Skip to main content

Live coverage

UCI Road World Championships 2015: Elite Men - Road Race

Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the elite men's road race at the World Championships in Richmond, USA. 

We will have full live coverage of the race. 

Full coverage fof the 2015 World Championships
Armitstead wins women's World Championship road race
The Cyclingnews podcast: Our take on the men's World Championship road race
 

As the minutes tick down to the official start at the top of the hour, we'll bring you all the information from the start line.  

The riders are currently preparing for the race and signing on. 

 

While it has rained over night, it is now dry and the road surface is also drying out. However showers are forecast for the afternoon and the finale of the race.   

 

To check out the official start list and se rider numbers' click here.

2014 world champion Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland wears number one.  

 

It's been raining all night in #Richmond2015 but the tarmac is now drying out. 35mins to go before the Men's Elite RR http://t.co/YuaiulRmQu

@UCI_cycling Sun, 27th Sep 2015 12:26:33

To get a taste of the action we expect today, check out huge photo gallery from yesterday's women road race. 

Lizzie Armitstead (Great Britain) won the world title after an aggressive ride and perfectly-timed sprint. 

Click here for our full report and photo gallery.

 

The German team is the next to sign on. They can count ob John Degenkolb for an aggressive finale and Andre Greipel for a big sprint finish. 

 

Michal Kwiatkowski has also signed on. He's wearing the red and white Polish colours and from today is no longer world champion unless he manages to pull off a rare double victory.  

 

The USA riders are also signing on, with the crowd giving them a big cheer.  

 

The crowd went MAD for cycling superstar @petosagan ! #Richmond2015 http://t.co/YBxMVu0W7I

@UCI_cycling Sun, 27th Sep 2015 12:49:54

The riders face a race distance of 260km. They cover the 16km circuit some 16 times.  

 

As the clock ticks down to the start, the riders begin to gather at the rollout point. 

 

Who is your favourite to win today? We picked these ten riders to watch. 

Check out our preview video by clicking here.

 

This year's road circuit does not include any long climbs but the three climbs packed into the final 5km makes the race like a tough spring Classic.

 

And they're off! The riders have rolled out from the start.

 

It's going to be a long day in the saddle but the prize at the end of the day: a world title and rainbow jersey will be worth it. 

 

The riders are covering an 18km sector before hitting the circuit in Richmond. Spain is on the front of the peloton. 

 

Local resident Ben King is on the front and waves to the TV camera. He could try to get in the early break today. 

 

The race is neutralised in this sectors with riders tucked behind the official race car. 

 

The Belgian team is riding with a special thought today. It is the birthday of the late Wouter Weylandt, who died in a crash at the Giro d'Italia. Weylandt would have been 31 years old today.  

 

The flag has dropped and we have the first attack of the day. 

 

Five riders have quickly jumped away and the peloton has let them go.

 

The riders are Andriy Khripta (Ukraine), Jesse Sergent (NZL), Ivan Stevic (Srb), Park Sung Baek (Kor), Conor Dunne (Irl).

 

The French team has performed well in Richmond in the men's under 23 race and the elite men are hoping to win today. 

We spoke to Tony Gallopin to understand the possible tactics in the French squad and how sprinters Nacer Bouhanni and Arnaud Demare will work together.

Click here to read the interview with Gallopin.  

 

Also in the move now are Sergei Tvetcov (Rom), Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr), Ben King (USA) and Carlos Alzate (Col).

 

250km remaining from 259km

Tvetcov who was 3rd in the USA Pro Challenge for Jelly Belly last year, moved to Androni Giocattoli this year. He spoke to Cyclingnews after the time trial, saying his time in Europe was another transition in his career:

“Europe is another level. It's another type of race, different length of races and everything. Basically it was just to get experience, the same as when I came to the US five years ago, it took a couple years to get experience in the races."

“Next year, I want to really focus on the Giro. To get experience this year and maybe next year try to take a chance for a stage.”

 

The break is rapidly gaining time and now leads the peloton by 3:30.

 

248km remaining from 259km

The producers were wrong about Hutarovich, he was never in the break. It's currently just eight riders who have made the first trip up Libby Hill, which is already heaving with fans.

Stevic leads up 23rd street as our breakaway makes the crest.

The pair of cobbled climbs have been a bit of a non-factor this week so far. The only problems came in the U23 race when riders crashed or had mechanicals.

The Dutch team are leading the peloton up Libby Hill - they are confident in Niki Terpstra today. The sun has come out and riders are unzipping their jersies and shedding arm warmers.

The leaders head through the finish line for 15 laps to go, kilometers ahead of the bunch, who grind their way up 23rd street under pace of the Dutch.

Alejandro Valverde is mid-pack on the climb, looking none too pleased to be bouncing over cobbles.

240km remaining from 259km

The final climb up Governor Street is painted with teh names of the Dutch riders - Tom Dumoulin, mostly - there are quite a few Europeans in Richmond to cheer on their riders. Libby Hill has a huge Norwegian section and a Polish corner.

Jos van Emden is stringing out the bunch as they head toward the finish line for the end of their first lap. 4:49 behind our eight leaders.

The peloton passes through the feed zone, which is located on a ridiculously fast section of the course. There's very little chance of getting a feed late in the race when the pace is high.

Looking ahead at our breakaway, we have a few riders who are familiar with the American roads: of course Ben King is the rider most accustomed to racing in Virginia, as a resident of the nearby Charlottesville area.

