World Championships: Johan Price-Pejtersen wins U23 men's time trial title

Johan Price-Pejtersen (Denmark) added the world time trial title to his recent European title, winning the Under 23 men’s rainbow jersey with a time of 34:29 for the 30.3km flat course between Knokke-Heist and Bruges.

Luke Plapp (Australia) was an early starter and set the fastest time, putting him in the hot seat until last starter Price-Pejtersen beat him by ten seconds. Plapp, who will ride for Ineos Grenadiers in 2022, set a time of 34:39.

Florian Vermeersch (Belgium) finished fast to set a time of 34:41, beating Søren Wærenskjold (Norway) by two seconds to take the bronze medal. Price-Pejtersen rode for the Uno-X ProTeam in 2021 and will stay with the successful Norwegian squad in 2022 rather than stepping up to a WorldTour team. 

“At the European championships I exploded a bit in the finish, so I thought it was better to do a controlled ride, with a negative split in the first section,” he explained. 

“I had the advantage of starting last so I could see where my effort put me. I was told I was third and not far from the fastest time, so I knew I had to pick up the pace. I then gave it everything from the hard second split and pulled hard all the way to the end.”

Price-Pejtersen followed in the footsteps of fellow Dane Mikkel Bjerg, who won the Under-23 time trial title in 2017, 2018, and 2019. The event was not contested in Imola in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“In the past, I’ve been in the shadows of Mikkel because he’s been better than me and he’s also older than me,” Price-Pejtersen said.

“I could beat him sometimes but he was the best at the Worlds, so without him here I had a clear shot this time. I’m really satisfied I could step up and win.

“It’s good that Denmark won again, we’ve won five out of the last six World Championships and that’s important for the national team.” 

How it unfolded

Logan Currie of New Zealand was an early starter and was first in the hot seat with a time of 35:29 for the pan-flat 30.3km course on straight roads across the marshlands between Knokke-Heist and Bruges.

The USA’s Magnus Sheffield was confirmed as Ineos Grenadiers' latest signing as he rolled down the start ramp and rode on a team issue Pinarello Bolide time trial bike. The 19-year-old American started all-out and was faster than Plapp after 13km but then faded in the second half of the course and set a time of 35:28.  

Plapp was also equipped by his future pro team and rode a controlled ride. The Australian national champion and team pursuiter was faster than Sheffield at the second split as he produced a faster ride in the second half to set a time of 34:39 to take the hot seat. Jumbo-Visma signing Mick van Dijke (Netherlands) was the next challenger, setting a time of 34:54 to join Plapp on the hot seats and watch their rivals in action as they began to threaten their times. 

Off the pace were Finn Fisher-Black (New Zealand), who set a time of 35:35 and Carter Turnbull (Australia) who set 35:45. Like so many, they were unable to go  below the 35-minute barrier. Great Britain’s Ethan Vernon was riding the Hope time trial for the first time at international level and was considered a medal contender. The cutting-edge bike perhaps helped him and he was fast at the first intermediate time check. However he faded slightly in the final 10km and set a time of 35:13. He replaced Sheffield on the third placed hot seat but only for a while and he eventually finished seventh at 43 seconds.  

Belgian hopes sat firmly with Vermeersch and he was cheered around the 30.3km course. Vermeersch rode the Vuelta a Espana to build a solid endurance base of form and it proved useful. He was only two seconds slower than Plapp at the first time check, but slipped to seven seconds down after 21km. He finished very fast and stopped the clock in a time of 34:41. That was just 1.15 seconds lower than Plapp but secured him a place on the podium, even when Price-Pejtersen finished fastest.  

