UCI Road World Championships: Evenepoel wins Junior Men's road race

Remco Evenepoel (Belgium) steamrollered the opposition into submission to win the junior road title at the UCI Road World Championships, completing the double after winning the individual time trial earlier in the week.

The soon-to-be Quick-Step Floors rider was simply on another level to the competition in Innsbruck, almost single-handedly coming back from a crash and a lone chase on the climb of the Gnadenwald, before a string of attacks whittled down the rest of the field. Such was Evenepoel's dominance that the Belgian rode the final 19 kilometres on his own as the remnants of the peloton fought it out for the rest of the medals.

At times Evenepoel appeared to be riding in fast forward, while the best of the rest were made to look ordinary over the demanding Austrian course. Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic and the USA all had numbers during key stages of the race but no tactics would have unsettled Evenepoel's ride. In the end Marius Mayrhofer (Germany) claimed silver well over a minute down, with Alessandro Fancellu (Italy) in third taking bronze. What started as a race ended in a procession.

"I'm very happy. I actually crashed at a bad moment before the climb and the mechanic didn't see me crash," Evenepoel said. "There was another guy in the team who crashed and he was changing the wheel of the other guy, so I had to wait like 20 seconds, I guess. I was almost two minutes behind the first guys, so I really had to work hard in the back.

"When I was back in the front group and there were just two guys in the front and another two guys - it was no problem because the two climbs were coming in the local rounds. Then there was one more teammate for me, Ilan Van Wilder, he did a great job on the climb. He just made pace and he caught the guys on like 35 seconds. Then there was an American who attacked and I just went behind him and got alone with two other guys at my back. Then I had an amazing descent where I almost dropped the two guys but the German came back after the local round."

How it unfolded

There may have been 159 riders on the start line under the Austrian sun but all eyes were on Evenepoel after his stellar season and win in the time trial earlier in the week. Ahead of the Belgian, and the rest of the peloton, were 84km of rolling roads before two circuits of the 24km finishing course.

The German national team were the early pace-setters as a number of nations looked to shed the field of the weaker riders in the opening kilometres. There was a scare for time trial bronze medallist, Andrea Piccolo (Italy) when the rider was involved in an early crash but there were a flurry of early mechanicals and falls as nerves ran through the main field.

The race changed significantly on the approach to the Gnadenwald when a rider at the front switched wheels and in a brief lapse of concentration, brought down a significant portion of the peloton. Evenepoel was one of those involved and as the cameras panned sideways the Belgian could be seen motioning to his back wheel. The change for new equipment seemed to take an age, especially as a Belgian mechanic was seen assisting another rider before noticing Evenepoel's predicament.

At the front of the race Italy and Germany understandably kept the pace high as Evenepoel eventually remounted and began his chase over the 2.6km ascent. He started the climb around two minutes in arrears but in scenes reminiscent of Alberto Contador chasing back through the field on the Mortirolo at the 2015 Giro, Evenepoel made it look almost effortless. He was unable to make contact before the summit but on the descent he and several remaining teammates were able to latch onto the diminished front group just after Piccolo and Mayrhofer clipped off the front and established a minute's lead.

The pair's advantage mattered little, with Belgian holding the gap at around 56 seconds before Evenepoel - frustrated with the situation - attacked. The first acceleration was just a warning, however, and as the race reached the first ascent of the Iglis the gap dropped to just over 30 seconds.

With just over 40km to go, an attack from an American rider was seized upon by Evenepoel. He drove across to the leaders with only five riders able to follow. One of them was the much-touted Karel Vacek (Czech Republic), who briefly looked to match Evenepoel but on the descent of the climb the class between the Belgian and the rest of the pack was made clear. The Italians were left floundering despite a decent team effort to chase, while Vacek cramped with 29km to go, and despite looking tired in the early break only a startled looking Mayrhofer remained when Evenepoel looked back.