He's been quite a celebrity with the local press, as his father and uncle are masters racers in the local cycling scene. Everyone's exceedingly proud of their most famous son.

Carlos Alzate (Colombia) has also been racing for years on the North American circuit. He's a sprinter with UnitedHealthcare who has been part of their national criterium calendar domination.

Alzate recently won the Chris Thater Memorial crit, two days of the Gateway Cup and the Novant crit in nearby Charlotte, North Carolina. We think he may struggle with 260km so it's good that he's off the front for Colombia. He can take an early exit and pass off the later work for Rigoberto Uran and their other sprinter Edwin Avila.

233km remaining from 259km

Ivan Stevic (Serbia) spent many years in the mid-2000s racing in the USA. He was a part of the Toyota United team and was a prolific winner on the domestic circuit.

But Stevic ran afoul of the authorities in a doping investigation in Italy dubbed "Oil for drugs".

Stevic protested his innocence, and appealed a lifetime ban in Italy. He had his results expunged from 2008 and 2009, but returned to racing in 2010 where he won a stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake and flipped the bird as his victory salute. He was kicked off the race.

233km remaining from 259km

Ivan Stevic (Serbia) spent many years in the mid-2000s racing in the USA. He was a part of the Toyota United team and was a prolific winner on the domestic circuit.

But Stevic ran afoul of the authorities in a doping investigation in Italy dubbed "Oil for drugs".

Stevic protested his innocence, and appealed a lifetime ban in Italy. He had his results expunged from 2008 and 2009, but returned to racing in 2010 where he won a stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake and flipped the bird as his victory salute. He was kicked off the race.

230km remaining from 259km

Ben King pushes the pace in the breakaway as they head up Libby Hill for the second time.

The breakaway are on 23rd street, with Khripta now up the road a piece, just getting some air time for Ukraine.

@vincenzonibali a centro gruppo. #Richmond2015 http://t.co/hVVabzOj5X

@SteBertolotti Sun, 27th Sep 2015 13:50:24

The bunch is being led by the Germans up Libby Hill, with Christian Knees followed by the Dutch.

At the end of the lap, with 14 more to go, it's Sergei Tvetcov rotating through smoothly in the breakaway. His Romanian kit all black with red, yellow and blue of his national flag. It's a nice looking kit.

Jesse Sergent is also clad in all-black, with the white fern of New Zealand emblazoned on his jersey.

The sun is shining on the breakaway - it's quite a different day than the meteorologists predicted! The riders had steeled themselves for six hours in pounding rain, but it's quite pleasant.

It's still 225km left to race, and that's long even for a grand tour stage or one-day race. The breakaway is still sitting at four minutes but the Dutch aren't going to give them any more time.

They're heading up the final climb of this lap, still Jos van Emden on the front.

Lars Boom, Alejandro Valverde, Luis Leon Sanchez are all positioned near the front, as are the Belgians Greg van Avermaet and Tom Boonen.

 

Vincenzo Nibali is near the front, he's all smiles today.

There was one rider who failed to start this morning: Jaco Venter (South Africa) was unable to arrange a visa to enter the USA, and was disappointed to not be able to race today.

There are a few riders who could surprise today, and one is Frenchman Julien Alaphilippe. He finished on the podium of two Ardennes Classics this year.

Cyclingnews spoke to him before the race, you can read it here.

218km remaining from 259km

The peloton is strung out single file behind the teim trial stylings of Van Emden as they head back toward downtown.

The breakaway is blasting down Main Street to the turn onto 15th.

There was a crash there in the women's race that took out Shelley Olds (USA) - but it's the only really dicey spot on the course.

Speaking of the French, Tony Gallopin is another contender for that country. Read Cyclingnews' pre-race interview with Gallopin here.

THe peloton heads through the second feed zone, which is also on a very fast section of course. Many bottles are dropped.

Some hipsters ride alongside the breakaway on Dock Street on a lovely stretch of separated bikeway. Richmond has done a great job improving bike infrastructure in the build up to Worlds.

The breakaway is heading to Libby Hill for the third time, Ben King gets a bottle from the team car - it's much easier to stay fed and hydrated from the breakaway than the field in a race like this.

Thankfully, King has been provided with a white version of his POC helmet because the lime green of his trade team would have clashed mightily with the red white and blue.

He's leading the way in the breakway past Ben King corner on Libby Hill.

The speed of the peloton is still not furious, as can be witnessed by the ability of a fan on a townie bike able to keep pace with them as they head along Dock Street along the James River.

213km remaining from 259km

Interestingly, the James River is held back by flood walls but the area east of downtown was under many feet of water in 2004 when a tropical system backed up the storm sewers into Shockoe Bottom. The flood was devastating, but the area has rebounded and is now thriving with hip shops, bars and restaurants.

A problem for Taylor Phinney at the back of the bunch as the peloton heads up Libby Hill. The American is having problems with his gears.

Time trial world champion Vasil Kiryienka is dead last in the peloton on Libby Hill.

The breakaway are 1km from the finish for 13 to go.

Jos van Emden has been riding the front now for some 50km and shows no sign of giving up.

Taylor Phinney is still in trouble back at the team car - we're wondering what's up with his bike. He seems to be having issues with his derailleur.

207km remaining from 259km

Robert Gesink pulls up to the team pits and just stops. He doesn't seem to be in much of a hurry at all. He's getting his saddle adjusted.

