Worlds: Cosnefroy wins men's under-23 road race
Frenchman pips Kämna in Bergen
Benoit Cosnefroy (France) claimed victory in the men's U23 road race at the 2017 World Championships, beating Germany's Lennard Kämna in a two-up sprint at the end of a breathless 191 kilometres of racing in Bergen.
The 21-year-old, who turned pro with the AG2R-La Mondiale team at the beginning of August, attacked from a chase group towards the end of the final descent of Salmon Hill, with Kämna having gone solo just before the climb had started.
The duo managed to escape the advances of the chasers in the final few kilometres and Cosnefroy opened up the sprint and comfortably held off Kämna.
The reduced peloton crossed the line just three seconds down, Denmark's Michael Carbel Svendgaard (Denmark) clinching the bronze medal.
For Cosnefroy, it was the culmination of a remarkable week and few months. After signing the pro contract with AG2R he wasted no time in grabbing his first victory last weekend at the GP d'Isbergues – in a two-up sprint that no doubt served him well here.
He is the fourth Frenchman to win the U23 world title, after Romain Sicard (2009), Arnaud Démare (2011), and Kevin Ledanois (2015). However, as a rider who already rides at WorldTour level, he will have no opportunity to race with the rainbow jersey next year.
"There was no protected rider. We were a strong collective and we could have probably all have won the world title. We worked together to do the best race possible and it worked out," said Cosnefroy.
"I didn't know my rival that well and just focused on myself and not on him, I hoped to win and focused on winning the sprint."
The final lap
The 191km route was based on 10 laps of the rolling 19.1km Bergen circuit that features in all the road races at these World Championships. Salmon Hill is the centerpiece, a climb of 1.4km at a gradient of 6.5 per cent that tops out 11 kilometres from the line – roughly five of which are downhill.
Despite constant movements and developments on the opening nine laps, the peloton – though by now down to little more than 60 riders – was all together as they took the bell for the final lap.
After a flurry of early attacks, Cosnefroy found himself in a chase group of nine riders behind his teammate Benjamin Thomas. As the road kicked up ahead of the climb, Thomas was caught, leaving five out front with a slim lead – but then Kämna attacked from the peloton and was over to them in no time.
It wasn't long before the German kicked again, using his time trialling skills to forge clear on the flat and take a handful of seconds onto Salmon Hill. He dug in on the climb and took 10 seconds over the top, by which point Cosnefroy was in a chasing group that had expanded to seven.
He soon rolled the dice with some daring descending and bridged over to Kämna, with the pair well aware they needed to go all-in to stand a chance of a medal.
Colombian's Wilmar Paredes was the last of the chasing group to be caught by the pack, as Spain's Ivan García Cortina, who rides for Bahrain-Merida, tried to bridge over – but his ship had already sailed.
In a nailbiting finale that bodes well for the elite road races this weekend, the peloton, led predominantly by Denmark as last year's champion and home rider Kristoffer Halvorsen had been dropped earlier, was only 15 seconds back throughout the final few kilometres.
Kämna attacked Cosnefroy briefly with 3.7km to go but otherwise they traded turns all the way to the final few hundred metres. By that point the pack was bearing down but there was enough time to take a breath before playing out the sprint. Cosnefroy used his GP d'Isbergues experience to take on the responsibility and drive for the line, with Kämna unable to come round.
The early moves
As is often the case with the U23 road race, it was a fast and frenetic day in the saddle, with the race situation and complexion constantly changing. A six-rider breakaway – containing the prodigious Russian Pavel Sivakov – went clear on the opening lap and they were later joined by several more riders.
They opened up a lead of 2:30 after a couple of laps, and there was calm in the peloton all the way to the half-way point.
The race really came to life courtesy of Brandon McNulty, who had finished runner-up in the U23 time trial. He attacked from the peloton and closed in on the break. The peloton reacted and were drawing ever closer, too, but McNulty made the catch and went to the front of what was now a reduced lead group.
It was the fourth to last lap and as the climb of Salmon Hill began the race was almost back together, but McNulty accelerated again and dragged a group clear. In there were: Jai Hindley (Australia), Pavel Sivakov (Russia), Rasmus Fossum Tiller (Norway), Patrick Muller (Switzerland), Gustav Hoog (Sweden). They were soon joined by Scott Davies (Great Britain) and Yevgeniy Gidich (Kazakhstan) to make it eight.
