Eight years after a certain Marcel Kittel secured his second straight gold in the World Championships Junior Individual Time Trial, Lennard Kemna comfortably outpaced his rivals to claim top honours for Germany in the same category again.
Already the reigning European and national champion in 2014, Kamna followed up those successes with his first World Championships gold, completing the 29.5 kilometre course an impressive 44 seconds ahead of the USA’s Adrien Costa. West Australian Michael Storer continued the run of top results for his country in this year’s Championships - so far they have taken at least one medal in each category - with bronze, 58 seconds behind Kamna.
No rider was wearing number one dossard in today’s competition, to honour the memory of Belgium’s Igor Decraene, the former junior World Time Trial Champion who died earlier this year. But Kamna, the last man down the start ramp in Ponferrada, made it very clear he was going to brook no opposition en route to gold.
Fastest by 19.8 seconds at the first checkpoint over Costa, Kamna’s advantage almost doubled, to 34 seconds at the second before widening even further by the finish. As he swung round the final right-hand corner into the finishing straight, the 18-year-old was already ahead of his two minute man, Corentin Ermenault of France and his final time of 36:13 meant he averaged 48.8 kph, a full kilometre per hour quicker than silver medallist Costa.
“I’m very destroyed, very happy and very tired,” Kamna said afterwards.
“I’ve been very nervous about this race for the whole week, but 10 minutes before I started, I calmed down and then I could ride.”
Recognising that Tony Martin was a great example for him, he observed that riding as last man off had helped him maintain a solid pace as he knew what times his rivals had clocked.
“The last five kilometres of the course was the hardest part with the [time trial’s one] climb, particularly after 25 kilometres in the saddle. At the top of the climb, my trainer said I had the best time, so I hoped I wouldn’t crash on the descent, but I thought by that part I would win.”
But Kamna was less certain how he actually felt as a newly crowned World Champion, saying “At the moment I don’t realise it, but I’m sure I will soon.”
“I was hoping for a top three result, but this is a much better result than I dreamed of.”
Mikolaj Gutek of Poland set the best early time to beat, of 38:11, which it duly was in fine style by Eire’s Michael O’Loughlin, the rider hailing from Sean Kelly’s town of Carrick-on-Suir, when the Irishman clocked 37:56.
However, Sven Reutter of Germany then inched ahead of the Irishman’s provisional best by eight seconds and Luxemberg’s Tom Wirtgen quickly set the bar five seconds higher. But the Luxemberg rider barely had time to sit in the UCI’s ‘hot seat’ of leader before
Italy’s Filippo Ganna smashed the top time off the leader board by a further 14 seconds.
Adrian Costa of the USA then became the first rider to get under the glass ceiling of 37 minutes with a time of 36-55. Although it was clear the American would take a medal, with Kamna blasting through each checkpoint so far ahead, it was not at all certain what colour it would finally be.
“I definitely had high expectations, my friend and team-mate Zeke Mostov” - fifth in today’s race - “got third last year and both of us prepared really well this year too” said Costa afterwards.
“I’m happy to finish second. It was kind of disappointing see Leonard get 44 seconds on me, but he was really the strongest and deserved it today.”
Looking ahead at his own career path, Costa observed, “The U-23 program is a big stepping stone for those of us trying to make it into the professional ranks, but next year I will be a junior again and I hope to be able to match this result or even do better.”
“I had no expectations,” said Storer, “I got the best time out, I left it all out on the road, and wanted to do the best time, I was really happy I got this bronze.”