A rider from Costa Rica had an issue after the feed zone and came down in a crash. A Danish rider was also involved but he got right back up.

The race is averaging around 40km/h on the last two laps, after starting out much quicker.

The Costa Rica rider was Cesar Rojas Villegas. He seemed to have hurt his leg but we hear he's getting a new bike.

Maybe he can join Gesink in chasing back on. Gesink stopped to have his saddle angle adjusted.

 

Ivan Stevic (Serbia) has a rear puncture and has to get a wheel change from Shimano neutral support.

There are a number of recessed manhole covers and a few potholes along the course that have been causing grief. It's easy to pinch-flat if you hit one wrong.

203km remaining from 259km

Stevic had a quick change, and is about to make contact with the following cars.

Stevic will unfortunately not be able to make use of the fast Main St descent to regain the breakaway because he's about half as big as the rest of the riders up front.

Someone hand that man a lead brick!

201km remaining from 259km

Stevic proves me wrong and tacks back onto the breakaway at the bottom.

He gets the high sock award of the day - his red, white and blue checked socks are nearly up to his knees.

Another crash in the peloton - Germany's Paul Martens and Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia) met at the kerb in the feed zone and had a little lie down together. They're back up and riding.

Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis alumni Sergei Tsvetkov is in the break at UCI Pro World Championships!

@JellyBellyTeam Sun, 27th Sep 2015 14:32:55

The breakaway are heading to Libby Hill for another trip up the cobbles. Sergent is back at the cars having a chat.

Ben King is asking for the time gap - we'd like to know, too. Last check we got was around 3:30, but it was coming down.

King leads once again up Libby Hill, as he has done each time.

We're being told that Tommeke Tommeke Tommeke Boonen is off the back of the race chasing.

The Belgians have a few riders at the back waiting for Boonen. He's stopped with a front puncture. He's off and chasing again.

Peloton is on Libby Hill only 12 more times after this.

Boonen flies over the pavé with ease, just tacking onto the back of the bunch at the top.

195km remaining from 259km

Meanwhile, the breakaway is heading up the Governor Street climb, running over the names - Terpstra, Tommeke, Dumoulin - painted in white on the new pavement.

The peloton is back on 23rd as finally Van Emden ends his run as pace maker.

King leads across the line with 12 to go. It's just like one of those Tour de France stages that passes through one rider's hometown, and the peloton let him lead through town - only the entire circuit is Ben's hometown (almost).

The Dutch riders were looking around at the top of 23rd and now we know why - they were waiting for Van Emden to continue his 200km-long individual pursuit... he's back at the front on Governor Street.

Taylor Phinney decides to finally get a new bike and gets a big push from the mechanic after a fast swap.

A Canadian rider has a puncture - looked like Ryan Roth. A lot of activity for the mechanics today.

We were incorrect about the Costa Rican rider who crashed last lap - he has abandoned the race.

Ben King you legend. Virginian rolling in the early break. #Richmond2015 https://t.co/bwDMdG6siX

@pietrohymasini Sun, 27th Sep 2015 14:50:13

The view from Libby Hill @Richmond2015! Go @taylorphinney and #TeamUSA!! http://t.co/EmPYNPqT88

@davisphinney Sun, 27th Sep 2015 14:55:17

There are still 187km left to race, and Van Emden's solo pursuit has whittled down the gap to the leaders to just under 90 seconds, according to the live timing. It will be a very different race if the eight riders get caught.

One country hoping for a hard race - which this could be if the early break is brought back - is Great Britain. They're without their main sprinter Mark Cavendish, though Ben Swift is fast, and also missing Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas.

Coach Shane Sutton spoke to Cyclingnews and said he hopes Adam Yates can be their man.

Correction, the gap is 3:20, down from over four minutes. Sergent is back at the car getting an adjustment to his clothing. It seems that it was not comfortable and the mechanic is cutting his base layer with a pair of scissors. What could possibly go wrong?

Powers wins opening day in Gloucester: Day 1 Elite Men Photos | http://t.co/U3YFUhuziG http://t.co/ji3YVUIyB5 http://t.co/BXyEuJN9le

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sun, 27th Sep 2015 14:57:51

It seems impossible that there is 'cross going on when Worlds isn't even over yet.

Next year will be even worse - Worlds in Doha will not be until mid-October. Such a long year.

Now that Sergent isn't being choked by his baselayer, he leads up Libby Hill, followed by Ben King.

 As the break tackle the cobbles of 23rd street, the peloton hits the Libby Hill cobbles, with the Netherlands still on the front.  

Robert Gesink is back up front with his Dutch teammates after stopping at the pits to adjust his saddle.

 

The peloton now hits 23rd St, with some riders dancing on the pedals and others sitting back to put the power through the back wheel. The cobbles are dry for now.

 

The peloton passes through the finish after two hours of racing. The average speed was 40.64km/h.

 

The Netherlands has moved off the front, with Germany now on gathered up front.  

 

The gap is now 3:40 with 11 laps to go.  

 

175km remaining from 259km

The USA team was given huge cheers yesterday when they quickly tested the climbs and cobbles after the Junior men's race. 

Local resident Ben King is in the break, while Tyler Farrar is the team's sprinter. He called on the USA to ride an aggressive race.

Click here to read the Cyclingnews interview with Farrar.  

 

To listen to the big favourites for today's road race and Cyclingnews analysis and predictions, listen to our special World Championship podcast.

Click here to listen. 

 

The peloton passes through the feed zone without any incident this lap. 

