World Championships: Baroncini wins U23 men's road race title for Italy

Filippo Baroncini (Italy) was crowned under-23 world champion (opens in new tab) in Flanders following a solo attack.

The Italian made his move on the penultimate climb of the day, the Wjinpers, and managed to solo the final 5.5km to win the gold medal 

Biniam Girmay (opens in new tab) won the sprint from a reduced bunch to take silver, an unprecedented result for his native Eritrea, while Olav Kooij (Netherlands), finished just behind to take bronze.   

Baroncini stormed out of the peloton on the Wjinpers with an acceleration that nobody could match. He quickly caught both Mauro Schmid (Switzerland) and Arthur Kluckers (Luxembourg), who were leading the race at the time, the former having been the last survivor of an eleven-man group that formed prior to the finishing circuit in Leuven, and the latter having attacked out of the peloton to join him.

Baroncini managed to drop them both before the summit, clearing the way for the Italian to ride all the way to the finish and take victory.

“For me, it’s a dream,” were Baroncini’s words at the finish. “The day was really stressful for me, and I think for all. 

“It’s a victory that was a dream for all my life, and today, all was perfect for me and for my team. We attacked in the final, my attack was planned before the race. All went well. It’s a big emotion for me, I have no words.”

How it unfolded

The race began in chaotic circumstances, with multiple crashes occurring in the neutralised zone prior to the beginning of the race proper. So many riders were held up that the official start from kilometre 0 was delayed by a quarter of an hour, due to the wait for every rider held up to catch up and re-join the peloton.

Once the race did get underway, a three-man group escaped up the road: Gleb Karpenko (Estonia), Logan Currie (New Zealand) and Adam Ward (Ireland). 

Although there was a flurry of counter-attacks behind (including Slovakia’s Tobias Vanco, whose teammates, apparently unaware, contributed to chasing him down), this trio was soon established as the day’s definitive break.

Despite this, the race remained nervous, and an extortionate number of minor crashes occurred intermittently on the road from Antwerp to the circuit in Leuven. Belgium were especially badly affected, with Fabio Van Den Bossche and Stan Van Tricht both going down in separate incidents.

By the time the break reached Leuven to take on one and a half laps of the circuit, their lead over the peloton had been extended to 4-50. 

With the beginning of the circuit came the beginning of the climbing, and the pace in the peloton picked up dramatically as the riders jostled for the best position heading onto them. In the aftermath of the first couple of climbs, after which they crossed the finish line for the first time, the gap had already gone down to 3-27.

The Dutch took control of the peloton, but set a steady rather than fast pace, and the race remained settled as the riders left the Leuven circuit to complete one lap of the Flandrien circuit.

The action kicked off again once the break reached the brutally steep climbs of the Flandrien circuit. First up was the Smeysberg, when Karpenko was dropped from the other two, and then the Moskesstraat, when Currie went clear from the visibly suffering Ward.

The Moskesstraat also saw the first attack from the peloton, when Lewis Askey (Great Britain) made a move. He was marked, but the acceleration, coupled with a few more crashes that occurred on the descent, saw the peloton thinned out.

Karpenko and Ward were brought back, leaving Currie out in front alone with a lead of about one minute.

Despite the reduction in numbers in the bunch, crashes and mechanicals continued to occur, with Baroncini among those to be held up.

The S-Bend was the next climb, where Hugo Page (France) attacked out of the peloton. He caught and passed Currie on the next climb, who lost time after making the mistake of missing a corner.

Askey and Luca Colnaghi (Italy) set off in pursuit of Page, but just as they made the catch, they themselves were caught by the peloton. The race was therefore all back together at 56km from the finish.

With no groups up the road, there were several digs from riders hoping to form a new breakaway group at the head of the race during the run-in taking the riders back to the Leuven circuit. 

 Eventually, a nine-man group got a substantial gap, with many of the top nations represented: the Netherlands with Daan Hoole, the Italians with Luca Colnaghi and the Norwegians with Anders Halland Johannessen. With Kevin Vermaerke (USA), Jarrad Drizners (Australia), Tomas Kopecky (Czech Republic), Finn Fisher-Black (New Zealand), Mauro Schmid (Switzerland) and Fabio Costa (Portugal) also present, alarm set off in the peloton behind, with multiple riders giving up trying to form an organise chase and instead attacking in the hope of joining the lead group. 

Back on the circuit again, the leading nine crossed the finish line to mark the beginning of the penultimate lap with a lead of 40 seconds, and with a very real chance of holding off the peloton. 

Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kazakhstan) and Kevin Vanquelin (France) were the only counter-attackers to get some daylight ahead of the peloton, and, after spending several kilometres in no-man's land, eventually made the juncture 27km from the finish, swelling the lead group to eleven.

