Belgium’s Victor Campenaerts won his second consecutive European time trial title with an all-out final surge to the finish line in central Glasgow.
Campenaerts took huge risk on the rain-soaked final corners of the 45km rolling course but stopped the clock in a time of 53:38. That was 63 hundredths of a second faster than Spain’s Jonathan Castroviejo, who could only watch from the hot seat as Campenaerts snatched the gold medal and the distinctive European champion’s jersey from his grasp.
Max Schachmann of Germany took the bronze medal, 27 seconds slower than Campenaerts. Belgian road race champion Yves Lampaert was fourth at 30 seconds, with Britain’s Alex Dowsett fifth at 35 seconds. Campenaerts was unable to see Castroviejo’s time on display above the finish line and was unsure if he had won. The official timing confirmed his slim winning margin.
“Winning is winning and I always win by a small difference but I think today’s is the smallest I’ve ever had,” he said.
“I always know I do an easy start compared to the other riders and I had a big gap to riders like Yves Lampaert. But, I know the long straight roads are always my strength and we knew we were getting closer and closer. It was raining at the end but we went full gas. My coach was pushing me full gas but said to go easy in the corners because when you crash, you lose everything. In the end, I went full gas.
“If I’d been second by a few hundredths of a second it would have been a good performance, but winning is the only thing that matters. Winning two years in a row after only three editions of this title means I can say I’m a true European champion.”
Many of the best performances in Glasgow came from riders who had completed the Tour de France. Castroviejo had been a vital part the Team Sky’s squad that helped Geraint Thomas win the yellow jersey, while Lampaert was part of the successful Quick-Step Floors squad and went close to winning the final stage in Paris with a late solo attack. However, Campenaerts had not raced since the Belgian national championships in late June as he prepared specifically for the European Championships.
“I went to an altitude camp in Livigno for four weeks, then came straight to Glasgow,” he explained.
“In cycling, like in every sport, it’s easy when you do four weeks of sacrifice and do everything for one goal; you know you’re always going to be close if you don’t get sick and you don’t get injuries. Next, I’m going to ride the BinckBank Tour and hopefully the Vuelta, then the World Championships. It’s not a parcours for me, but I’ll try for top five. My big goals are the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.”
How it happened
While the women raced under heavy rain in the morning, the men enjoyed dry conditions for much of the 45km rolling course north of Glasgow, with the summer rain showers only in the final kilometres in the city centre streets.
Gediminas Bagdonas (Lithuania) was the first of the 34 riders to finish, setting a time of 57:38. He wouldn’t get to sit in the hot seat, with the third starter Tiago Machado (Portugal) recording a time of 56:12. However, Lampaert was fastest of the early starters at the 10.6km intermediate time split and after 30.4km, eventually setting a time of 54:09 to move into the hot seat
Somewhat surprisingly several bigger-name time trialists failed to beat the Belgian. Stefan Küng (Switzerland) recorded a time of 54:23, while Matthias Brändle (Austria) was slowed by a front wheel puncture in the final stretch and took time to change his wheel rather than take a new bike.
Young German rider, Schachmann confirmed his talents with a time of 54:06. Dowsett was cheered along by the local crowds but was slower and set 54:13, as was Jos van Emden of the Netherlands, setting 54:33.
Castroviejo was tucked low over his time trial on the rolling and often technical finale through the rain-soaked city centre streets of Glasgow and was fast. He was seven seconds up on Lampaert after 30.4km and held his speed to the line to set 53:39 –the first to go below the 54-minute barrier. That put him in the hot seat and forced him to watch Campenaerts final blast to the finish.
The Belgian national time trial champion had been 19 seconds off the pace after 10.6km but pulled most of that back in the second part of the course. With two kilometres to go, he was timed 0.47 seconds down on Castroviejo. He dug deep to find some extra speed in the final sweeping turns, managing to overhaul Castroviejo and claim the European title by just 0.63 seconds.
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|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Victor Campenaerts (Belgium)||0:53:39|
|2||Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain)||0:00:01|
|3||Maximilian Schachmann (Germany)||0:00:27|
|4||Yves Lampaert (Belgium)||0:00:31|
|5||Alex Dowsett (Great Britain)||0:00:35|
|6||Ryan Mullen (Ireland)||0:00:40|
|7||Stefan Küng (Switzerland)||0:00:44|
|8||Jos Van Emden (Netherlands)||0:00:55|
|9||Rasmus Christian Quaade (Denmark)||0:00:56|
|10||Dylan Van Baarle (Netherlands)||0:01:03|
|11||Martin Toft Madsen (Denmark)||0:01:06|
|12||Filippo Ganna (Italy)||0:01:42|
|13||Jan Bárta (Czech Republic)||0:01:56|
|14||Marco Mathis (Germany)||0:02:06|
|15||Marcin Bialoblocki (Poland)||0:02:07|
|16||Harry Tanfield (Great Britain)||0:02:15|
|17||Josef Cerný (Czech Republic)||0:02:28|
|18||Tiago Machado (Portugal)||0:02:34|
|19||Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden)||0:03:06|
|20||Yoann Paillot (France)||0:03:08|
|21||Artem Ovechkin (Russian Federation)||0:03:28|
|22||José Gonçalves (Portugal)||0:03:51|
|23||Matthias Brändle (Austria)||0:03:52|
|24||Moreno Moser (Italy)||0:03:53|
|25||Gediminas Bagdonas (Lithuania)||0:04:00|
|26||Andrey Grivko (Ukraine)||0:04:02|
|27||Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania)||0:04:22|
|28||Edward Dunbar (Ireland)||0:04:27|
|29||Alexander Evtushenko (Russian Federation)||0:04:32|
|30||Victor De La Parte (Spain)||0:04:33|
|31||Branislau Samoilau (Belarus)||0:04:57|
|32||Alexis Gougeard (France)||0:05:30|
|33||Marek Canecky (Slovakia)||0:07:39|
|34||Oleksandr Golovash (Ukraine)||0:08:15|