Top two opt to delay pro debut

By Shane Stokes in Madrid

The top two riders in Saturday's Under 23 Men's World Championship road race have both said that they intend to delay their pro debuts until 2007.

Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukraine) was very impressive today, dominating the race. He took second in the time trial on Wednesday and these results, together with his European championship TT title and track wins in the European team pursuit and Under 23 European team pursuit underline his obvious class. However, although pro teams are likely to be highly interested in the rider - who won't be 20 until the 30th of September - he has said that he's happy to hold off on moving up to the paid ranks.

"I am only 20 years old. I want to gain experience for now, but maybe in 2007 I will sign a contract with a good team. I am not really ready yet, I want another year before stepping up."

The Under 23 silver medallist William Walker, who will be 20 on October 31, was also planning the same approach. "As regards next year, I will continue to ride with the Rabobank development squad," he said. "By waiting another year before turning pro, it will mean that I won't be just trying to keep up in each race. I will be more competitive and able to win in the first year when I do go pro. Hopefully in 2007 I will be with the Rabobank ProTour team."

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