Demare, Petit stun espoir field with French 1-2
Fenn nets bronze in bunch sprint
France scored an impressive one-two in the men's under 23 road race at the UCI World Championships in Copenhagen as Arnaud Démare outsprinted his teammate Adrien Petit, with Andy Fenn (Great Britain) coming home in third.
Démare and Petit's pitch-perfect performance on the testing rise to the finish will have provided a further tonic for French cycling after a season in which it has already shown significant signs of a return to the rudest of health.
At the end of an afternoon of aggressive racing that ultimately failed to break up the peloton, Australia looked set to control affairs on the run-in to the finish. Instead, their fast man Michael Hepburn was unable to make an impact in the finale, and it was Andy Fenn who went first in the sprint, careering off the wheel of his teammate Luke Rowe.
The Briton may well rue showing his hand so soon, however, as on the opposite side of the road, Petit was beating a path for Démare. As Fenn began to fade, Petit and Démare came around him, and with 150 metres to go, Démare ripped past his lead-out and roared clear to take an emphatic victory.
Such was the French duo's dominance that they were both able to hold off Fenn and they crossed the line with their arms aloft. Behind Fenn, Rudger Selig (Germany) came home in fourth, ahead of Marco Haller (Austria).
"I'm really happy," said Démare, who will ride for FDJ next season. "The false flat to the line was very hard, but I saw with 100 metres to go that I was going to win. Then when I saw that we were going to get the one-two, well, that was an extra satisfaction."
Petit explained that he had long been earmarked as the man to lead out Démare in the finale. A stagiare with Cofidis in the second half of this season, he raced the Worlds circuit at the Tour of Denmark in August.
"The last stage was on this circuit, and I saw that it was a finish that suited me," he said. "I was selected to be Arnaud's lead-out man. We rode together at the Tour de Moselle recently, and then we trained together on the course in the last couple of days."
The third-place Fenn wasn't sure if the glass was half-full or half-empty at the end of the race, but admitted that his French rivals had gauged the finale better than anyone.
"I'm obviously happy, because the team deserved a medal, but I'm also disappointed not to get the win," he said. "They [Démare and Petit] got it spot on," he said. "It was a hard finish to judge, but they got it right."
Durbridge shuts down attacks on final lap
As had been widely anticipated, the flat circuit invited a high-speed opening to the afternoon's racing. The first attack to gain any significant traction came from the Brazilian Carlos Alexandre Manarelli at the end of lap one, and after he stretched out a sizeable advantage, Gianluca Leonardi (Italy) put in an impressive solo effort to bridge the gap two laps later.
Without a recognised sprinter in their line up, the Italians had promised an aggressive showing on the eve of the race and Leonardi held up their end of the bargain by propelling the break to a lead that approached four minutes with 70km raced.
While the bunch behind was initially disorganised, the repeated fragmenting and reforming that took place on the front of the peloton eventually drove up the pace sufficiently to begin to make significant inroads into Leonardi and Manarelli's lead, and with 50km to race, the margin had been shaved to just over a minute.
As the early escapees' advantage continued to dwindle, Philip Lavery (Ireland) and Zico Waeytens (Belgium) were among the riders who attempted to jump across. Though their move was quickly snuffed out, their attack did mark the commencement of real hostilities and signalled the beginning of the end for Manarelli and Leonardi's rally off the front.
Midway through the third last lap, the pair were swallowed up by the peloton, but no sooner was their capture complete than Leonardi's teammate Eugenio Alafaci was on the offensive, joined soon afterwards by Louis Meintjes (South Africa) and Christopher Juul Jensen (Denmark). That trio soon swelled to a sextet when the stylish Natnael Berhane (Eritrea) shut the gap and brought Philip Lindau (Sweden) and Maxat Azazbayev (Kazakhstan) across with him.
Berhane's fluidity and Alafaci's power were complementing each other well at this point, and thanks largely to their efforts, the break had 34 seconds in hand as they began the penultimate lap. However, as Belgium and Australia gradually stirred themselves into action at the front end of the peloton, it soon became apparent that their foray off the front would have a limited shelf life.