Søren Wærenskjold (Norway) had been a threat to Vermeersch during his ride but faded massively in the final kilometres and finished fourth fastest, two seconds slower. Price-Pejtersen started behind Wærenskjold and was last down the Knokke-Heist start ramp overlooking the beach. He was second fastest at the first time split after 13km but was carefully pacing his ride and following a negative split strategy. He picked up his effort soon after and was only five seconds faster than Plapp after 21km. He held his speed and his nerve in the final section, virtually equalling Vermeersch’s split time of 10:35. He dug deep in the final kilometres and as he rode to the line, it was clear he had gained enough to dump Plapp off the hot seat and take the rainbow jersey.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Johan Price-Pejtersen (Denmark) 0:34:30
2Luke Plapp (Australia) 0:00:10
3Florian Vermeersch (Belgium) 0:00:11
4Søren Wærenskjold (Norway) 0:00:13
5Mick van Dijke (Netherlands) 0:00:24
6Daan Hoole (Netherlands) 0:00:40
7Ethan Vernon (Great Britain) 0:00:44
8Michel Hessmann (Germany) 0:00:48
9Filippo Baroncini (Italy) 0:00:58
10Magnus Sheffield (United States) 0:00:59
11Logan Currie (New Zealand) 0:01:00
12Miholjević Fran 0:01:05
13Finn Fisher-Black (New Zealand) 0:01:06
14Erik Fetter (Hungary) 0:01:07
15Carter Turnbull (Australia) 0:01:16
16Raúl García Pierna (Spain) 0:01:17
17Tobias Bayer (Austria) 0:01:20
18Adam Holm Jørgensen (Denmark) 0:01:22
19Alexandre Balmer (Switzerland) 0:01:24
20Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kazakhstan) 0:01:25
21Xabier Mikel Azparren (Spain) 0:01:26
22Jenno Berckmoes (Belgium) 0:01:27
23Marcus Sander Hansen (Denmark) 0:01:30
24Valère Thiébaud (Switzerland) 0:01:31
25Kevin Vauquelin (France) 0:01:36
26Rait Ärm (Estonia) 0:01:42
27Filip Maciejuk (Poland) 0:01:43
28Maurice Ballerstedt (Germany) 0:01:51
29Joonas Kurits (Estonia) 0:01:54
30Matthew Riccitello (United States) 0:01:57
31Ben Healy (Ireland) 0:01:59
32Raphael Parisella (Canada) 0:02:01
33Marco Frigo (Italy) 0:02:02
34Tomáš Kopecký (Czech Republic) 0:02:02
35Nik Čemažar (Slovenia) 0:02:03
36Daniel Årnes (Norway) 0:02:05
37Igor Chzhan (Kazakhstan) 0:02:11
38Santiago Buitrago (Colombia) 0:02:12
39Kevin McCambridge (Ireland) 0:02:13
40Jason Oosthuizen (South Africa) 0:02:14
41Arthur Kluckers (Luxembourg) 0:02:18
42Andrei Stepanov (Russia) 0:02:21
43Thomas Delphis (France) 0:02:28
44Aivaras Mikutis (Lithuania) 0:02:38
45Anže Skok (Slovenia) 0:02:41
46Francis Juneau (Canada) 0:02:45
47Victor Ocampo (Colombia) 0:02:50
48Kaden Hopkins (Bermuda) 0:02:52
49Paul Daumont (Burkina Faso) 0:03:03
50Conor White (Bermuda) 0:03:07
51Rnus Byiza Uhiriwe (Rwanda) 0:03:29
52Loïc Bettendorff (Luxembourg) 0:03:32
53Daniil Nikulin (Ukraine) 0:03:37
54Rokas Kmieliauskas (Lithuania) 0:03:42
55José Eduardo Autran (Chile) 0:03:50
56Hamza Mansouri (Algeria) 0:03:53
57Jean Eric Habimana (Rwanda) 0:04:08
58Aleksey Fomovskiy (Uzbekistan) 0:04:23
59Jorge Peyrot Balvanera (Mexico) 0:04:40
60Francisco Chipolini (Argentina) 0:05:03
61Thanakhan Chaiyasombat (Thailand) 0:05:07
62Roberto José Herrera (Panama) 0:05:35
63Danil Evdokimov (Uzbekistan) 0:05:38
64Negasi Haylu Abreha (Ethiopia) 0:06:04
65Joel Morales (Argentina) 0:06:46
66Mohamed Rayes (Syria) 0:09:08
DNFAlexandros Matsangos (Cyprus)
DNSHenok Mulubrhan (Eritrea)

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