Of the two non-gold medallists in the road race World Championship, it was, perhaps surprisingly, Alexandr Kolobnev of Russia who appeared most disappointed. The silver medallist out-sprinted Joaquin Rodriguez for second place, though afterwards he was left rueing the one that got away. Cadel Evans (Australia) had won gold with a bold solo move.
"I had the legs and the strength to follow Evans," said Kolobnev, who was one of the main aggressors on the final lap. Kolobnev attacked powerfully, on the first of the two climbs. On that occasion he was brought back, but he joined Evans in chasing after Rodriguez on the approach to the second and final climb, and seemed well-placed to go for the win.
"If he'd slowed 3km from the finish [just before the summit], I could have caught him," said Kolobnev. "But on the uphill, he pushed a lot, he was strong. I couldn't make it [across to him] by myself. But if the gap had been closer, I could have done it."
Rodriguez, who was one of three Spaniards in the final nine man lead group, claimed that neither he nor his team were disappointed with his bronze medal. "It was very important for the whole team [to win a medal]. We had an agreement at the beginning of the race to work together; everyone did an excellent job, and we're content to have won a medal."
Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling world - twitter.com/cyclingnewsfeed.
Richard Moore is a freelance journalist and author. His first book, In Search of Robert Millar (HarperSport), won Best Biography at the 2008 British Sports Book Awards. His second book, Heroes, Villains & Velodromes (HarperSport), was long-listed for the 2008 William Hill Sports Book of the Year.
He writes on sport, specialising in cycling, and is a regular contributor to Cyclingnews, the Guardian, skyports.com, the Scotsman and Procycling magazine.
He is also a former racing cyclist who represented Scotland at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and Great Britain at the 1998 Tour de Langkawi
His next book, Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France, will be published by Yellow Jersey in May 2011.
Another book, Sky’s the Limit: British Cycling’s Quest to Conquer the Tour de France, will also be published by HarperSport in June 2011.
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.