And so it came to pass. The six were engulfed by the peloton as they took the bell for the final lap, and after plucky moves from Carlos Betancur (Colombia) and Nicola Boem (Italy) were brought to heel, world time trial champion Luke Durbridge (Australia) took over at the front of the peloton in a bid to police affairs for Michael Hepburn.
As though it were needed after his rampant performance on Monday, Durbridge give another reminder of his potential as a rouleur when he bossed the front end of the peloton and prevented anybody from jumping clear at the business end of the final lap. When he swung over, however, the Australian train began to unravel, as Britain's Luke Rowe forced his way in with dangerman Fenn on his wheel.
Worse was to follow as Australian hope Michael Hepburn was unable to match the pace on the uphill kick to the line, and ultimately it was the French duo of Démare and Petit who stole the show. The momentum behind French cycling's upturn in fortunes gathers apace.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Arnaud Demare (France)||3:52:16|
|2||Adrien Petit (France)||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|3||Andrew Fenn (Great Britain)||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|4||Rudiger Selig (Germany)||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|5||Marco Haller (Austria)||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|6||Filippo Fortin (Italy)||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|7||Wouter Wippert (Netherlands)||Row 6 - Cell 2|
|8||Alexey Tsatevitch (Russian Federation)||Row 7 - Cell 2|
|9||Tosh Van Der Sande (Belgium)||Row 8 - Cell 2|
|10||Andris Smirnovs (Latvia)||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|11||Jetse Bol (Netherlands)||Row 10 - Cell 2|
|12||Filip Eidsheim (Norway)||Row 11 - Cell 2|
|13||Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spain)||Row 12 - Cell 2|
|14||Raymond Kreder (Netherlands)||Row 13 - Cell 2|
|15||Petr Vakoc (Czech Republic)||Row 14 - Cell 2|
|16||Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Russian Federation)||Row 15 - Cell 2|
|17||Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa)||Row 16 - Cell 2|
|18||Marcel Aregger (Switzerland)||Row 17 - Cell 2|
|19||Fabio Silvestre (Portugal)||Row 18 - Cell 2|
|20||Vegard Robinson Bugge (Norway)||Row 19 - Cell 2|
|21||Michael Hepburn (Australia)||Row 20 - Cell 2|
|22||Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark)||Row 21 - Cell 2|
|23||António Carvalho (Portugal)||Row 22 - Cell 2|
|24||Matthias Brandle (Austria)||Row 23 - Cell 2|
|25||Miras Bederbekov (Kazakhstan)||Row 24 - Cell 2|
|26||Jan Polanc (Slovenia)||Row 25 - Cell 2|
|27||Sven Erik Bystrøm (Norway)||Row 26 - Cell 2|
|28||Natnael Berhane (Eritrea)||Row 27 - Cell 2|
|29||Andreas Hofer (Austria)||Row 28 - Cell 2|
|30||Zico Waeytens (Belgium)||Row 29 - Cell 2|
|31||Artem Topchanyuk (Ukraine)||Row 30 - Cell 2|
|32||Gideoni Monteiro (Brazil)||Row 31 - Cell 2|
|33||Bjørn Tore Nilsen Hoem (Norway)||Row 32 - Cell 2|
|34||Grzegorz Stepniak (Poland)||Row 33 - Cell 2|
|35||Toms Skujins (Latvia)||Row 34 - Cell 2|
|36||Ramon Sinkeldam (Netherlands)||Row 35 - Cell 2|
|37||Michael Valgreen Andersen (Denmark)||Row 36 - Cell 2|
|38||Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan)||Row 37 - Cell 2|
|39||Jan Keller (Switzerland)||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|40||Vegard Stake Laengen (Norway)||Row 39 - Cell 2|