Observing on the consistent level of Australian success in cycling in the World Championships, he said “our coaches and institutes of sport in Australia really support us to try and get good performances.” In the men’s junior time trial event at least, though, Germany’s Kamna proved to be simply unbeatable.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lennard Kamna (Germany)||0:36:13.49|
|2||Adrien Costa (United States Of America)||0:00:44.66|
|3||Michael Storer (Australia)||0:00:58.11|
|4||Filippo Ganna (Italy)||0:01:05.94|
|5||Zeke Mostov (United States Of America)||0:01:19.13|
|6||Tom Wirtgen (Luxembourg)||0:01:29.86|
|7||Sven Reutter (Germany)||0:01:34.27|
|8||Michael O'Loughlin (Ireland)||0:01:42.81|
|9||Jaime Restrepo (Colombia)||0:01:43.89|
|10||Matthew Gibson (Great Britain)||0:01:46.81|
|11||Jan Tschernoster (Germany)||0:01:47.53|
|12||Niklas Larsen (Denmark)||0:01:51.55|
|13||Mikolaj Gutek (Poland)||0:01:58.45|
|14||Corentin Ermenault (France)||0:02:01.63|
|15||Tobias Foss (Norway)||0:02:01.77|
|16||Mark Padun (Ukraine)||0:02:10.57|
|17||Szymon Wojciech Sajnok (Poland)||0:02:17.32|
|18||Nikolay Ilichev (Russian Federation)||0:02:21.66|
|19||Gino Maeder (Switzerland)||0:02:22.71|
|20||Senne Leysen (Belgium)||0:02:22.99|
|21||Edoardo Affini (Italy)||0:02:34.67|
|22||Vitaliy Novakovskyi (Ukraine)||0:02:36.20|
|23||Alisher Zhumakan (Kazakhstan)||0:02:37.00|
|24||Martin Palm (Belgium)||0:02:45.51|
|25||Jeremy Defaye (France)||0:02:46.05|
|26||Anders Hardahl (Denmark)||0:02:55.93|
|27||Anton Ivashkin (Belarus)||0:02:56.25|
|28||Gustav Basson (South Africa)||0:02:56.35|
|29||Hampus Anderberg (Sweden)||0:02:56.92|
|30||Ivo Emanuel Oliveira Alves (Portugal)||0:03:00.96|
|31||Izidor Penko (Slovenia)||0:03:03.41|
|32||Adrian Jaramillo (Ecuador)||0:03:03.54|
|33||Erlend Blikra (Norway)||0:03:07.45|
|34||Mark Downey (Ireland)||0:03:09.49|
|35||Martin Schappi (Switzerland)||0:03:10.48|
|36||Andrej Petrovski (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)||0:03:27.13|
|37||Daniel Felipe Martinez (Colombia)||0:03:27.46|
|38||Yuriy Natarov (Kazakhstan)||0:03:28.71|
|39||Kevin Geniets (Luxembourg)||0:03:30.05|
|40||Ilya Volkau (Belarus)||0:03:30.94|
|41||Onur Balkan (Turkey)||0:03:34.33|
|42||Facundo Crisafulli (Argentina)||0:03:35.36|
|43||Petr Rikunov (Russian Federation)||0:03:36.42|
|44||Ivan Venter (South Africa)||0:03:36.84|
|45||Tiago Antunes (Portugal)||0:03:38.71|
|46||Gustaf Andersson (Sweden)||0:03:40.94|
|47||Pier-Andre Cote (Canada)||0:03:41.33|
|48||Andre Eduardo Gohr (Brazil)||0:03:44.80|
|49||Jon Bozic (Slovenia)||0:03:50.26|
|50||Ekke-Kaur Vosman (Estonia)||0:03:54.03|
|51||Alihan Demirbag (Turkey)||0:03:55.35|
|52||David Zverko (Slovakia)||0:03:57.09|
|53||Diego Lopez Fuentes (Spain)||0:04:00.15|
|54||Islam Mansouri (Algeria)||0:04:15.59|
|55||Xavier Canellas Sanchez (Spain)||0:04:18.54|
|56||Keigo Kusaba (Japan)||0:04:24.98|
|57||Norman Vahtra (Estonia)||0:04:34.99|
|58||Abderrahim Zahiri (Morocco)||0:04:48.48|
|59||El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco)||0:04:52.87|
|60||Emil Dima (Romania)||0:05:19.51|
|61||Zoheir Benyoub (Algeria)||0:05:21.21|
|62||Brian Ismael Carro Ernst (Uruguay)||0:05:23.26|
|63||Roman Shukurov (Uzbekistan)||0:05:30.31|
|64||Elgun Alizada (Azerbaijan)||0:05:40.09|
|65||David Karl (Hungary)||0:06:16.39|
|66||Kanan Gahramanli (Azerbaijan)||0:06:46.04|
|67||Ayman Elsayed Imam (Egypt)||0:07:07.40|
|68||Mohamed Eleiwa Helal (Egypt)||0:07:35.12|
|69||Ulugbek Saidov (Uzbekistan)||0:08:38.99|
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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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