The 2010 world championships opened in Geelong, Australia with the Under-23 men's time trial, and a close battle between the highly-fancied Taylor Phinney USA) and local favourite Luke Durbridge. Phinney took the title by a scant 1.90 seconds over Durbridge, with Marcel Kittel (Germany) finishing third.
The U23 men had to tackle two laps of a 15.9 kilometre circuit that was dominated by two significant climbs, a tricky descent and a bridge crossing, plus gusting wind and rain squalls.
Durbridge, the seventh rider off in the 41-rider field, quickly established himself as the man to beat, setting what would turn out to be the fastest lap of the day on his first time around. He slowed slightly on the second lap, perhaps partially due to a rain squall that made many of the corners treacherous.
"To come pretty close to the win in my home Worlds, 1.9 seconds, I am pretty stoked anyway. The win would have been nice but it was not to be. But hey, I have got next year and bigger things to come hopefully, so I am pretty stoked.
"[Going so early] is not my favourite thing. I didn't have time checks to gauge myself against. I just had James in the car telling me to keep my rhythm. When I came in and was a fair bit faster I thought, 'hey, I have a long wait here'. So I just waited and waited. But everyone was coming through slower and I realized I had gone fairly hard in the first lap. But the times kept coming through and I was still 17 seconds faster than Taylor [after the first lap]. I realized that if Taylor is one of the favourites then I could be in with a medal and I started to get
pretty excited. But when he came through 1.9 seconds faster I was a bit, 'ye-orrrrrr' [sound of disappointment]. But that's alright. To hold on for second is pretty unbelievable."
Durbridge's time would hold up through over half of the remaining riders before Phinney finally bumped him out of the Hot Seat. Durbridge was the fastest over the first lap, and through the first split of the second lap, but Phinney was steadily gaining ground at each time check.
Ninth fastest at 6.6 kilometres and 32 seconds back, the individual pursuit world champion was up to second place and 17 seconds behind at the end of lap one. By the 22.4 kilometre split he was 4.8 seconds back, and the long downhill run into the finish allowed him to overtake Durbridge for the title.
"I had heard that Durbridge went out a little bit too hard and his second lap was considerably slower than his first lap," said Phinney, "so I was okay coming through the first lap coming in a bit slower than him. I just knew that I had to keep my pace. In that first lap I was definitely trying to conserve but once I got into the second lap I was pretty much giving it everything I had. It was such a hard course with a lot of lactate in the legs and I knew that I had the best time with about five kilometres to go but I didn't know how close it was. But by then you are giving it everything you got anyway.
"The first climb was just brutal. You just start it and I was just focused on staring at the ground because I didn't want to look at the climb in the distance. Then you crest over that one and keep going to finish on it, and the descent was something I could look forward to, scaring myself and the people in the car behind me. But that second climb on the second lap was just brutal and I just pushed myself really hard over to the top and tried to keep my speed up. I was hurting.
"I was very relieved. I had a lot of people telling me I was a shoe-in for the win here, which is almost the worst thing to hear coming into the race, because you feel like you have to win or you are going to disappoint. I knew that I had a chance, but I knew that there is so much talent in the U23 field right now that it was going to be difficult. It is also not exactly a course that suits us big guys up here, but somehow we all came out on top. I really had to dig deep but I am really happy to come away with the win even if Durbridge has an excuse because he finished in the rain."
Durbridge shares an interesting statistic with Fabian Cancellara - both finished second in the time trial in their first year as a U23 rider, and Durbridge now becomes the youngest U23 rider to appear on the podium, 33 days younger than Cancellara.
Meanwhile, Phinney’s Trek-Livestrong teammate Alex Dowsett was expected to be a major rival, but the British rider’s hopes came unstuck as he rolled a tyre on the final corner of his opening lap. Dowsett went on to be passed by Nélson Oliveira (Portugal), who looked strong early in his run but faded over the final nine kilometres and missed out on third place to Marcel Kittel (Germany) as a result.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Taylor Phinney (United States Of America)||0:42:50.29|
|2||Luke Durbridge (Australia)||0:00:01.90|
|3||Marcel Kittel (Germany)||0:00:24.01|
|4||Nélson Oliveira (Portugal)||0:00:27.96|
|5||Rohan Dennis (Australia)||0:00:46.87|
|6||Matteo Mammini (Italy)||0:00:49.88|
|7||Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands)||0:01:06.55|
|8||Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spain)||0:01:18.48|
|9||Andrei Krasilnikau (Belarus)||0:01:35.62|
|10||Geoffrey Soupe (France)||0:01:38.21|
|11||Johan Le Bon (France)||0:01:39.62|
|12||Jakub Novak (Czech Republic)||0:01:51.71|
|13||Gianluca Leonardi (Italy)||0:02:04.33|
|14||Arthur Van Overberghe (Belgium)||0:02:13.52|
|15||Andrew Talansky (United States Of America)||0:02:21.59|
|16||Benjamin King (United States Of America)||0:02:23.32|
|17||Jimmi Sorensen (Denmark)||0:02:27.76|
|18||Blaz Jarc (Slovenia)||0:02:30.13|
|19||Javier Eduardo Gomez Pineda (Colombia)||0:02:33.60|
|20||Nikita Novikov (Russian Federation)||0:02:35.56|
|21||Piotr Gawronski (Poland)||0:02:37.49|
|22||Sebastian Balck (Sweden)||0:02:39.43|
|23||Shem Rodger (New Zealand)||0:02:47.53|
|24||Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan)||0:02:53.87|
|25||David Boily (Canada)||0:03:06.25|
|26||Evgeny Kovalev (Russian Federation)||0:03:08.95|
|27||Martijn Keizer (Netherlands)||0:03:09.16|
|28||Michael Vink (New Zealand)||0:03:12.82|
|29||Evaldas Siskevicius (Lithuania)||0:03:15.39|
|30||Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania)||0:03:16.42|
|31||Alex Dowsett (Great Britain)||0:03:25.19|
|32||Hugo Houle (Canada)||0:03:50.01|
|33||Fábio Silvestre (Portugal)||0:04:02.31|
|34||Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Belgium)||0:04:05.66|
|35||Andreas Hofer (Austria)||0:04:20.12|
|36||King Lok Cheung (Hong Kong, China)||0:04:24.01|
|37||Siarhei Papok (Belarus)||0:04:46.04|
|38||Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland)||0:05:18.02|
|39||Frayre Moctezuma Eder (Mexico)||0:05:28.75|
|40||Silvan Dillier (Switzerland)||0:06:25.15|
|DNF||Rasmus Christian Quaade (Denmark)|