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UCI Road World Championships 2011: U23 Men time trial

The U-23 men have taken to the time trial course.  Who will be the fastest through the streets of Copenhagen?

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the UCI World Championships!  The Junior women went this morning, and now we will follow the U-23 men.

Our leader so far is Anton Vorobev of Russia, with a time of 43: 36.12.  Second is Jasper Hamelink of the Netherlands at 44:40.07, with Damien Howson (Australia) third at 44:53.09.

Ouch, that hurts!  Michael Hepburn of Australia had set the best halfway time, but now he will be lucky to place well.  He took a turn too fast, went down, and had to change bikes.

The U-23 men will ride two laps of a 17.6 km course.  They go from the city center to Hellerup, and then back, finishing up at City Hall Square.

Hepburn is having trouble getting back in his rhythm.  He doesn't look as fluid as earlier, and is definitely more careful on the corners.

But he was still fast enough to take over first place!  Good for him -- even if he is not expected to stay there until the end.

Our weather today?  “Dry with sunny spells.”  High of about 16°C. Some have feared the wind here, but it is supposed to be light today.   And fortunately we are having one of those sunny spells now.

Jose Goncalves of Portugal really turns on the speed as he approaches the finish line ahead of  of Kazakhi Daniil Fominykh.  Neither will be in the top ten.

We had 65 riders scheduled to take to the start today including riders from such “exotic” cycling lands as Panama, Greece, Albania and Eritrea.

Our slowest time so far is Tesfom Okubarmariam Issak of Eritrea, at 50:26.46.

The riders are going off at 1:30 intervals.  They have been divided into five groups of 12 to 13 riders, with a gap of  32 minutes between each group.  Right now we are approaching the last riders of the next-to-last group.

There are some difficulties along the way.  There are any number of speed bumps in the road, and some cobblestones as well.  Also, the entire route is not blocked off. We have seen at least one rider have a near collision with a “civilian” cyclist.

Arthur Van Overberghe of Belgium completes his first lap of the course.

Michel Koch of Germany is 12th at the halfway marker.  His goal is top 15 today.

The absolute top favourite today to take the gold is Luke Durbridge of Australia.  The 20 year-old won the junior title in 2009.  What has he done this year?  He won the Chrono Champenois, the national U-23 time trial title, the prologue time trial at the Olympia's Tour, plus the first stage of the Olympia's Tour.  Not to mention his national title in points racing on the track and his Worlds team pursuit title.

Right now the last riders out of the fourth group are on the road. In about 16 minutes the last 13 riders will be at the start.

Le Bon of France catches and passes Van Rensburg of South Africa just before the halfway mark.

Five more minutes, and the next batch of riders will be underway.

Koch will have to wait and see if he makes his top 15 goal.  He is currently tenth at 45.37.10.

The final group has started!

Rasmus Quaade, 21, is favourite to take a medal here in his homeland.  He is, after all, the national Elite time trial champion!  He finished second in the Chrono Champenois, behind Durbridge.

Lawson Craddock of the US, the next to go, is only 19 years old.  He rides for the Trek-Livestrong U23 team.  This season he has won stages at Le Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux (a time trial) and at the Tour de la Guadeloupe. He has the best Worlds experience, having won the Junior TT title last year.

Andrei  Krasilnikau of Belrussia is 22 and rides for the Garmin developmental team.

Eek, they are leaving fast and furious now!  Vegard Stake Laengen, 22, of Norway, rides for Joker Merida.
 

Kevin De Jonghe is Belgium's top starter.  He is Belgian U-23 time trial champ, and hs several wins this season as well.
 

Only eight more riders to go!

Laengen weavses way through an S-curve.  He is putting in a good time so far.

Durbridge is now on his way.  He is considered the best bet for gold here.

Hepburn coolly watches his countryman go.  He has had a visit from the medics and is now sporting some gauze and tape.

Le Bon hits the finish line in 11th place, about 2 minutes down.

Quaade sets a new best time at the first intermediate time check, eight seconds faster than Hepburn.

Bob Jungels of Luxembourg is underway now.  And Mark Christian of Great Britain is at the other end of the course, finishing currently 19th.

Jungels was 2010 Juniors World time trial champion.  And this year he won both the time trail and road race at the Games of the Small States of Europe.

Christian, by the way, was the last one of the fourth group. There will now be a gap until the next rider crosses the finish line.

And the final rider is on the course!  The last rider to leave the blocks today is Yoann Paillot of France.  He has this honour because he won the U-23 European time trial title.
 

Quaade hits the halfway marker.  He is up out of the saddle as he sets another best time, but only 3.37 seconds faster than Hepburn.

Durbridge powers his way along.  How will he measure up at the halfway point?

Craddock is way down at the halfway mark, 37th place.  But he's stil young, his time will come.

Laengen 20th at the intermediate time check, 1.16 down.

De Jonghe of Belgium is also not putting in a top team, 20th at the half.

Durbridge is already approaching his 1:30 man Novak as they near the halfway marker.

And Novak is going well, too, fifth fastest.

Durbridge of course sets a new best intermediate time, topping Quaade by 15 seconds.

Quaade must have gone out too fast.  He was only second at the next intermediate check, behind Hepburn.

Paillot is now over the midway point (in 10th place). Things are winding down now.

Quaade comes in to the finish.

Over a number of speed bumps he goes!

Up out of the saddle and powering to the finish -- he crosses the line at 43:22.81, for a new best time!

The Danish crowd is beside itself.  He is totally out of breath, laying on the ground.

Durbridge is nearing the final intermediate time check with a massive lead over Quaade.

We assume that Craddock has now finished too.....but no one is telling us.

Oh, here comes Craddock now.  He was slower underway than we thought.  He finishes nearly four minutes down.

Speaking of slow, Durbridge has passed Krasilnikau, who started seven and a half minutes before him.

Laengen comes into the finish, about 2.23 down.

Belgium's De Jonghe is the next to finish, in 16th place at the moment.

Durbridge goes under the flamme rouge -- we don't know the Danish term.....

Durbridge motors in towards the finish line.

He crosses the finish line in 42.37 -- we have our World Champion!

Sixth place for Dumoulin.

Oh wait, he can't be in yet.  That must hve been the last intermediate time check.

Sütterin of Germany is now over the line, just missing out on the top ten.

Dumoulin rolls over the cobbles now.

Jungels too misses out on the top ten as he finishes 2.28 down.

Matteo Mammini of Italy comes in at nearly three minutes down.

Dumoulin does well, with an eighth place finish.

Paillot hits all those speed bumps on his way to the finsh line.

Thirteenth place for him.

That's it!  We have Australian bookend winners, with a Dane in the middle.

Gold for Luke Durbridge, silver for Rasmus Quaade, and bronze for Michael Hepburn.

Congratulations not only to those three but to all who rode here.  Simly being nominated to the World Championships is a real honour.

And here our top ten:

1. Luke Durbridge (Australia) 42:47
2. Rasmus Christian Quaade (Denmark) 43:22
3. Michael Hepburn (Australia) 43:33
4. Anton Vorobev (Russia) 43: 36
5. Jasper Hamelink (Netherlands) 44:40
6 Jason Christie (New Zealand) 44:47
7. Luis Mas Bonet (Spain) 44:51
8. Damien Howson (Australia) 44:53
9. Rudy Molard (France) 44:56
10. Jakub Novak (Czech Republic) 45:00

Once more, congratulations to them and all who rode today.

Join us again tomorrow for more exciting action.

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