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UCI Road World Championships 2011: U23 Men road race

Hello and welcome to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the Worlds U23 men's road race.

95km remaining from 168km

We've covered just over 73km and we've got three clear groups on the road. As for the conditions, we'll they're at least dry but there's a fairly strong wind blowing out there.

Carlos Alexandre Manarelli (Brazil) was the first rider to attack and he quickly built up a lead of over 2 minutes. There was a counter attack from a Dutch rider, but that was quickly chased and caught.

However Gianluca Leonardi (Italy) did break clear and he was quickly on the chase. He caught the Brazilian. It was an impressive chase from the Italian, who has since done most of the work on the front.
 

We've since had another counter attack though. Miras Bederbekov (Kazakhstan) jumped away and he was chased down by Gideoni Monteiro (Brazil).

To be honest I can't quite figure that move out - from Monteiro. There are only two Brazilians in the race and they're putting a lot of effort into early brakes. If it doesn't work and the two groups are caught they'll have nothing left for the finish.
 

The two leaders are on the climb now with the Brazilian taking a turn on the front. The chase from the bunch hasn't really organised itself yet but there are a number of nations starting to move up and set things up.

 

The last time check at the second group at 2:36 with the bunch at 4:15

A number of strong riders to watch out for today. Australia have a super strong team present with Hepburn and Dennis both here.

For those watching out for the French, keep an eye on the talented Arnaud Demare.

The local crowds will be hoping that Guldhammer can pull out a strong performance too.

If it comes down to a sprint the US don't really have a special candidate but perhaps Dombrowski can put something together.

Others to watch out for: Raymond Kreder who'll be at Garmin next season, and Felix English, who beat Sir Hoy on the track earlier this year

The peloton has started to get its act together and the gap is 3:30 to the lead group. It's all stop, start, stop, start though. The US are pulling on the front now.

The second group on the road is just 40 seconds ahead of the bunch though. That's one exposed Brazilian.

And Kazakhstan.

GB, Norway, and Australia all on the front but they're all looking at each other, which is allowing a number of short, sharp attacks to come from the bunch.

75km remaining from 168km

Bederbekov and Monteiro have been caught.

Kanstantsin Klimiankou (Belarus) has taken off and he's got a pretty good gap. Maybe 20 seconds.

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@Cyclingnewsfeed Fri, 23rd Sep 2011 14:13:15

The two leaders have 2:45 so their gap is still coming down. Belgium and Poland on the front now. Lots of little digs, and then looking around.

5 laps of the circuit to go. Kanstantsin Klimiankou (Belarus) is riding into a headwind at the moment so he'll struggle on his own. A number of riders have tried to bridge up but the bunch hasn't let any else go.

The attacks are coming thick and fast now with Matthias Brandle (Austria) gaping the bunch. The rider from Belarus is going backwards though.

A bit of a change at the front, with the Brazilian doing most of the work.

Rowsell and Bush have caught Matthias Brandle (Austria) but they've only got 3 seconds on the bunch

The latest time check has the bunch at 1:40.

The bunch have just gone through the feed zone. A few tangled wheels but everyone that went down seems to be up again.

The gap is down to 1:12.

53km remaining from 168km

Three Dutch riders near the front of the field, that's the first time we've really seen them since the opening kms. One of them attacks, an Italian rider, both unidentified are about to be caught though.

The bunch is starting to break up, with the pace increasing on each lap. The gap to the two leaders is under a minute.

The bunch hit the climb and again a number of riders attempt to use it as a launch pad for an attack. It's not long or steep enough though.

 

The gap between the leading duo and the bunch is just 45 seconds.

And we've got 43km to race.

While none of the attacks on the climb worked out, a counter attack over the top has and three riders have broken clear.

GB and Australia have both missed the move and they're both trying to bridge up.

Heading through the feedzone again and the bunch is starting to come back together.

Just 12 seconds for the two leaders.

Delalot from France looks like he'll be the first rider to make it to the leading break.

The Frenchman has been reeled in and Leonardi  and Monteiro still have a slight gap on the bunch.

Felix English has just abandoned.

The leaders shake hands, it's all over.