They opened up a lead of 1:30 before there was a reaction from the peloton, with nine riders – including two Spaniards – settling into a chase group. On the third to last ascent of Salmon Hill, McNulty and Hoog were dropped from the lead group as the chasing group was caught by the peloton and Spain took up the reins.
Going into the penultimate lap there were now six in the lead with an advantage of 30 seconds, but it was all back together by to lower slopes of Salmon Hill as the leaders looked at each other. Belgian climber Bjorg Lambrecht attacked over the top but was caught on the descent, as the peloton strung out towards Bergen and the bell.
Davies, with Britain now thinking about the sprint for Oli Wood, was back on the front setting a fast tempo to control the strung-out bunch. He pulled over as the bell sounded, and the attacks came thick and fast, with Cosnefroy emerging from the chaos to take a huge victory.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Benoit Cosnefroy (France)||4:48:23|
|2||Lennard Kamna (Germany)||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|3||Michael Carbel Svendgaard (Denmark)||0:00:03|
|4||Oliver Wood (Great Britain)||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|5||Vincenzo Albanese (Italy)||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|6||Damien Touze (France)||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|7||Max Kanter (Germany)||Row 6 - Cell 2|
|8||Michal Paluta (Poland)||Row 7 - Cell 2|
|9||Mark Downey (Ireland)||Row 8 - Cell 2|
|10||Anders Skaarseth (Norway)||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|11||German Nicolas Tivani Perez (Argentina)||Row 10 - Cell 2|
|12||Patrick Muller (Switzerland)||Row 11 - Cell 2|
|13||Stylianos Farantakis (Greece)||Row 12 - Cell 2|
|14||Marc Hirschi (Switzerland)||Row 13 - Cell 2|
|15||Bjorg Lambrecht (Belgium)||Row 14 - Cell 2|
|16||Aleksandr Riabushenko (Belarus)||Row 15 - Cell 2|
|17||Wilmar Andres Paredes Zapata (Colombia)||Row 16 - Cell 2|
|18||Giovanni Carboni (Italy)||Row 17 - Cell 2|
|19||Emiel Planckaert (Belgium)||Row 18 - Cell 2|
|20||Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia)||Row 19 - Cell 2|
|21||Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spain)||Row 20 - Cell 2|
|22||Callum Scotson (Australia)||Row 21 - Cell 2|
|23||Pavel Sivakov (Russian Federation)||Row 22 - Cell 2|
|24||Lucas Eriksson (Sweden)||Row 23 - Cell 2|
|25||Jon Irisarri Rincon (Spain)||Row 24 - Cell 2|
|26||Jaakko Hanninen (Finland)||Row 25 - Cell 2|
|27||Rasmus Fossum Tiller (Norway)||Row 26 - Cell 2|
|28||Pascal Eenkhoorn (Netherlands)||Row 27 - Cell 2|
|29||Valentin Madouas (France)||Row 28 - Cell 2|
|30||Michael Storer (Australia)||Row 29 - Cell 2|
|31||Kevin Geniets (Luxembourg)||Row 30 - Cell 2|
|32||Stan Dewulf (Belgium)||Row 31 - Cell 2|
|33||Mauricio Moreira (Uruguay)||Row 32 - Cell 2|
|34||Michal Schlegel (Czech Republic)||Row 33 - Cell 2|
|35||Casper Pedersen (Denmark)||Row 34 - Cell 2|
|36||Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Colombia)||Row 35 - Cell 2|
|37||Artem Nych (Russian Federation)||Row 36 - Cell 2|
|38||James Shaw (Great Britain)||Row 37 - Cell 2|
|39||Jonas Gregaard Wilsly (Denmark)||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|40||Mark Stewart (Great Britain)||0:00:20|
|41||Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (Colombia)||0:01:01|
|42||Mikkel Bjerg (Denmark)||Row 41 - Cell 2|
|43||Ziga Jerman (Slovenia)||0:01:04|
|44||Robert Stannard (Australia)||Row 43 - Cell 2|
|45||Piotr Brozyna (Poland)||Row 44 - Cell 2|
|46||Hayato Okamoto (Japan)||0:01:50|
|46||Dusan Rajovic (Serbia)||Row 46 - Cell 2|
|48||Gasper Katrasnik (Slovenia)||Row 47 - Cell 2|
|49||Izidor Penko (Slovenia)||Row 48 - Cell 2|
|50||Kamil Malecki (Poland)||Row 49 - Cell 2|
|51||Yuriy Natarov (Kazakhstan)||Row 50 - Cell 2|
|52||Lukas Ruegg (Switzerland)||Row 51 - Cell 2|
|53||Joris Nieuwenhuis (Netherlands)||Row 52 - Cell 2|
|54||William Barta (United States Of America)||Row 53 - Cell 2|
|55||Anatolii Budiak (Ukraine)||Row 54 - Cell 2|
|56||Kasper Asgreen (Denmark)||Row 55 - Cell 2|
|57||Johannes Schinnagel (Germany)||Row 56 - Cell 2|