|41||Oleksandr Prevar (Ukraine)||Row 40 - Cell 2|
|42||Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Colombia)||Row 41 - Cell 2|
|43||Georg Preidler (Austria)||Row 42 - Cell 2|
|44||Klemen Stimulak (Slovenia)||Row 43 - Cell 2|
|45||Chi Ho Yuen (Hong Kong, China)||Row 44 - Cell 2|
|46||Christopher Jennings (South Africa)||Row 45 - Cell 2|
|47||Indulis Bekmanis (Latvia)||Row 46 - Cell 2|
|48||Romain Delalot (France)||Row 47 - Cell 2|
|49||Michel Koch (Germany)||Row 48 - Cell 2|
|50||Igor Frolov (Russian Federation)||Row 49 - Cell 2|
|51||Simon Yates (Great Britain)||Row 50 - Cell 2|
|52||Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Colombia)||Row 51 - Cell 2|
|53||Philip Lavery (Ireland)||Row 52 - Cell 2|
|54||José Gonçalves (Portugal)||Row 53 - Cell 2|
|55||Roman Osuna Montes (Spain)||Row 54 - Cell 2|
|56||Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden)||Row 55 - Cell 2|
|57||Tim Declercq (Belgium)||Row 56 - Cell 2|
|58||Armands Becis (Latvia)||Row 57 - Cell 2|
|59||Jesper Dahlström (Sweden)||Row 58 - Cell 2|
|60||Sergey Chernetski (Russian Federation)||Row 59 - Cell 2|
|61||Eugenio Alafaci (Italy)||Row 60 - Cell 2|
|62||Jesper Hansen (Denmark)||Row 61 - Cell 2|
|63||Kanstantsin Klimiankou (Belarus)||Row 62 - Cell 2|
|64||Bert-Jan Lindeman (Netherlands)||Row 63 - Cell 2|
|65||Jelle Wallays (Belgium)||Row 64 - Cell 2|
|66||Angelo Tulik (France)||Row 65 - Cell 2|
|67||Moyano Enzo Josue (Argentina)||Row 66 - Cell 2|
|68||Mark Christian (Great Britain)||Row 67 - Cell 2|
|69||Piotr Gawronski (Poland)||Row 68 - Cell 2|
|70||Recep Ünalan (Turkey)||Row 69 - Cell 2|
|71||Emilien Viennet (France)||Row 70 - Cell 2|
|72||Arvin Moazemi Goudarzi (Islamic Republic of Iran)||Row 71 - Cell 2|
|73||Kamil Gradek (Poland)||Row 72 - Cell 2|
|74||Ramirez Chacon Brayan Stiven (Colombia)||Row 73 - Cell 2|
|75||Luke Rowe (Great Britain)||Row 74 - Cell 2|
|76||Alexey Lutsenko (Kazakhstan)||Row 75 - Cell 2|
|77||Rudy Molard (France)||Row 76 - Cell 2|
|78||Carlos Alexandre Manarelli (Brazil)||Row 77 - Cell 2|
|79||Scott Thwaites (Great Britain)||Row 78 - Cell 2|
|80||Tom David (New Zealand)||Row 79 - Cell 2|
|81||Mark Dzamastagic (Slovenia)||Row 80 - Cell 2|
|82||Julian Kern (Germany)||Row 81 - Cell 2|
|83||Sean De Bie (Belgium)||Row 82 - Cell 2|
|84||Jonas Ahlstrand (Sweden)||Row 83 - Cell 2|
|85||Matthias Allegaert (Belgium)||Row 84 - Cell 2|
|86||Arman Kamyshev (Kazakhstan)||Row 85 - Cell 2|
|87||Jacob Rathe (United States Of America)||Row 86 - Cell 2|
|88||Thomas Palmer (Australia)||0:00:20|
|89||Christian Delle Stelle (Italy)||Row 88 - Cell 2|
|90||Daniel Diaz (Argentina)||0:00:26|
|91||Sonny Colbrelli (Italy)||0:00:29|
|92||Rob Bush (United States Of America)||Row 91 - Cell 2|
|93||Gavin Mannion (United States Of America)||Row 92 - Cell 2|
|94||Theo Reinhardt (Germany)||0:00:33|
|95||Sam Bennett (Ireland)||0:00:37|
|96||Magkoyras Neofytos Sakellaridis (Greece)||0:00:43|
|97||Philipp Ries (Germany)||Row 96 - Cell 2|
|98||Louis Meintjes (South Africa)||Row 97 - Cell 2|
|99||Bastian Bürgel (Germany)||0:01:04|
|100||Nicola Boem (Italy)||Row 99 - Cell 2|
|101||Anton Vorobev (Russian Federation)||0:01:07|
|102||Jovan Zekavica (Serbia)||0:01:09|
|103||Jakub Novak (Czech Republic)||0:01:49|
|104||Jay Mccarthy (Australia)||Row 103 - Cell 2|
|105||Rohan Dennis (Australia)||Row 104 - Cell 2|