 

167km remaining from 259km

After a tight right turn, the riders are lined out. The peloton is not letting the break gain a lot of time and several teams are trying to make the race hard.

 

After the Netherlands, Poland is also massing at the front.

 

Up front the riders in the break are still working smoothly together.

 

The peloton hits 23rd St at a steady pace. This section could be decisive in the final laps of the race. 

 

At the pits, several riders take on musettes filled with food and drinks.

Ben king is loading his pockets as he moves up in the break.  

 

The Polish and Spanish teams re on the front, nudging the pace along. 

 

23rd St is no joke. And a wall of sound #Richmond2015 https://t.co/lmtP98blAM

@pietrohymasini Sun, 27th Sep 2015 15:33:16

The peloton is also feeding in the pits, with the speed slowing as they grab musettes. The average speed stays steady after five laps. 

 

Lance Armstrong is in the news on the day of the elite men's road race after it emerged he has finally paid $10 million back to SCA Promotions for the bonus payments he secured for winning the Tour de France. 

Read the whole story by clicking here.

 

10 laps to go and the leaders maintain a 3.25mins gap on the peloton. #Richmond2015

@UCI_cycling Sun, 27th Sep 2015 15:39:27

The Polish teams has placed five riders on the front of the peloton, stretching out the riders.

 

 

10 laps to go!!! #Richmond2015 http://t.co/2x4htMIZfG

@Laura_Weislo Sun, 27th Sep 2015 15:45:49

150km remaining from 259km

The riders have already covered 110km of the race. The tension is slowly riding as the laps click down and the fatigue begin to hurt the riders' legs.

 

150km remaining from 259km

The riders have already covered 110km of the race. The tension is slowly riding as the laps click down and the fatigue begin to hurt the riders' legs.

 

100s of Eritrean fans have come from DC to cheer on Mekseb Debesay. All fans because of Teklehaimanot! #Richmond2015 http://t.co/WV9mZFCieF

@Laura_Weislo Sun, 27th Sep 2015 15:50:00

147km remaining from 259km

The Netherlands are back on the front as the peloton hits the cobbles on 23 St. They seem to have upped he pace.

 

The gap to the break is down to 3:00. 

 

Gatis Smukulis (Latvia) has a problem on the pave and needs a push to get going again.

 

Three Dutch riders are lining out the peloton. There are also Polish riders and Australians up front and driving the pace. 

 

Behind some of the big favourites have realised it is time to move up. 

 

The break has a lead of just 2:20 now.   

 

Dylan van Baarle, Robert Gesink and Lars Boom are doing the hard work for the Netherlands on the front.

 

140km remaining from 259km

The work of the Netherlands has reduced the gap to around 1:20. 

 

The riders in the break have also picked up their speed as they try to stay away as long as possible. 

 

However the German teams is also upfront in the peloton with the Australians massing too.  

 

Tony Martin is using his power to drag the peloton along towards Libby Hill.

 

Ben King leads the break up the twisting cobbled climb. his pace spits two riders out of the back. 

 

There are huge crowds on Libby Hill. It's a great place to see the race.

 

Andriy Khripta (Ukraine) is dropped from the break on 23rd St. 

 

Several riders are forced to put their foot down after a touch of shoulders on the cobbles. 

 

They quickly chase back on but this circuit has several points and the cobbles and gradient on 23rd St is one of them.

 

130km remaining from 259km

Eight laps to go! Ben King brings the break through the finish at the half way point in the race.

 

The peloton fills the road behind, passing the finish at 1:55. They seem to have eased slightly.

 

23rd looked like the start of a scratch race after Phinney dropped his chain and had to stop. http://t.co/T5GszdP8rN

@Laura_Weislo Sun, 27th Sep 2015 16:23:29

It seems Phinney had to run up part of 23rd St before getting his chin back on chasing the peloton.

 

Phinney running 23rd street courtesy @emoryball http://t.co/McFnwDT5JO

@Laura_Weislo Sun, 27th Sep 2015 16:25:04

In the peloton the Netherlands are back, whipping up the pace and reducing the gap. 

 

The peloton going through Libby Hill. Amazing crowd, well done @UCI_cycling @richmond2015 #Richmond http://t.co/1I9MD5dCDE

@BrianCooksonUCI Sun, 27th Sep 2015 16:32:38

120km remaining from 259km

The Dutch riders up the pace on certain parts of the circuit and then ease back into the peloton. It means the break is kept under control but more importantly is making for a fast race before the finale and attacks.

Their work will make it harder for the sprinters to win today.

 

King again pushes the pace on Libby Hill, riding in the gutter. The break is down to five after Ivan Stevic (Serbia) is dropped.

 

Here comes the peloton on Libby Hill. 

 

Belgium has moved to the front, with Tom Boonen looking good and well placed.

 

115km remaining from 259km

Riders grab bottles from the second feed zone at the top of the climb before diving the fast descent.

 

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway) is also up front. 

 

Weather is windy but warm, around 22C I guess. No rain. Yet #Richmond2015

@TourDeJose Sun, 27th Sep 2015 16:41:33

Nikolas Maes (Belgium) is on the front, setting the pace. 

 

Seven laps to go!

The peloton remains compact behind as Spain and Denmark also move up to the front.

 

After the flat roads of the finish area, the Dutch and Polish riders are back at the front, upping the pace.