|58||Edoardo Affini (Italy)||Row 57 - Cell 2|
|59||Takeaki Amezawa (Japan)||Row 58 - Cell 2|
|60||Nicola Conci (Italy)||0:01:55|
|61||Tom Wirtgen (Luxembourg)||0:02:16|
|62||Gino Mader (Switzerland)||0:02:50|
|63||Nikolai Cherkasov (Russian Federation)||0:03:00|
|64||Jai Hindley (Australia)||Row 63 - Cell 2|
|65||Petr Rikunov (Russian Federation)||0:04:44|
|66||Yevgeniy Gidich (Kazakhstan)||Row 65 - Cell 2|
|67||Francisco Campos (Portugal)||Row 66 - Cell 2|
|68||Benjamin Thomas (France)||0:06:11|
|69||Daire Feeley (Ireland)||0:06:23|
|70||Franck Bonnamour (France)||Row 69 - Cell 2|
|71||Jeremy Lecroq (France)||Row 70 - Cell 2|
|72||Mikkel Froelich Honore (Denmark)||Row 71 - Cell 2|
|73||Grigoriy Shtein (Kazakhstan)||Row 72 - Cell 2|
|74||Roman Lehky (Czech Republic)||Row 73 - Cell 2|
|75||Patrick Gamper (Austria)||Row 74 - Cell 2|
|76||Vadim Pronskiy (Kazakhstan)||Row 75 - Cell 2|
|77||Karl Patrick Lauk (Estonia)||Row 76 - Cell 2|
|78||Luke Mudgway (New Zealand)||Row 77 - Cell 2|
|79||Matic Groselj (Slovenia)||Row 78 - Cell 2|
|80||Hector Carretero (Spain)||Row 79 - Cell 2|
|81||Ole Forfang (Norway)||Row 80 - Cell 2|
|82||Dmitrii Strakhov (Russian Federation)||Row 81 - Cell 2|
|83||Erik Sandersson (Sweden)||Row 82 - Cell 2|
|84||Sam Dobbs (New Zealand)||Row 83 - Cell 2|
|85||Kristoffer Halvorsen (Norway)||Row 84 - Cell 2|
|86||Piet Allegaert (Belgium)||Row 85 - Cell 2|
|87||Florian Nowak (Germany)||Row 86 - Cell 2|
|88||Tobias S. Foss (Norway)||Row 87 - Cell 2|
|89||James Knox (Great Britain)||0:06:28|
|90||Alan Banaszek (Poland)||0:07:34|
|91||Soufiane Sahbaoui (Morocco)||Row 90 - Cell 2|
|92||Neilson Powless (United States Of America)||Row 91 - Cell 2|
|93||Nickolas Zukowsky (Canada)||Row 92 - Cell 2|
|94||Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spain)||Row 93 - Cell 2|
|95||Scott Davies (Great Britain)||0:09:16|
|96||André Carvalho (Portugal)||Row 95 - Cell 2|
|97||Ethan Hayter (Great Britain)||Row 96 - Cell 2|
|98||Jakub Otruba (Czech Republic)||Row 97 - Cell 2|
|99||Jasper Philipsen (Belgium)||Row 98 - Cell 2|
|100||Barnabas Peak (Hungary)||Row 99 - Cell 2|
|101||Ivo Oliveira (Portugal)||Row 100 - Cell 2|
|102||Justin Oien (United States Of America)||Row 101 - Cell 2|
|103||Zahiri Abderrahim (Morocco)||Row 102 - Cell 2|
|104||Mohcine El Kouraji (Morocco)||0:11:07|
|105||Andrej Petrovski (Macedonia)||Row 104 - Cell 2|
|106||Pit Leyder (Luxembourg)||Row 105 - Cell 2|
|107||Szymon Sajnok (Poland)||Row 106 - Cell 2|
|108||Julius Van Den Berg (Netherlands)||Row 107 - Cell 2|
|109||Bram Welten (Netherlands)||Row 108 - Cell 2|
|110||Senne Leysen (Belgium)||Row 109 - Cell 2|
|111||Atsushi Oka (Japan)||0:13:24|
|112||Dinmukhammed Ulysbayev (Kazakhstan)||0:16:13|
|113||Gustav Hoog (Sweden)||Row 112 - Cell 2|
|114||Matteo Moschetti (Italy)||Row 113 - Cell 2|
|115||Jan Andrej Cully (Slovakia)||0:17:04|
|116||Awet Habtom Tekle (Eritrea)||Row 115 - Cell 2|
|117||Darragh O'mahony (Ireland)||Row 116 - Cell 2|
|118||Abderrahmane Mansouri (Algeria)||Row 117 - Cell 2|
|119||Orluis Aular (Venezuela)||Row 118 - Cell 2|
|120||Syver Westgaard Waersted (Norway)||Row 119 - Cell 2|
|121||Regan Gough (New Zealand)||Row 120 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jack Burke (Canada)||Row 121 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Benjamin Brkic (Austria)||Row 122 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Yahor Shpakouski (Belarus)||Row 123 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Brandon Mcnulty (United States Of America)||Row 124 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jaime Castrillo Zapater (Spain)||Row 125 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jason Andrey Huertas Araya (Costa Rica)||Row 126 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Patrick Haller (Germany)||Row 127 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Mykyta Zubenko (Ukraine)||Row 128 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Ka Hoo Fung (Hong Kong, China)||Row 129 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Ian Garrison (United States Of America)||Row 130 