By the time the final lap started the leading pair had over a minute on an Italian-controlled chase but with 19km to go Evenepoel opened up the throttle once more and rode away from his last remaining competitor.

The battle for the minor medals saw Fancellu escape with Alexandre Balmer inside the final 10km, but despite their efforts Mayrhofer hung on bravely for bronze. By the time the main field crossed the line Evenepoel was already talking about taking on the Grand Tours in the future.

"Next year I'll be a pro, so I still have to learn a lot. I'm only biking one year and a half. I still have to learn a lot. We'll see what the future gives. Quick-Step will be a good step for me. I hope I can grow in silence with the team. I have confidence in them, and they in me, so it will be a nice future I guess."

"My main dream is the three Grand Tours. But I know that's a long way. I'm still young and I have a long way to go. We're going to work hard and then hopefully I can win one of the three Grand Tours."

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Remco Evenepoel (Belgium)3:03:49
2Marius Mayrhofer (Germany)0:01:25
3Alessandro Fancellu (Italy)0:01:38
4Alexandre Balmer (Switzerland)Row 3 - Cell 2
5Frederik Wandahl (Denmark)0:03:20
6Gabriele Benedetti (Italy)Row 5 - Cell 2
7Alois Charrin (France)Row 6 - Cell 2
8Kevin Vermaerke (United States Of America)Row 7 - Cell 2
9Antonio Tiberi (Italy)Row 8 - Cell 2
10Sean Quinn (United States Of America)0:03:25
11Andrea Piccolo (Italy)0:04:37
12Karel Vacek (Czech Republic)Row 11 - Cell 2
13Biniam Girmay Hailu (Eritrea)0:06:41
14Jakob Gessner (Germany)Row 13 - Cell 2
15Ludvig Fischer Aasheim (Norway)Row 14 - Cell 2
16Guilherme Mota (Portugal)Row 15 - Cell 2
17Ben Tulett (Great Britain)0:07:20
18Aksel Bechskot-Hansen (Denmark)Row 17 - Cell 2
19Jonathan Bogli (Switzerland)Row 18 - Cell 2
20Mason Hollyman (Great Britain)Row 19 - Cell 2
21Marco Frigo (Italy)0:07:54
22Gleb Brussenskiy (Kazakhstan)0:09:34
23Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kazakhstan)0:10:47
24Robin Juel Skivild (Denmark)Row 23 - Cell 2
25Ben Healy (Ireland)Row 24 - Cell 2
26Lewis Askey (Great Britain)Row 25 - Cell 2
27Michel Hessmann (Germany)0:10:55
28Marek Gajdula (Slovakia)0:11:07
29Daniil Pronskiy (Kazakhstan)0:11:19
30Vinicius Rangel Costa (Brazil)Row 29 - Cell 2
31Kim Alexander Heiduk (Germany)0:12:14
32Adne Holter (Norway)0:12:22
33Oleksandr Shchypak (Ukraine)Row 32 - Cell 2
34Casper Van Uden (Netherlands)Row 33 - Cell 2
35Lev Gonov (Russian Federation)0:13:21
36Jon Barrenetxea Golzarri (Spain)0:13:37
37Samuel Watson (Great Britain)0:15:02
38Felix Engelhardt (Germany)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Hugo Page (France)0:15:18
40Jean Eric Habimana (Rwanda)0:15:25
