzerland)  
20Mason Hollyman (Great Britain)  
21Marco Frigo (Italy)0:07:54 
22Gleb Brussenskiy (Kazakhstan)0:09:34 
23Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kazakhstan)0:10:47 
24Robin Juel Skivild (Denmark)  
25Ben Healy (Ireland)  
26Lewis Askey (Great Britain)  
27Michel Hessmann (Germany)0:10:55 
28Marek Gajdula (Slovakia)0:11:07 
29Daniil Pronskiy (Kazakhstan)0:11:19 
30Vinicius Rangel Costa (Brazil)  
31Kim Alexander Heiduk (Germany)0:12:14 
32Adne Holter (Norway)0:12:22 
33Oleksandr Shchypak (Ukraine)  
34Casper Van Uden (Netherlands)  
35Lev Gonov (Russian Federation)0:13:21 
36Jon Barrenetxea Golzarri (Spain)0:13:37 
37Samuel Watson (Great Britain)0:15:02 
38Felix Engelhardt (Germany)  
39Hugo Page (France)0:15:18 
40Jean Eric Habimana (Rwanda)0:15:25 
41Valentin Retailleau (France)0:15:31 
42Vojtech Repa (Czech Republic)  
43Andrew Vollmer (United States Of America)  
44Enzo Leijnse (Netherlands)  
45Artjom Mirzojev (Estonia)0:15:47 
46Thomas Schellenberg (Canada)0:16:22 
47Marek Bugar (Slovakia)  
48Pelayo Sanchez Mayo (Spain)0:17:18 
49Alfred George (Great Britain)0:17:28 
50Lucas Plapp (Australia)  
51Kei Onodera (Japan)  
52Nurbergen Nurlykhassym (Kazakhstan)0:17:29 
53Mesut Cepa (Albania)0:17:40 
54Daniil Turuk (Belarus)0:17:55 
55Aaron Van Der Beken (Belgium)0:17:58 
56Henri Vandenabeele (Belgium)  
57Jakob Reiter (Austria)0:18:15 
58Breandan Flannagan (Ireland)0:18:45 
59Anton Vtiurin (Russian Federation)0:18:54 
60Gilles Kirsch (Luxembourg)  
61Bas Van Belle (Netherlands)  
62Josh Lane (New Zealand)  
63Alekss Krasts (Latvia)0:18:57 
64Simon Imboden (Switzerland)  
65Vladimir Miksanik (Czech Republic)0:19:00 
66Maksim Bilyi (Ukraine)  
67Ruben Eggenberg (Switzerland)  
68Tomas Aguirre Garza (Mexico)  
69Jakub Boucek (Czech Republic)  
70Afonso Silva (Portugal)  
71Ben Katerberg (Canada)0:20:34 
72Theo Gilbertson (New Zealand)  
73Petr Kelemen (Czech Republic)0:21:01 
74Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spain)0:22:34 
75Dzianis Mazur (Belarus)0:22:43 
76Axel Van Der Tuuk (Netherlands)0:23:13 
77Wessel Krul (Netherlands)0:23:44 
78Emil Lindgren (Sweden)  
79Henri Treimuth (Estonia)  
80Archie Ryan (Ireland)0:24:27 
81Fredrik Gjesteland Finnesand (Norway)0:24:29 
82Dominik Gorak (Poland)  
83Damian Bieniek (Poland)0:25:10 
84Noppachai Klahan (Thailand)0:27:56 
DNFPirmin Benz (Germany)  
DNFAljaz Omrzel (Slovenia)  
DNFYoshiaki Fukuda (Japan)  
DNFMartin Messner (Austria)  
DNFCamilo Jose Navas Madera (Ecuador)  
DNFOskar Palm (Sweden)  
DNFSamuele Rubino (Italy)  
DNFIakov Gusev (Russian Federation)  
DNFConor Martin (Canada)  
DNFCarter Turnbull (Australia)  
DNFAnze Skok (Slovenia)  
DNFSoren Waerenskjold (Norway)  
DNFWilliam Blume Levy (Denmark)  
DNFDaniel Arnes (Norway)  
DNFDennis Grasvold (Norway)  
DNFArthur Kluckers (Luxembourg)  
DNFHiryu Kayama (Japan)  
DNFAbner Gonzalez Rivera (Puerto Rico)  
DNFRick Pluimers (Netherlands)  
DNFIgor Humbert (Switzerland)  
DNFRicardo Broxham (South Africa)  
DNFCian Leveridge (South Africa)  
DNFCarlo Jurisevic (Croatia)  
DNFTaisei Hino (Japan)  
DNFRobin Plamondon (Canada)  
DNFIlan Van Wilder (Belgium)  
DNFJuan Tito Rendon Franco (Colombia)  
DNFIvan Cobo Cayon (Spain)  
DNFSam Cook (New Zealand)  
DNFHiroyuki Umakoshi (Japan)  
DNFXandres Vervloesem (Belgium)  
DNFSteven Pattyn (Belgium)  
DNFPhunsiri Sirimongkhon (Thailand)  
DNFQuinn Simmons (United States Of America)  
DNFMichael Garrison (United States Of America)  
DNFLouis Barre (France)  
DNFLuis Esteban Murillo (Costa Rica)  
DNFZani Sylhasi (Kosovo)  
DNFTyler Lindorff (Australia)  
DNFSergey Zatcepin (Russian Federation)  
DNFLaurynas Kuras (Lithuania)  
DNFGavrail Stefanov (Bulgaria)  
DNFAaron Doherty (Ireland)  
DNFShahin Eyvazov (Azerbaijan)  
DNFNadjaf Baghirov (Azerbaijan)  
DNFYoel Asmerom Tesfasilasie (Eritrea)  
DNFAdmir Kolasinac (Serbia)  
DNFRiley Sheehan (United States Of America)  
DNFRaphael Da Costa Barros (France)  
DNFAlex Baudin (France)  
DNFValentin Vasiloiu (Romania)  
DNFMarcel Rodrigo Teneb Schiesewitz (Chile)  
DNFVentsislav Venkov (Bulgaria)  
DNFCarson Miles (Canada)  
DNFJulian Espinoza (Costa Rica)  
DNFImad Sekkak (Morocco)  
DNFJakub Hnik (Czech Republic)  
DNFJacob Hindsgaul Madsen (Denmark)  
DNFErikas Sidlauskas (Lithuania)  
DNFDavid Alejandro Camargo Hernandez (Colombia)  
DNFRenus Uhiriwe (Rwanda)  
DNFAndrei Novicov (Republic of Moldova)  
DNFFrederik Thomsen (Denmark)  
DNFJosu Echeverria Azpilicueta (Spain)  
DNFMaksim Kulakov (Russian Federation)  
DNFTsun Wai Chu (Hong Kong, China)  
DNFKwun Hei Ho (Hong Kong, China)  
DNFChalermchai Bangsiri (Thailand)  
DNFDorde Duric (Serbia)  
DNFCiprian Jitaru (Romania)  
DNFJeffrey Diaz Rivera (Puerto Rico)  
DNFBlerton Nuha (Kosovo)  
DNFBriton John (Guyana)  
DNFMojtaba Hajizadeh (Afghanistan)  
DNFVladislav Korotas (Republic of Moldova)  

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