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Eriks Toms Gavars (Latvia)||Row 131 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Luis Ricardo Villalobos Hernandez (Mexico)||Row 132 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Markus Freiberger (Austria)||Row 133 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Uladzimir Harakhavik (Belarus)||Row 134 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Rei Onodera (Japan)||Row 135 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Andreas Miltiadis (Cyprus)||Row 136 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Islam Mansouri (Algeria)||Row 137 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Tegshbayar Batsaikhan (Mongolia)||Row 138 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Yacine Hamza (Algeria)||Row 139 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Ilya Volkau (Belarus)||Row 140 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Adam Stenson (Ireland)||Row 141 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Saymon Musie Mehari (Eritrea)||Row 142 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Norman Vahtra (Estonia)||Row 143 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Vasili Strokau (Belarus)||Row 144 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Klavs Rubenis (Latvia)||Row 145 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Samuel Mugisha (Rwanda)||Row 146 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jose Fernandes (Portugal)||Row 147 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Daniel Moricz (Hungary)||Row 148 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Elgun Alizada (Azerbaijan)||Row 149 - Cell 2|
|DNF||El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco)||Row 150 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Alexander Cowan (Canada)||Row 151 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Janos Zsombor Pelikan (Hungary)||Row 152 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Pier-Andre Cote (Canada)||Row 153 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Marc-Antoine Soucy (Canada)||Row 154 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Matthew Teggart (Ireland)||Row 155 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Matias Alejandro Munoz Tapia (Chile)||Row 156 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Karl-Arnold Vendelin (Estonia)||Row 157 - Cell 2|
|DNF||John Anderson Rodriguez Salazar (Colombia)||Row 158 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Masaki Yamamoto (Japan)||Row 159 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Nikolay Genov (Bulgaria)||Row 160 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Joseph Areruya (Rwanda)||Row 161 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Musa Mikayilzade (Azerbaijan)||Row 162 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Zemenfes Selemun (Eritrea)||Row 163 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Daniel Jara Rodriguez (Costa Rica)||Row 164 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Mehari Tesfatsion (Eritrea)||Row 165 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Zisis Soulios (Greece)||Row 166 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Vitaliy Novakovskyi (Ukraine)||Row 167 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Tomas Contte (Argentina)||Row 168 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Silver Maoma (Estonia)||Row 169 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Fabio Jakobsen (Netherlands)||Row 170 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Joni Kanerva (Finland)||Row 171 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Victor Langellotti (Monaco)||Row 172 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Attila Valter (Hungary)||Row 173 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Roy Roukoz (Lebanon)||Row 174 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Omer Goldshtein (Israel)||Row 175 - Cell 2|
|DNS||Christofer Jurado Lopez (Panama)||Row 176 - Cell 2|
|DNS||Charles Kagimu (Uganda)||Row 177 - Cell 2|
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