41Valentin Retailleau (France)0:15:31
42Vojtech Repa (Czech Republic)Row 41 - Cell 2
43Andrew Vollmer (United States Of America)Row 42 - Cell 2
44Enzo Leijnse (Netherlands)Row 43 - Cell 2
45Artjom Mirzojev (Estonia)0:15:47
46Thomas Schellenberg (Canada)0:16:22
47Marek Bugar (Slovakia)Row 46 - Cell 2
48Pelayo Sanchez Mayo (Spain)0:17:18
49Alfred George (Great Britain)0:17:28
50Lucas Plapp (Australia)Row 49 - Cell 2
51Kei Onodera (Japan)Row 50 - Cell 2
52Nurbergen Nurlykhassym (Kazakhstan)0:17:29
53Mesut Cepa (Albania)0:17:40
54Daniil Turuk (Belarus)0:17:55
55Aaron Van Der Beken (Belgium)0:17:58
56Henri Vandenabeele (Belgium)Row 55 - Cell 2
57Jakob Reiter (Austria)0:18:15
58Breandan Flannagan (Ireland)0:18:45
59Anton Vtiurin (Russian Federation)0:18:54
60Gilles Kirsch (Luxembourg)Row 59 - Cell 2
61Bas Van Belle (Netherlands)Row 60 - Cell 2
62Josh Lane (New Zealand)Row 61 - Cell 2
63Alekss Krasts (Latvia)0:18:57
64Simon Imboden (Switzerland)Row 63 - Cell 2
65Vladimir Miksanik (Czech Republic)0:19:00
66Maksim Bilyi (Ukraine)Row 65 - Cell 2
67Ruben Eggenberg (Switzerland)Row 66 - Cell 2
68Tomas Aguirre Garza (Mexico)Row 67 - Cell 2
69Jakub Boucek (Czech Republic)Row 68 - Cell 2
70Afonso Silva (Portugal)Row 69 - Cell 2
71Ben Katerberg (Canada)0:20:34
72Theo Gilbertson (New Zealand)Row 71 - Cell 2
73Petr Kelemen (Czech Republic)0:21:01
74Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spain)0:22:34
75Dzianis Mazur (Belarus)0:22:43
76Axel Van Der Tuuk (Netherlands)0:23:13
77Wessel Krul (Netherlands)0:23:44
78Emil Lindgren (Sweden)Row 77 - Cell 2
79Henri Treimuth (Estonia)Row 78 - Cell 2
80Archie Ryan (Ireland)0:24:27
81Fredrik Gjesteland Finnesand (Norway)0:24:29
82Dominik Gorak (Poland)Row 81 - Cell 2
83Damian Bieniek (Poland)0:25:10
84Noppachai Klahan (Thailand)0:27:56
DNFPirmin Benz (Germany)Row 84 - Cell 2
DNFAljaz Omrzel (Slovenia)Row 85 - Cell 2
DNFYoshiaki Fukuda (Japan)Row 86 - Cell 2
DNFMartin Messner (Austria)Row 87 - Cell 2
DNFCamilo Jose Navas Madera (Ecuador)Row 88 - Cell 2
DNFOskar Palm (Sweden)Row 89 - Cell 2
DNFSamuele Rubino (Italy)Row 90 - Cell 2
DNFIakov Gusev (Russian Federation)Row 91 - Cell 2
DNFConor Martin (Canada)Row 92 - Cell 2
DNFCarter Turnbull (Australia)Row 93 - Cell 2
DNFAnze Skok (Slovenia)Row 94 - Cell 2
DNFSoren Waerenskjold (Norway)Row 95 - Cell 2
DNFWilliam Blume Levy (Denmark)Row 96 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Arnes (Norway)Row 97 - Cell 2
DNFDennis Grasvold (Norway)Row 98 - Cell 2
DNFArthur Kluckers (Luxembourg)Row 99 - Cell 2
DNFHiryu Kayama (Japan)Row 100 - Cell 2
DNFAbner Gonzalez Rivera (Puerto Rico)Row 101 - Cell 2
DNFRick Pluimers (Netherlands)Row 102 - Cell 2
DNFIgor Humbert (Switzerland)Row 103 - Cell 2
DNFRicardo Broxham (South Africa)Row 104 - Cell 2
