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Late crash ends Great Britain's Worlds U23 medal hopes in Richmond

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Owain Doull (Great Britain)

Owain Doull (Great Britain)
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Owain Doull (Great Britain) on the startline

Owain Doull (Great Britain) on the startline
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Owain Doull (WIGGINS) was most combative

Owain Doull (WIGGINS) was most combative (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Team France lift up their new U23 world champion Kevin Ledanois (France)

Team France lift up their new U23 world champion Kevin Ledanois (France) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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The Great Britain team

The Great Britain team (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Great Britain's Owain Doull was hoping to use his fast finish to fight for a medal in the U23 men's World Championship road race on Friday but an unfortunate collision with another rider on one of two cobbled climbs near the finish ended his hopes.

Although weather throughout the 162.2km race was cloudy with intermittent showers, steady rainfall on the last lap turned the cobbled climbs up Libby Hill and 23rd Street in a hazard zone.

"I had no luck today at all really," Doull told Cyclingnews immediately after the finish in downtown Richmond.

"I had a mechanical and a crash prior to that, and then on the last climb I think someone hit me from behind and my chain come off. I came to a standstill at the bottom of the climb when I was in a good spot for a podium or a result. And then chasing back on again I crashed out in the corners. So, yeah, not a great day.”

The 22-year-old, who rides for Team WIGGINS, finished 92nd on the day after slipping considerably back in the pack. Despite the disappointing result when things looked promising so close to the finale, Doull said he was happy with his effort, although maybe not his luck.

"I think I rode it well," he said. "I was just a bit unlucky."

A breakaway of four riders animated much of the early going, but the peloton was never willing to give them much of a gap. The constant battle for position also caused a high pace that eventually ended any early escapees' chances. But Doull predicted that could change for the elite men on Sunday.

"I think for the elite men, when it's a lot more controlled and a bit calmer, a break could get more of gap," he said.

The course itself wasn't especially difficult, he said, but the nervous and aggressive bunch made for an intense and stressful afternoon.

"It wasn't too bad, to be honest," Doull said. "I think it was more hard just from the nervousness and the stress of it. The break never had much of a gap at all, if any. It was just a stressful day all day, lots of crashes, lots of mechanicals for everyone. It was kind of a standard one-day race, really."

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Pat Malach

Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake. He studied English and journalism at the University of Oregon and has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon, with his imaginary dog Rusty.