Demare, Petit stun espoir field with French 1-2

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.


Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Arnaud Demare (France)3:52:16
2Adrien Petit (France)Row 1 - Cell 2
3Andrew Fenn (Great Britain)Row 2 - Cell 2
4Rudiger Selig (Germany)Row 3 - Cell 2
5Marco Haller (Austria)Row 4 - Cell 2
6Filippo Fortin (Italy)Row 5 - Cell 2
7Wouter Wippert (Netherlands)Row 6 - Cell 2
8Alexey Tsatevitch (Russian Federation)Row 7 - Cell 2
9Tosh Van Der Sande (Belgium)Row 8 - Cell 2
10Andris Smirnovs (Latvia)Row 9 - Cell 2
11Jetse Bol (Netherlands)Row 10 - Cell 2
12Filip Eidsheim (Norway)Row 11 - Cell 2
13Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spain)Row 12 - Cell 2
14Raymond Kreder (Netherlands)Row 13 - Cell 2
15Petr Vakoc (Czech Republic)Row 14 - Cell 2
16Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Russian Federation)Row 15 - Cell 2
17Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa)Row 16 - Cell 2
18Marcel Aregger (Switzerland)Row 17 - Cell 2
19Fabio Silvestre (Portugal)Row 18 - Cell 2
20Vegard Robinson Bugge (Norway)Row 19 - Cell 2
21Michael Hepburn (Australia)Row 20 - Cell 2
22Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark)Row 21 - Cell 2
23António Carvalho (Portugal)Row 22 - Cell 2
24Matthias Brandle (Austria)Row 23 - Cell 2
25Miras Bederbekov (Kazakhstan)Row 24 - Cell 2
26Jan Polanc (Slovenia)Row 25 - Cell 2
27Sven Erik Bystrøm (Norway)Row 26 - Cell 2
28Natnael Berhane (Eritrea)Row 27 - Cell 2
29Andreas Hofer (Austria)Row 28 - Cell 2
30Zico Waeytens (Belgium)Row 29 - Cell 2
31Artem Topchanyuk (Ukraine)Row 30 - Cell 2
32Gideoni Monteiro (Brazil)Row 31 - Cell 2
33Bjørn Tore Nilsen Hoem (Norway)Row 32 - Cell 2
34Grzegorz Stepniak (Poland)Row 33 - Cell 2
35Toms Skujins (Latvia)Row 34 - Cell 2
36Ramon Sinkeldam (Netherlands)Row 35 - Cell 2
37Michael Valgreen Andersen (Denmark)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Jan Keller (Switzerland)Row 38 - Cell 2
40Vegard Stake Laengen (Norway)Row 39 - Cell 2
41Oleksandr Prevar (Ukraine)Row 40 - Cell 2
42Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Colombia)Row 41 - Cell 2
43Georg Preidler (Austria)Row 42 - Cell 2
44Klemen Stimulak (Slovenia)Row 43 - Cell 2
45Chi Ho Yuen (Hong Kong, China)Row 44 - Cell 2
46Christopher Jennings (South Africa)Row 45 - Cell 2
47Indulis Bekmanis (Latvia)Row 46 - Cell 2
48Romain Delalot (France)Row 47 - Cell 2
49Michel Koch (Germany)Row 48 - Cell 2
50Igor Frolov (Russian Federation)Row 49 - Cell 2
51Simon Yates (Great Britain)Row 50 - Cell 2
52Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Colombia)Row 51 - Cell 2
53Philip Lavery (Ireland)Row 52 - Cell 2
54José Gonçalves (Portugal)Row 53 - Cell 2
55Roman Osuna Montes (Spain)Row 54 - Cell 2
56Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden)Row 55 - Cell 2
57Tim Declercq (Belgium)Row 56 - Cell 2
58Armands Becis (Latvia)Row 57 - Cell 2
59Jesper Dahlström (Sweden)Row 58 - Cell 2
60Sergey Chernetski (Russian Federation)Row 59 - Cell 2
61Eugenio Alafaci (Italy)Row 60 - Cell 2
62Jesper Hansen (Denmark)Row 61 - Cell 2
63Kanstantsin Klimiankou (Belarus)Row 62 - Cell 2
64Bert-Jan Lindeman (Netherlands)Row 63 - Cell 2
65Jelle Wallays (Belgium)Row 64 - Cell 2
66Angelo Tulik (France)Row 65 - Cell 2
67Moyano Enzo Josue (Argentina)Row 66 - Cell 2
68Mark Christian (Great Britain)Row 67 - Cell 2
69Piotr Gawronski (Poland)Row 68 - Cell 2
70Recep Ünalan (Turkey)Row 69 - Cell 2
71Emilien Viennet (France)Row 70 - Cell 2
72Arvin Moazemi Goudarzi (Islamic Republic of Iran)Row 71 - Cell 2
73Kamil Gradek (Poland)Row 72 - Cell 2
74Ramirez Chacon Brayan Stiven (Colombia)Row 73 - Cell 2
75Luke Rowe (Great Britain)Row 74 - Cell 2
76Alexey Lutsenko (Kazakhstan)Row 75 - Cell 2
77Rudy Molard (France)Row 76 - Cell 2