DNFCian Leveridge (South Africa)Row 105 - Cell 2
DNFCarlo Jurisevic (Croatia)Row 106 - Cell 2
DNFTaisei Hino (Japan)Row 107 - Cell 2
DNFRobin Plamondon (Canada)Row 108 - Cell 2
DNFIlan Van Wilder (Belgium)Row 109 - Cell 2
DNFJuan Tito Rendon Franco (Colombia)Row 110 - Cell 2
DNFIvan Cobo Cayon (Spain)Row 111 - Cell 2
DNFSam Cook (New Zealand)Row 112 - Cell 2
DNFHiroyuki Umakoshi (Japan)Row 113 - Cell 2
DNFXandres Vervloesem (Belgium)Row 114 - Cell 2
DNFSteven Pattyn (Belgium)Row 115 - Cell 2
DNFPhunsiri Sirimongkhon (Thailand)Row 116 - Cell 2
DNFQuinn Simmons (United States Of America)Row 117 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Garrison (United States Of America)Row 118 - Cell 2
DNFLouis Barre (France)Row 119 - Cell 2
DNFLuis Esteban Murillo (Costa Rica)Row 120 - Cell 2
DNFZani Sylhasi (Kosovo)Row 121 - Cell 2
DNFTyler Lindorff (Australia)Row 122 - Cell 2
DNFSergey Zatcepin (Russian Federation)Row 123 - Cell 2
DNFLaurynas Kuras (Lithuania)Row 124 - Cell 2
DNFGavrail Stefanov (Bulgaria)Row 125 - Cell 2
DNFAaron Doherty (Ireland)Row 126 - Cell 2
DNFShahin Eyvazov (Azerbaijan)Row 127 - Cell 2
DNFNadjaf Baghirov (Azerbaijan)Row 128 - Cell 2
DNFYoel Asmerom Tesfasilasie (Eritrea)Row 129 - Cell 2
DNFAdmir Kolasinac (Serbia)Row 130 - Cell 2
DNFRiley Sheehan (United States Of America)Row 131 - Cell 2
DNFRaphael Da Costa Barros (France)Row 132 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Baudin (France)Row 133 - Cell 2
DNFValentin Vasiloiu (Romania)Row 134 - Cell 2
DNFMarcel Rodrigo Teneb Schiesewitz (Chile)Row 135 - Cell 2
DNFVentsislav Venkov (Bulgaria)Row 136 - Cell 2
DNFCarson Miles (Canada)Row 137 - Cell 2
DNFJulian Espinoza (Costa Rica)Row 138 - Cell 2
DNFImad Sekkak (Morocco)Row 139 - Cell 2
DNFJakub Hnik (Czech Republic)Row 140 - Cell 2
DNFJacob Hindsgaul Madsen (Denmark)Row 141 - Cell 2
DNFErikas Sidlauskas (Lithuania)Row 142 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Alejandro Camargo Hernandez (Colombia)Row 143 - Cell 2
DNFRenus Uhiriwe (Rwanda)Row 144 - Cell 2
DNFAndrei Novicov (Republic of Moldova)Row 145 - Cell 2
DNFFrederik Thomsen (Denmark)Row 146 - Cell 2
DNFJosu Echeverria Azpilicueta (Spain)Row 147 - Cell 2
DNFMaksim Kulakov (Russian Federation)Row 148 - Cell 2
DNFTsun Wai Chu (Hong Kong, China)Row 149 - Cell 2
DNFKwun Hei Ho (Hong Kong, China)Row 150 - Cell 2
DNFChalermchai Bangsiri (Thailand)Row 151 - Cell 2
DNFDorde Duric (Serbia)Row 152 - Cell 2
DNFCiprian Jitaru (Romania)Row 153 - Cell 2
DNFJeffrey Diaz Rivera (Puerto Rico)Row 154 - Cell 2
DNFBlerton Nuha (Kosovo)Row 155 - Cell 2
DNFBriton John (Guyana)Row 156 - Cell 2
DNFMojtaba Hajizadeh (Afghanistan)Row 157 - Cell 2
DNFVladislav Korotas (Republic of Moldova)Row 158 - Cell 2

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