Despite this strength in numbers, the peloton began to make inroads on the leaders, reducing the gap to under 20 seconds as the final lap approached 

Schmid was looking the strongest of the breakaway group on the climbs, and attacked on St Antoniusberg to go clear from the others. 

Schmid pressed on while the rest of the break struggled to organise an effective chase, and before long they were closer to the Dutch-led chasing peloton than they were to Schmid. With 11km to go the catch was made, leaving Schmid as the lone leader, with an advantage of not much more than ten seconds.

Cluckers attacked out of the peloton on the third-to-last climb of the day, the Decouxlaan, and bridged up to Schmid on the next climb, Wjinpers. But both were imminently caught by Baroncini, who launched his explosive move on the same climb, catching and passing both of them.

There were several counter-attacks from the chasing peloton in the final kilometres, with riders from the French, British and German teams all having a go. But Baroncini held on to his advantage, and had enough of an advantage to celebrate his win on the finishing straight. 

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Filippo Baroncini (Italy) 3:37:36
2Biniam Girmay (Eritrea) 0:00:02
3Olav Kooij (Netherlands)
4Michele Gazzoli (Italy)
5Lewis Askey (Great Britain)
6Thibau Nys (Belgium)
7Luca Colnaghi (Italy)
8Paul Penhoet (France)
9Vinicius Rangel Costa (Brazil)
10Tobias Bayer (Austria)
11Pavel Bittner (Czech Republic)
12Petr Kelemen (Czech Republic)
13Samuel Watson (Great Britain)
14Niklas Maerkl (Germany)
15Fabio Christen (Switzerland)
16Sebastian Kolze Changizi (Denmark)
17Filippo Zana (Italy)
18Corbin Strong (New Zealand)
19Alexis Renard (France)
20Fabio Costa (Portugal)
21Cedric Pries (Luxembourg)
22Alexandre Balmer (Switzerland)
23Jarrad Drizners (Australia)
24Matus Stocek (Slovakia)
25Maksym Bilyi (Ukraine)
26Mats Wenzel (Luxembourg)
27Mauro Schmid (Switzerland)
28Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kazakhstan)
29Pirmin Benz (Germany)
30Antoine Raugel (France)
31Antti-Jussi Juntunen (Finland)
32Pedro Lopes (Portugal)
33Mathias Alexander Larsen (Denmark)
34Matis Louvel (France) 0:00:12
35Nurbergen Nurlykhassym (Kazakhstan)
36Matthew Riccitello (United States Of America) 0:00:15
37Michel Hessmann (Germany)
38Tim Torn Teutenberg (Germany)
39Tom Lindner (Germany)
40Erik Fetter (Hungary) 0:00:17
41Kevin Vermaerke (United States Of America) 0:00:20
42Mick van Dijke (Netherlands) 0:00:28
43Arthur Kluckers (Luxembourg) 0:00:35
44Kevin Vauquelin (France) 0:00:53
45Tomas Kopecky (Czech Republic)
46Casper van Uden (Netherlands) 0:01:26
47Byiza Renus Uhiriwe (Rwanda)
48Tim van Dijke (Netherlands)
49Yaroslav Parashchak (Ukraine)
50Florian Vermeersch (Belgium) 0:01:30
51Hugo Page (France)
52Santiago Buitrago Sanchez (Colombia) 0:01:37
53Paul Daumont (Burkina Faso) 0:02:28
54Reuben Thompson (New Zealand)
55Viktor Potocki (Croatia) 0:02:41
56Adam Karl (Hungary)
57Luca Coati (Italy)
58Daan Hoole (Netherlands)
59Marijn van den Berg (Netherlands)
60Henok Mulueberhan (Eritrea)
61Anders Halland Johannessen (Norway)
62Jakub Toupalik (Czech Republic)
63Tord Gudmestad (Norway)
64Matevz Govekar (Slovenia) 0:02:59
65Joonas Kurits (Estonia) 0:03:32
66Thanakhan Chaiyasombat (Thailand) 0:04:28
67Harold Martin Lopez Granizo (Ecuador)
68Nicolas Vinokurov (Kazakhstan)
69Lukas Kubis (Slovakia)
70Gleb Brussenskiy (Kazakhstan) 0:04:30
71Fran Miholjevic (Croatia)
72Filip Maciejuk (Poland)
73Robert Donaldson (Great Britain)