 

First photo position for today @richmond2015 #photographer #position #worldchampionship #road… https://t.co/yhO2gwAMId

@TDWsport Sun, 27th Sep 2015 16:52:06

Ben King eats an energy bars and talks to the USA team car. We shouldn't be surprised if he attacks alone later in the race.

 

105km remaining from 259km

The British team is also moving up to the front as we enter the final 10km of the 260km race. 

 

Bike change for Tony Martin of Germany.

 

The teams in the peloton are fighting for position before the cobbled climb of Libby Hill. 

 

Michal Kwiatkowski is in second place over the top of the climb, on the wheel of a teammate.  

 

On 23rd St, the break splits after a surge by two riders.  

 

100km to go. Gap is now 32secs... #Richmond2015 http://t.co/P6uFFAjWJm

@UCI_cycling Sun, 27th Sep 2015 17:07:09

Crash!

 

Daniel Oss (Italy) and Jean-Pierre Drucker (Luxembourg) go down hard after a corner.

 

The crash has split the peloton.

 

The speed is high as riders try to get across to the front group.

 

As the peloton passes through the finish, there are six laps to go. 

 

The break is about to swallowed up by the front group of the peloton.

 

Get ready for the second round of attacks. This is about to get nasty, early. #worldofcycling #Richmond

@badencooke Sun, 27th Sep 2015 17:10:35

Both Oss and Dricker have pulled out of the race.

 

Oss crashed out of the race. Italy lose an important rider. #Richmond2015 http://t.co/DsJ9WcBVYT

@marcopinotti Sun, 27th Sep 2015 17:14:00

However Italy has Nibali in the front group. 

 

93km remaining from 259km

The front group has caught the breakaway but the peloton is about to pulling them back. 

 

Gesink is again working on the front of the group, making the race hard in favour of his Dutch teammates.

 

Belgium also has two riders up front but the race is all together if very lined out. 

 

 

Brent Bookwalter is up front for the USA.

 

The riders are now looking around as the pace eases. But there attacks come quickly trying to form a new break.

 

 

Alex Dowsett (Great Britain) is trying to sneak away into a break.  

 

The entire field is back together as Belgium takes control heading back to Libby Hill.

Expect legs to break in these next five laps as the Belgians try to hurt riders like Michael Matthews, John Degenkolb or even Alexander Kristoff - all sprinters who can beat Gilbert and Van Avermaet.

83km remaining from 259km

They'll see 5 to go when they hit the line, so as Vandenbergh hammers up 23rd street they know there are only 16 more opportunities to drop the sprinters.

There were a few big names in the front split as the breakaway was caught at the start of this lap - including former world champion Rui Costa, Joaquim Rodriguez, Alex Dowsett..

Robert Gesink attacks on Governor Street!

Gilbert, Nibali and Bookwalter were also in the split last lap.

Now, Gilbert is marshalling his troops at the front. Simon Clarke is front and center for Australia, as is Jay McCarthy. Stybar is up front, as is Sagan. The cream is rising to the top now.

Ben King is in a group that's being split out, as is Kiryienka, Andy Fenn - many Canadians.

Speaking of Canadians, one has slipped off the front with a rider from Colombia.

Ben King is in a group that's being split out, as is Kiryienka, Andy Fenn - many Canadians.

Speaking of Canadians, one has slipped off the front with a rider from Colombia.

Svitsov is trying to bridge across to these two.

The Canadian is Guillaume Boivin, Jarlinson Pantano from Colombia, and now Taylor Phinney has bridge across to the group with Siutsou!

The home crowd goes wild as they see Phinney up front. He had terrible problems with his gears earlier in the race, had a bike change, spent a lap back at the team car, and dropped his chain on 23rd street. Let's hope they fixed the issue.

Siutsou, the Belarus rider who races with Sky, is a very good time trialist, as is Phinney. Boivin has had very strong rides this summer and showed himself to be more than a sprinter in Colorado.

76km remaining from 259km

The peloton is on the pavers of Monument Ave as the leaders are 30 seconds ahead, on the smooth pavement. 

74km remaining from 259km

40 seconds for our four breakaway riders as Germany heas to the front of the peloton behind. Tony Martin had a puncture earlier but is back in service of the team.

Boivin is making the descent down Main street on his top tube, trying to keep the speed as high as possible. We saw him do that during his breakaways in Colorado.

Attack from the field from Latvia. It's Gatis Smukulis.

71km remaining from 259km

The breakaway heads under the I-95 interchange heading to Shockoe Bottom - Smukulis behind is only holding a few seconds on the bunch.

The wind is picking up and the sun has gone away which will be a little bit of a relief. Phinney drives the breakaway down Dock Street as riders on the bike path have given up trying to keep pace - the race is heating up too much for mere mortals to match!

Pantano had a great Tour de France with IAM Cycling, coming third on the stage to Gap and finishing 19th overall.

Phinney leads the breakaway onto Libby Hill and gets the crowd whipped into a frenzy.

68km remaining from 259km

Pantano doesn't enjoy the cobbles and he opens a gap, making Siutsou close it.

Sep Vanmarcke attacks into Libby Hill, followed by Geschke and Breschel. Boonen is closing it down. Degenkolb and Stannard are right behind.

Vanmarcke has a gap on the trip toward 23rd street. In the breakaway, Phinney is at the back of the break but goes around Pantano to get on the other three as the Colombian struggles.

Vanmarcke is being chased by Stannard, Bennati and Geschke.