78Carlos Alexandre Manarelli (Brazil)Row 77 - Cell 2
79Scott Thwaites (Great Britain)Row 78 - Cell 2
80Tom David (New Zealand)Row 79 - Cell 2
81Mark Dzamastagic (Slovenia)Row 80 - Cell 2
82Julian Kern (Germany)Row 81 - Cell 2
83Sean De Bie (Belgium)Row 82 - Cell 2
84Jonas Ahlstrand (Sweden)Row 83 - Cell 2
85Matthias Allegaert (Belgium)Row 84 - Cell 2
86Arman Kamyshev (Kazakhstan)Row 85 - Cell 2
87Jacob Rathe (United States Of America)Row 86 - Cell 2
88Thomas Palmer (Australia)0:00:20
89Christian Delle Stelle (Italy)Row 88 - Cell 2
90Daniel Diaz (Argentina)0:00:26
91Sonny Colbrelli (Italy)0:00:29
92Rob Bush (United States Of America)Row 91 - Cell 2
93Gavin Mannion (United States Of America)Row 92 - Cell 2
94Theo Reinhardt (Germany)0:00:33
95Sam Bennett (Ireland)0:00:37
96Magkoyras Neofytos Sakellaridis (Greece)0:00:43
97Philipp Ries (Germany)Row 96 - Cell 2
98Louis Meintjes (South Africa)Row 97 - Cell 2
99Bastian Bürgel (Germany)0:01:04
100Nicola Boem (Italy)Row 99 - Cell 2
101Anton Vorobev (Russian Federation)0:01:07
102Jovan Zekavica (Serbia)0:01:09
103Jakub Novak (Czech Republic)0:01:49
104Jay Mccarthy (Australia)Row 103 - Cell 2
105Rohan Dennis (Australia)Row 104 - Cell 2
106Luke Durbridge (Australia)Row 105 - Cell 2
107Janis Dakteris (Latvia)0:01:52
108Sebastian Lander (Denmark)Row 107 - Cell 2
109Christopher Juul Jensen (Denmark)Row 108 - Cell 2
110Tomás Koudela (Czech Republic)Row 109 - Cell 2
111Muhamad Adiq Husainie Othman (Malaysia)Row 110 - Cell 2
112James Williamson (New Zealand)Row 111 - Cell 2
113Erick Rowsell (Great Britain)Row 112 - Cell 2
114Niklas Gustavsson (Sweden)Row 113 - Cell 2
115Andrei Krasilnikau (Belarus)0:02:29
116Yauheni Patenka (Belarus)Row 115 - Cell 2
117Guillaume Boivin (Canada)0:02:38
118Johann Van Zyl (South Africa)0:03:32
119Roman Dronin (Uzbekistan)Row 118 - Cell 2
120Ki Ho Choi (Hong Kong, China)Row 119 - Cell 2
121Maxat Ayazbayev (Kazakhstan)Row 120 - Cell 2
122Siarhei Novikau (Belarus)Row 121 - Cell 2
123Reynard Butler (South Africa)Row 122 - Cell 2
124Gabriel Juarez Veron (Argentina)Row 123 - Cell 2
125Pawel Bernas (Poland)Row 124 - Cell 2
126Polychronis Tzortzakis (Greece)0:05:38
127Ian Boswell (United States Of America)0:05:58
128Joe Dombrowski (United States Of America)Row 127 - Cell 2
129Oleksandr Martynenko (Ukraine)Row 128 - Cell 2
130Ali Riza Tanriverdi (Turkey)Row 129 - Cell 2
131Gabor Kasa (Serbia)0:06:13
132Anatoliy Sosnitskiy (Ukraine)0:07:41
133Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (Denmark)0:08:25
134George Bennett (New Zealand)0:09:34
135Philip Lindau (Sweden)Row 134 - Cell 2
136Maksym Vasilyev (Ukraine)0:17:17
137Berhane Melake (Eritrea)Row 136 - Cell 2
138Tesfom Okubamariam Issak (Eritrea)Row 137 - Cell 2
DNFSilvan Dillier (Switzerland)Row 138 - Cell 2
DNFGianluca Leonardi (Italy)Row 139 - Cell 2
DNFKing Lok Cheung (Hong Kong, China)Row 140 - Cell 2
DNFVictor Martin Hernandez (Spain)Row 141 - Cell 2
DNFStanislau Bazhkou (Belarus)Row 142 - Cell 2
DNFGökhan Hasta (Turkey)Row 143 - Cell 2
DNFLukasz Wisniowski (Poland)Row 144 - Cell 2
DNFFelix English (Ireland)Row 145 - Cell 2
DNFTsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Ethiopia)Row 146 - Cell 2
DNFJordi Simon Casulleras (Spain)Row 147 - Cell 2
DNFMustafa Sayar (Turkey)Row 148 - Cell 2
DNFRichard Lang (Australia)Row 149 - Cell 2
DNFMohd Ekbar Zamanhuri (Malaysia)Row 150 - Cell 2
DNFCarlos Daniel Linares Zambrano (Venezuela)Row 151 - Cell 2
DNFJesus Ezquerra Muela (Spain)Row 152 - Cell 2
DNFYoucef Reguigui (Algeria)Row 153 - Cell 2
DNFBaron Castillo Felix Alejandro (Colombia)Row 154 - Cell 2


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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

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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