A cool start to the day, but the action will be hot soon, after 25 kilometres Mikhail Ignatiev (Russia – 2nd Place in the TT) had built up a lead of over a minute and was being chased by Christian Meier (Canada) and further back Fabio Duarte (Colombia). By the end of the second the Russian had a 40 seconds advantage on Duarte another minute on the bunch, Meier had given up. 120 kilometres to go and Ignatiev was leading by nearly 3 minutes with Duarte still dangling between, a group of riders from various countries get together to pull back the battling Russian and its all together again for the last 100 kilometres to the finish.
The climbs were tough, but not nearly as selective as some had predicted.
The Italians get their teamwork together to engineer a break for their team-mate Dario Cataldo (Italy) along with Roman Feillu (France) and Robert Gesink (Holand), and they are away with an advantage of 53 seconds as they go through the finish of lap four. The Russians, Spanish, Swiss, Colombians and Ukrainians are pulling the bunch along as the gap is being held to a manageable distance, 75 kilometres still left and the action is on as the group is pulled back on one of the climbs and others are trying to get away, but this just stretches the bunch out as no one is allowed a gap.
After numerous attacks a group of three; Spilak (Slovenia), Cornu (Belgium and TT Champ) and Nielsen (Denmark) work well eke out a 30 second gap, they are then caught by eight others to give a healthy big lead group, the new escapees are; Nazareno Rossi (Switzerland), Sebastian Langeveld (Netherlands), David Malacarne (Italy), Stefan Denifl (Austria), Rene Mandri (Estonia), Lars Petter Nordhaug (Norway), Cyril Gautier (France), Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Colombia). This looks good but the Italian team is not happy and start to chase.
The winning break did not go until very late – on the descent of the final climb.
The leaders are not working well together and split on every little rise, then battle to get together again, they have 1 minute on the bunch with 1 lap remaining. Brave rider, Samoilau manages to cross to them on his own as the lead group decide to split again, if they had worked together one of them may have been world champ, but as they don’t they get pulled in with 15 kilometres to the winning line.
Holland had some great rides today from both Robert Gesink and Jos Van Emden, but no dice for a podium…The women made up for that though!
Germany are now working hard for their sprinter Gerald Ciolek and he gets in the winning break with 5 kilometres left, he is joined by Alexander Khatuntsev (Russian Federation), Jelle Vanendert (Belgium), Francesco Gavazzi (Italy), Romain Feillu (France) and that man again, Robert Gesink (Netherlands).
Gesink is the strongman here and is taking them away to a lead, and it’s all down to the finish, Feillu leads out the sprint and Ciolek comes off his wheel to become the Champion.
There wasn’t too much doubt what the outcome would be with Ciolek, one of the world’s fastest, in a small group sprint.
An absolutely incredible win for the young German who already has the German Elite RR Title to his credit from 2005 – which he won at the tender age of 19! Ciolek is going ProTour in 07, so there will be no more U23 fun for the 19-year-old. Indeed, comparisons to Zabel appear valid, except for the fact that the 19er already has a National Championship and a World Championship on his palmares.
Its not looking like things will split tomorrow, so could it be Boonen again?
Under 23 World Championship Result:
1 Gerald Ciolek (Germany)in 4.00.49
2 Romain Feillu (France) all same
3 Alexander Khatuntsev (Russia)
4 Francesco Gavazzi (Italy)
5 Jelle Vanendert (Belgium)
6 Robert Gesink (Netherlands)
7 Jos Van Emden (Netherlands)
8 Sergey Kolesnikov (Russia) at 6 secs
9 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)
10 Danilo Wyss (Switzerland)