|106||Luke Durbridge (Australia)||Row 105 - Cell 2|
|107||Janis Dakteris (Latvia)||0:01:52|
|108||Sebastian Lander (Denmark)||Row 107 - Cell 2|
|109||Christopher Juul Jensen (Denmark)||Row 108 - Cell 2|
|110||Tomás Koudela (Czech Republic)||Row 109 - Cell 2|
|111||Muhamad Adiq Husainie Othman (Malaysia)||Row 110 - Cell 2|
|112||James Williamson (New Zealand)||Row 111 - Cell 2|
|113||Erick Rowsell (Great Britain)||Row 112 - Cell 2|
|114||Niklas Gustavsson (Sweden)||Row 113 - Cell 2|
|115||Andrei Krasilnikau (Belarus)||0:02:29|
|116||Yauheni Patenka (Belarus)||Row 115 - Cell 2|
|117||Guillaume Boivin (Canada)||0:02:38|
|118||Johann Van Zyl (South Africa)||0:03:32|
|119||Roman Dronin (Uzbekistan)||Row 118 - Cell 2|
|120||Ki Ho Choi (Hong Kong, China)||Row 119 - Cell 2|
|121||Maxat Ayazbayev (Kazakhstan)||Row 120 - Cell 2|
|122||Siarhei Novikau (Belarus)||Row 121 - Cell 2|
|123||Reynard Butler (South Africa)||Row 122 - Cell 2|
|124||Gabriel Juarez Veron (Argentina)||Row 123 - Cell 2|
|125||Pawel Bernas (Poland)||Row 124 - Cell 2|
|126||Polychronis Tzortzakis (Greece)||0:05:38|
|127||Ian Boswell (United States Of America)||0:05:58|
|128||Joe Dombrowski (United States Of America)||Row 127 - Cell 2|
|129||Oleksandr Martynenko (Ukraine)||Row 128 - Cell 2|
|130||Ali Riza Tanriverdi (Turkey)||Row 129 - Cell 2|
|131||Gabor Kasa (Serbia)||0:06:13|
|132||Anatoliy Sosnitskiy (Ukraine)||0:07:41|
|133||Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (Denmark)||0:08:25|
|134||George Bennett (New Zealand)||0:09:34|
|135||Philip Lindau (Sweden)||Row 134 - Cell 2|
|136||Maksym Vasilyev (Ukraine)||0:17:17|
|137||Berhane Melake (Eritrea)||Row 136 - Cell 2|
|138||Tesfom Okubamariam Issak (Eritrea)||Row 137 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Silvan Dillier (Switzerland)||Row 138 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Gianluca Leonardi (Italy)||Row 139 - Cell 2|
|DNF||King Lok Cheung (Hong Kong, China)||Row 140 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Victor Martin Hernandez (Spain)||Row 141 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Stanislau Bazhkou (Belarus)||Row 142 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Gökhan Hasta (Turkey)||Row 143 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Lukasz Wisniowski (Poland)||Row 144 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Felix English (Ireland)||Row 145 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Ethiopia)||Row 146 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jordi Simon Casulleras (Spain)||Row 147 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Mustafa Sayar (Turkey)||Row 148 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Richard Lang (Australia)||Row 149 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Mohd Ekbar Zamanhuri (Malaysia)||Row 150 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Carlos Daniel Linares Zambrano (Venezuela)||Row 151 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spain)||Row 152 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Youcef Reguigui (Algeria)||Row 153 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Baron Castillo Felix Alejandro (Colombia)||Row 154 - Cell 2|
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Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.
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