66km remaining from 259km

Pantano is having to chase as they go downhill back toward the finish line. He may not make it back on unless he climbs like a rocket.

Vanmarcke has sat up to wait for Geschke, Bennati and Stannard.

65km remaining from 259km

Pantano is not coming back, but he may tuck onto the Stannard group.

Phinney drives the trio in the lead across the line for four laps to go. Only 12 more climbs.

The chase is being led by Australia - SImon Clarke leads the way to bring back the chasers, and Vanmarcke is having none of it. He picks up the pace, gapping his companions.

Sorry that was Durbridge, big difference in size. There are gaps opening all up and down the peloton but they should close down again on the flat section ahead.

63km remaining from 259km

Phinney is leading the break, the trio are working smoothly together as they pass the monument to the confederacy from the civil war.

The peloton is bunching up, giving the trio in the lead more time.

Nacer Bouhanni has had a puncture in the peloton - he is being brought back to the field by some teammates.

We saw the French sprinter climbing 23rd street on Thursday looking very comfortable with the effort...

60km remaining from 259km

60km to go and we have an attack from the field by Lithuania.

It's Gediminas Bagdonas. He gets a nice gap on the peloton which is being led by Belgium.

The easing of pace in the peloton has allowed the leaders to gain 1:45.

If the Belgians and Dutch don't start attacking soon, the sprinters will have their day - Kristoff, Greipel, Matthews, Degenkolb, Bouhanni - they're all perfectly happy to keep the pace as it is.

The Italians are also not worried if it's a bunch sprint, because Elia Viviani is on fine form.

Bagdonas is about 30 seconds behind the leaders in no man's land.

Belgium should be OK with the sprint, since Van Avermaet is here, but the Dutch will need to be the ones to make the race hard. But they've done so much in the first half of the race, will they resume their attacks?

Oh dear, there's a huge crash at 1st street. We see Norwegians - it looks like a feed zone mishap that caused a huge pile-up.

 

Nordhaug and Laengen were caught up, but we didn't see Kristoff in there.

Most of the riders have gotten going again, except Rodas of Guatemala who needs a bike.

55km remaining from 259km

That crash will disrupt the chase of this group with Phinney as the various teams take stock and reform in the bunch.

Phinney looks like a fighter jet made out of quadriceps. #Richmond2015

@TheJasonProject Sun, 27th Sep 2015 17:56:22

Matthews, Sagan, Terpstra, Stybar and all of the Americans sans Phinney were held up by the crash and were 15 seconds behind at the intermediate check.

The Danes have taken to the front to make the pace in the peloton.

Matthews, Sagan, Terpstra, Stybar and all of the Americans sans Phinney were held up by the crash and were 15 seconds behind at the intermediate check.

The Danes have taken to the front to make the pace in the peloton.

The breakaway is up Libby Hill, and now we think the peloton is back together. Tiesj Benoot leads for Belgium in the bunch.

The breakaway is being led up 23rd street by Phinney as the peloton crests Libby Hill. IT's coming back together now.

Alex Dowsett has pulled out of the race after closing down the split caused by the crash.

49km remaining from 259km

Taylor Phinney is looking strong, riding this breakaway with 1:11 on the field. They head up Governor Street back toward the finish where they will see three to go.

The Dutch, as predicted, have come to the fore but it's Joaquim Rodriguez who attacks. He gets a gap on Governor Street. Three laps is a long way to go, however.

Boivin, Phinney and Siutsou cross with 3 to go.

There ar ebig gaps opening up - Rodriguez waits for the first split, led by Kreuziger. Stybar must be in the front split.

Costa is, Martin is, Valverde and Nibali are. Boonen is up there too.

The gap was closed down before the finish line, but that kind of split will be harder and harder to close as the race nears the end.

Degenkolb made that split - but so did Matthews. Gilbert, Breschel, and Stybar were up front, too.

Kreuziger is doing a huge turn on the front of the peloton together with a Dutch rider - Gesink. Interestingly, Valverde is fourth wheel.

Terpstra promised to attack before the final lap... But right now he's nowhere to be seen. Felline is up there for Italy behind Valverde.

Tony Martin is near the front, too, ready to close down the breakaway for Degenkolb if need be.

Gesink is doing huge turns, even opening a gap to Kreuziger.

41km remaining from 259km

The sun is out but there are spots of rain on the TV camera as the leaders head through the feed zone with just over 40km to go.

There are some sprinkles on Libby Hill we hear - this could play well into the hands of the Belgians and, dare we say, Stybar.

Just 17 seconds for the breakaway now with 40km to go and the rain is falling now. Our three leaders are hammering down the Main Street descent.

Be wary of that right turn onto 15th, it's slippery when wet!

38km remaining from 259km

We checked the radar and if it does rain it should not last long. It will cause a panic in the peloton for sure.

Right now the bunch is relaxed, they're biding their time. The next lap will be pure fireworks we suspect.

37km remaining from 259km

The Danish team has come to the front of the peloton and really lifted the pace heading toward Libby Hill. Just 37km to go - is this for Breschel?

The breakaway is in sight of the Danish train.

36km remaining from 259km

The trio have been caught with 36.5km to go, now Great Britain leads into the climb.

The British team have Swift on the front, clearly working for Yates.

Cyclingnews spoke with Danish rider Matti Breschel at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec City a couple of weeks ago and here is what he had to say about the World Championships. “For sure, it is a good course for me and I am hoping for a good results. I’m looking forward to Worlds.”

