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