Kwiatkowski lacking in finale
Michal Kwiatkowski’s reign in the rainbow jersey would not go on for a second season as he came home in eighth in the bunch sprint behind Peter Sagan in Sunday's elite men's road race.
Kwiatkowski was one of the pre-race favourites and he was in the mix on the final lap. While he admits that perhaps Sagan was too strong, he believes a podium was within his grasp.
"For sure I feel unsatisfied. I competed with the aim of defending the rainbow jersey. That was my goal,” said Kwiatkowski told polsatsport.pl. “At the very end there was a real chance, to win maybe not, but for a medal. I had no power in the final sprint."
The final laps around Richmond were aggressive as numerous attacks pinged off the front of the peloton. Kwiatkowski made it into one such group, which contained the likes of former World Champion Tom Boonen. The Polish rider admitted that it had cost him some power in the finale.
"There was no desire to retreat to the main group. No one in this escape was not going a hundred percent, and we easily won a 30-second advantage. Coming onto a flat stretch the escape was losing strength, but those who chased us lost power after jumping over to our group.”
Slovakian team celebrates Sagan’s win
After putting in the effort to keep Peter Sagan safe, Juraj Sagan and Michal Kolar climbed off their bikes before the end of the road race and joined the rest of the Slovakian set-up by the side of the road. No longer in the peloton they were able to enjoy the dramatic race finale on a big screen as the younger Sagan brother escaped to victory.
While his victory celebration initially seemed muted, the same couldn’t be said about Kolar, his brother and the rest of the Slovakian team. Astana press officer Chris Baldwin was close by and caught the moment of celebration on camera.
Course not selective enough for Uran
Rigoberto Uran was Colombia’s best finisher in the World Championships in 32nd place. The 28-year-old and former Olympic medallist led a late charge down of Peter Sagan but couldn’t make any ground on the Slovakian and settled back into the group.
The Colombian was an outside favourite for many but he felt that the course wasn’t challenging enough for him to make an impact.
“We were good, we intended to be ahead in the final but it wasn’t as selective a course as we’d hoped, although it was hard and there was a lot of people. They are special races,” he said according to Biciciclismo. “I intended on attacking at 800 metres to go and they didn’t give me the space but the important thing was to try.”
Terpstra praises Dutch team
The Dutch team were ever present at the head of affairs during Sunday’s men’s road race. Jos van Emden and Robert Gesink, in particular, took it in turns to set a blistering pace on the front of the bunch. The hope was to distance some of the faster men before the finale, allowing their leaders the best short at success.
They made some attempts at escaping but they couldn’t shed their rival and they were bettered in the bunch gallop for the remaining medals, with Tom Dumoulin finishing 11th and Niki Terpstra in 13th. “I tried, but it was immediately responded and the next attack was immediately good," Terpstra told Dutch television channel NOS.
"Sometimes you have luck behind you if you waited a moment, but that did not happen," said Terpstra. "The plan was just right, we rode like a real group, we worked really well together. But unfortunately the reward did not come. "