74Xabier Mikel Azparren Irurzun (Spain)
75Rait Arm (Estonia)
76Raphael Parisella (Canada) 0:06:20
77Marco Frigo (Italy)
78Stan van Tricht (Belgium)
79Idar Andersen (Norway)
80William Levy (Denmark)
81Juan Esteban Guerrero Arias (Colombia)
82Natnael Tesfazion (Eritrea)
83Tobias Halland Johannessen (Norway)
84Fabio van den Bossche (Belgium) 0:07:28
85Finn Fisher-Black (New Zealand) 0:08:55
86Dillon Corkery (Ireland) 0:09:16
87Jacob Eriksson (Sweden)
88Jorge Peyrot Balvanera (Mexico) 0:09:40
89Alekss Krasts (Latvia)
90Carlos Salgueiro (Portugal) 0:09:43
91Aivaras Mikutis (Lithuania)
92Efrem Gebrehiwet (Eritrea)
93Ruben Eggenberg (Switzerland)
94Savva Novikov (Russian Cycling Federation)
95Logan Currie (New Zealand) 0:09:46
96Alastair Mackellar (Australia)
97Kaden Luke Hopkins (Bermuda) 0:10:16
98Andrei Stepanov (Russian Cycling Federation)
99Petros Mengs (Eritrea)
100Ben Healy (Ireland) 0:10:21
101Danil Evdokimov (Uzbekistan) 0:11:35
102Heberth Alejandro Gutierrez Rendon (Colombia)
103Jensen Plowright (Australia)
104Nicholas Narraway (Bermuda) 0:11:36
105Mikel Demiri (Albania)
106Tobias Vanco (Slovakia) 0:11:39
107Erik Bergstroem Frisk (Sweden)
108Oussama Cheblaoui (Algeria)
109Ethan Vernon (Great Britain)
110Oliver Stockwell (Great Britain)
111Alexandr Semenov (Kazakhstan)
112Joel Fuertes (Ecuador)
113Adam Ward (Ireland) 0:12:33
114Travis Stedman (South Africa)
115Mantas Januskevicius (Lithuania)
116Denys Khotulov (Ukraine)
117Jesus David Pena Jimenez (Colombia)
118Ratchanon Yaowarat (Thailand)
119Aleksandr Bereznyak (Russian Cycling Federation)
120Jason Oosthuizen (South Africa)
121Alex Vogel (Switzerland)
122Maurice Ballerstedt (Germany) 0:12:54
123Aleksey Fomovskiy (Uzbekistan) 0:14:11
124Thomas Silva (Uruguay) 0:14:36
125Ivan Yatsenko (Russian Cycling Federation)
126Jose Autran Carrillo (Chile)
127Nixon Efrain Rosero Rojas (Ecuador)
128Pau Miquel Delgado (Spain)
129Pauls Rubenis (Latvia)
130Daniil Nikulin (Ukraine)
131Tom Paquet (Luxembourg)
132Roi Weinberg (Israel)
133Rokas Kmieliauskas (Lithuania)
134Kristers Ansons (Latvia) 0:14:39
135Travis Barrett (South Africa) 0:16:11
136Conor White (Bermuda) 0:16:19
137Muhammadhanafee Kueji (Thailand)
138Jose Manuel Aramayo Villena (Bolivia)
139Achraf ed Doghmy (Morocco)
140Daniel Babor (Czech Republic)
141Sergei Kurianov (Russian Cycling Federation)
142Zygimantas Matuzevicius (Lithuania)
143Aymen Merdj (Algeria) 0:18:12
DNFJuan Ayuso Pesquera (Spain)
DNFNikita Stenkovoy (Uzbekistan)
DNFMarc Brustenga Masague (Spain)
DNFNicolas David Gomez Jaramillo (Colombia)
DNFGleb Karpenko (Estonia)
DNFMagnus Sheffield (United States Of America)
DNFArnaud de Lie (Belgium)
DNFSean Quinn (United States Of America)
DNFSoeren Waerenskjold (Norway)
DNFVictor Alejandro Ocampo Giraldo (Colombia)
DNFRaul Garcia Pierna (Spain)
DNFJacob Madsen (Denmark)
DNFLennert van Eetvelt (Belgium)
DNFMarcus Sander Hansen (Denmark)
DNFMarc Oliver Pritzen (South Africa)
DNFFilip Lohinsky (Slovakia)
DNFArtjom Mirzojev (Estonia)
DNFRoberto Jose Herrera Peralta (Panama)
DNFMartin Bugge Urianstad (Norway)
DNFJesus Roniel Marte Cespedes (Dominican Republic)
DNFHugo Forssell (Sweden)
DNFAdam Foltan (Slovakia)
DNFRichard Huera (Ecuador)
DNFKristinn Jonsson (Iceland)
DNFJack Drage (New Zealand)
DNFBachirou Nikiema (Burkina Faso)
DNFAlejandro Hernandez Hernandez (Cuba)
DNFLinus Kvist (Sweden)
DNFVincent Mouni (Burkina Faso)
DNFMohamed Amine Nehari (Algeria)
DSQLuke Lamperti (United States Of America)

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