“I have only been able to see the course on YouTube profiles. It is always hard to say if the race will come down to a sprint or a breakaway, but I think it will come down to a sprint. It’s difficult to say but it is definitely going to be hard because of the distance and the small climb before the finish. For sure, a lot of guys will attack and if they are going to get caught or stay away, you’ll never know.”

“We have a pretty good team with six riders. All of us have good morale and are in pretty good shape.”

“It’s exciting that the race is overseas this year. It is always nice to go to the US.”

35km remaining from 259km

Attack from Stannard on the 23rd street climb. He's getting a gap and it looks like Mollema is heading after him. Or is it Terpstra?

Stannard and Mollema are being run down by Boonen.

A Spaniard is coming across, as is Peter Sagan - it's Rodriguez and Kwiatkowski!

Bauke Mollema is getting a gap on the Governor Street climb forcing the others to chase. It's a great move by the Trek rider.

It's not Joaquim Rodriguez, it's Daniel Moreno with MIchel Kiwatkowski, Stannard, and Elia Viviani! Boonen, and Amador (Costa Rica).

This is a quality move. Mollema is back with them.

Mollema, Boonen, Amador, Kwiatkowski, Sagan, Stannard, Moreno and Viviani have a solid gap. Very solid. Germany is forced to chase at 18 seconds.

Sorry no Sagan, we mistook Amador for the Slovakian, being confused by the national team kits.

30km remaining from 259km

27 seconds now with 30km left to go!

The rain is holding off by and large. Boonen would be in a good spot if it did start to come down buckets. They're going to have to get rid of Viviani, we think, he's the fastest one of this group by a long shot.

The leaders are working very strongly together. This is a critical moment - they pass the big houses of Monument Ave, make the U-turn and head back down the bumpy, false flat pavers. They can wave to the chasing peloton.

Boonen and Stannard, the big and powerful riders are pushing the pace.

Rodriguez is back at the Spanish team car having a discussion with the director.

Greipel is chasing and Ben King, having been in the breakaway for the first half of the race, is second wheel and ready to pull. Here comes Australia, while the Dutch get to sit back.

We saw the same thing in the women's race - the Dutch had to chase the break back because Amy Pieters was outgunned, and here Mollema is the underdog against Viviani, Boonen and even Kwiatkowski.

The break is getting a time split of 32 seconds as they head through the feed zone.

25km remaining from 259km

Moreno asks for a bottle but gets a cold shoulder from the feed zone. 

Germany is desperate now - Paul Martens is doing the work at the moment.

Boonen is salivating over this move - he's really throttling the pace as they head down the hill of Main Street.

Viviani is just sitting on the back coasting as Boonen and Amador push the pace. Sprinters do the least work possible.

Boonen looks calm, smooth and pwoerful, driving his move because he knows of all the riders in the group except maybe Viviani, he has the strongest team in the bunch.

Italy have Ulissi and Nibali in the field, while Belgium have Gilbert and Van Avermaet.

The Italians are at the front trying to inhibit the chase, but Belgium, the Dutch and Germany are swarming the front.

Who's happiest with this move? Will the Belgians do like the Dutch women and help chase their own rider to improve their chances?

20km remaining from 259km

The peloton is spread out not really chasing - the same thing happened with the women. They waited, then the big names did a last minute surge on the final lap to close the gap.

20km remaining from 259km

The leaders are on Libby Hill with 30 seconds still - Boonen leads in - he loves the cobbles. Kwiatkowski, not so much.

Boonen is smiling as he heads through the mayhem that is Libby Hill

Joaquim Rodriguez is stuck on the back of the peloton. No room to move up now with 19.4km to go.

Kwiatkowski looks back and sees the moves is caught!!

There's a small group that has come across - it includes a Norwegian - Kristoff! Gilbert is bridging across on the climb as is Stybar.

Greipel and Sieberg are off the back of the bunch. No sprint for the gorilla. One sprinter down for the Dutch.

A French rider has made the front group - maybe Demare? Viviani is still up front and has a teammate - looks like Trentin. Belgium leads - it's Benoot.

Mollema and Kwiatkowski are still at the front but the peloton is right on their heels.

Dumoulin attacks wiht 1 to go.

The Norwegian is Boasson Hagen, not Kristoff, and the Frenchman was Tony Gallopin.

Dumoulin has gotten a gap with one rider.

Kuznetsov is the rider with Dumoulin, and Oliveria is coming across.

The race is really starting to shatter now. Amador is trying to get across to Oliveira and three more are chasing behind with a gap on the bunch.

Dumoulin and the Russian were caught and passed by Oliveira, and now the Portuguese rider has some more company - four more riders including one Belgian, looks like Benoot.

Pavel Brutt, Tanel Kangert, Nelson Oliveira, Tiesj Benoot and Andrey Amador are being caught as they make the U-turn with 12.6km to go.

 

Brutt, Kangert and Oliveira are the last men standings but Italy chases them back.

The peloton is much smaller than the previous lap, there's a group of chasers that see the bunch go by on the opposite side of the road after the U-turn.

Breakaway caught, Italy controls things for Ulissi? Viviani? Nibali? Bennati? Even Trentin could win here.

This race is wide open but the trio of climbers will be absolute mayhem.

Australia is grouped behind.

Attack from Belarus and the USA is on the move.

It's Siutsou and Farrar are the riders at the front.

Farrar gets a gap on Siutsou, who was already in the breakway and must be feeling the effort.