It's been an exciting race, with a lot of quality but we've yet to see riders  - favourites - really chance their hand.

Another Italian has moved off the front. They, along with the Brazilians have been the most aggressive nations.

The Italian is alafacia

There's a Danish rider trying to close up. It's Sebastian Lander. Nice move from the Dane.

The bunch seems to have eased up a bit. A South African has made it up there too.

The trio have around 20 seconds on the bunch. There are a few riders sandwiched in between them and the bunch.

Reynard Butler (South Africa) is the third rider in the group.

Rohan Dennis (Australia), one of the favourites needs a wheel. That's bad news for Australia. He's chasing now but it's going to be tough to get back on. He has a team mate, he should make it back but that will take a lot of energy.

More reports linking Brajkovic to Astana. The Radioshack team has seemingly imploded in the space of weeks, management jumped to Leopard.

@inrng Fri, 23rd Sep 2011 15:07:51

Two more riders have bridged up to the leaders, so we have five riders in the lead group.

Dennis makes it back to the peloton.

Six riders in the break and this is a very dangerous move:

Eugenio Alafaci (Italy), Christopher Juul Jensen (Denmark), Reynard Butler (South Africa) , Natnael Berhane (Eritrea), ayazbayev (kaz), lindau (swe)

The front end of the bunch is splitting but this group of 6 look good, solid and they're working well together.

26km remaining from 168km

Eugenio Alafaci (Italy), Christopher Juul Jensen (Denmark), Louis Mientjes (South Africa) , Natnael Berhane (Eritrea), Maxim Ayazbayev (Kazakhstan) and Philip Lindau (Sweden) and the bunch at 34 seconds.

GB doing a lot of the chase work, the gap is down to 15 seconds.

The Dutch and Belgians move up, and they begin to chase. They've not done much today. Have they saved their powder for when it really matters?

The bunch sit up slightly, another small group, including Hepburn jumps away, but he's caught.

The leading six have ten seconds on the bunch. It will come back together. Will the Italian's launch another move? They've been in both major breaks of the day so far.

19km remaining from 168km

19 to go and the gap is at 19 seconds.

Two more riders try and escape but it's all coming back together. The leading 6 riders are still working well together but the gap is coming down again.

All back together. Less than 15 to go. We've got 3 or 4 Italians, 3 Australians, and we're onto the final lap. it's wide, wide, open and tough to call.

Australia is leading the bunch because there's another attack off the front, this time from Columbia.

Colombia, I mean.

And that's a savage attack from Boem from Italy, the Dutch and Danes move up. The French have three riders up there too.

There's a Dutch rider chasing a team mate. Nice work!

The bunch is strung out, the pace upping with each km.

8km remaining from 168km

less than 8km to go. Still plenty of attacks but each one is going to a pattern; it's caught and then the bunch ease up.

Guldhammer has a dig but he's brought back.

it's looking more and more like a sprint finish but no team is really taking up the challenge of sorting out a leadout. I'm not sure one team has a numerical or physical advantage.

Hepburn is still there, he's looked after by a number of teammates. And Australia are setting the pace, with four men on the front.

The French, the Germans are there too.

The Australians are taking control but there's been a crash. A Swiss rider is down.

A number of GB riders have been held up too.

But Australia continue to set the pace. Less than 4km to go and Durbridge is doing a huge amount of work.

Italians have the numbers but Aussies on the front. Still a huge bunch on last lap. Who would have thought there would be a bunch sprint...

@Mark_Renshaw Fri, 23rd Sep 2011 15:45:41

A Latvian has hit the deck too.

The Italian team has taken control on the front of the bunch.

The Germans take over but the Australians are up there still too. It's so wide open. GB coming up too. 

Fenn is up there.

Rowe and Yates too.

Into the final km.

GB in second and third.

Hepburn leads out, surely that's too early?

Fenn is coming up to him and he's going to come by the Australian.

 

But here come the French. There are two of them.

Two French riders, Demare and Petit, it's going to be a French 1-2.

Fenn is fading but he's taken bronze.

What a fantastic sprint finish. Timing is everything on this finale. The French timed it perfectly, Fenn did well to hang on. Petit was leading out and he just carried on once his team mate came by.

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