9km remaining from 259km

Farrar and Siutsou have under 10km to go and a gap of about 10 seconds. It won't be enough but it's good for their teammates.

Kiryienka was so dominant in the time trial that it's not inconceivable he could win here, too.

Farrar is really selling out here, giving his all to this move. Only 9 seconds with 8.3km to go.

Australia is at the front of the chase for Matthews...

The leaders are tongues out, really flying down Main Street. 7.4km to go!

Farrar has a look back as they make the right onto 15th.

Farrar opens a gap on Siutsou, the Belarussian is suffering.

The peloton can see the pair ahead as they head down Dock street. This is so very painful for the leaders.

Farrar looks back for Siutsou to come through. They're working together well now, but the peloton is right there. The Italian team still leading the bunch with Australia.

They make the U-Turn toward Libby Hill and it's all together with 4.8km to go.

Farrar is not giving up - he's leading the peloton into Libby Hill but then gives up and the Dutch have to swerve around him.

It's like a full on sprint leadout train to the climb.

The French are coming forward.

Stybar is at the front on the climb!

It's Degenkolb on the wheel of the Czech rider

Van Avermaet and Boasson Hagen are hot on their heels.

Boasson Hagen was so so strong in Tour of Britain. But Degenkolb is super fast.

Terpstra has caught on and he hits the front just before 23rd street.

Peloton single file with 3km to go. Terpstra in the front.

Van Avermaet hits the climb first and Sagan is there - he gets a gap on the top.

Sagan has the front going down the hill, on his top tube.

His super low tuck is looking unstable but it's working. He's got a big gap.

He is so crazy fast in the turns, its 'incredible.

Van Avermaet and Terpstra are chasing but Sagan is so quick in the turns he opens up time every turn.

There is a huge long line of riders chasing, but Sagan is all in. Van Avermaet is looking around, bad timing. Sagan is turning onto the final climb alone!

Sagan's legs must be so loaded with lactic acid but he doesn't care. Spain is coming with Valverde in tow.

Uran is blasting out of the field behind.

Sagan makes the final turn and who will be behind? Uran! Boasson Hagen, but they can't get him.

Sagan is gritting out the pain - in the drops. He's going to hold them off. Amazing!

Well done Richmond! What a great race. Sagan gets it!

Matthews gets the sprint from behind over Navardauskas!

Sagan gets off his bike and walks back through the peloton high fiving his peloton mates.

He tosses his custom helmet into the crowd and gets a hug from Stybar.

Well deserved by Sagan, who used all of his skills, most notably his bike handling skills, to take that rainbow jersey.

I wonder if Oleg Tinkov will have anything to say about this?

Sagan gets a big hug and kiss from his girlfriend.

1 Peter Sagan (Slovakia)
2 Michael Matthews (Australia)
3 Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania)
4 Alexander Kristoff (Norway
5 Alejandro Valverde (Spain)
6 Simon Gerrans (Australia)
7 Tony Gallopin (France)
8 Michel Kwiatkowski (Poland)
9 Rui Costa (Portugal)
10 Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)

There are an insane number of Eritrean fans here, and they've hoisted Debesay aloft even though he finished well behind the peloton.

1 Peter Sagan (Slovakia)
2 Michael Matthews (Australia)
3 Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania)
4 Alexander Kristoff (Norway
5 Alejandro Valverde (Spain)
6 Simon Gerrans (Australia)
7 Tony Gallopin (France)
8 Michel Kwiatkowski (Poland)
9 Rui Costa (Portugal)
10 Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)
11 Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands)
12 Alex Howes (United States)
13 Niki Terpstra (Netherlands)
14 Rein Taaramae (Estonia)
15 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Russia)
16 Nelson Oliveira (Portugal)
17 Yukiya Arashiro (Japan)
18 Giacomo Nizzolo (Italy)
19 Brent Bookwalter (United States)
20 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)

Peter Sagan struggled with his English, but seemed to dedicate his victory to the people in Europe being affected by the Syrian crisis and the refugee influx, saying he wanted to win for them and help to push for change in the world.

About the race, he said, "I think it's the biggest victory of my career, and I'm very happy because I sacrificed a lot these last three weeks after the Vuelta. It's unbelievable for me.

"Today I was just waiting, waiting, I had my brother with me .. my teammates were always with me. If something happend they were always there. It was a little bit crazy in the last laps, and I thought everyone has to be tired.

"I gave everything on last cobblestone climb and then it was full gas until the finish. I knew if the group caught me, I was very tired for the sprint. But it was the right attack for me.

"I saw also a lot of comments from people that I am not good for a long race like this. But now I have this jersey for all net year."

Sagan doesn't just bite the medal, he acts like he's going to eat the whole thing. Matthews and Navardauskas are quite a bit more understated on the podium.

Slovakia announced last month that they would take in a limited number of Syrian refugees - only a few hundred - but they all had to be Christian.

Sagan may have been rerferring to that policy in his call for change.

I'm sure the majority of the fans would say that the Richmond course was a worthy world championship course that provided some very exciting racing. We were on the edge of our seats!

With rain, things might have played more into the favor of the Belgians, but Sagan certainly made the most of his abilities today.

You can find the full results from today's race, the report and an ever growing gallery of images from an exciting day of racing here.

Thanks for reading our live coverage of the world championships. Join us next week for the Il Lombardia as our final live race of the season.

Latest on Cyclingnews