Wednesday, July 24, 2024

World U23 Road Race Championship 2011 – A Young Braveheart in the Medals


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Braveheart rider Andy Fenn took an excellent bronze medal in the World U23 Road Race Championship 2011 on a windy but dry day in the northern suburbs of Copenhagen.

World U23 Road Race Championship 2011
Andy Fenn bagged a superb medal.

The French team proved best motivated and organised with a dazzling one-two.

Let’s hope that Arnaud Demare doesn’t go the way of so many French amateur and U23 champions in the past – big hype, big contract then a gradual slide in to obscurity.

World U23 Road Race Championship 2011
Two of the French youngsters made the podium.
World U23 Road Race Championship 2011
The championship was no all time classic, if it hadn’t been for the long break by Brazilian Manarelli and Italian Leonardi the race would have been a real bore.

But it’s easy to stand beside the road and criticise; the race was run off at 43.398 kph – to slip a bunch riding at that pace isn’t easy.

Viktor’s take was more direct; ‘the biggest load of s***e I’ve ever seen for a world champion – an overgrown kermis !’ thank you, Vik.

The circuit certainly isn’t what we expected; the finish hill is tough, 1,000 metres long, dye straight and kicking up at the top.

And whilst maybe 60% of the circuit is technical; bends, snaps, roller coasters – the other 40% is seriously fast.

It rolls gently, is wide and smooth and spells doom to any breakaway which the peloton can see.

I didn’t think that Cavendish could win – but having seen the course, it’s feasible.

Of course, teams like Belgium, Spain and Italy are wilier than bags of monkeys and will have no intention of allowing Sky to TTT Cav to the finish line.

Pro races aren’t U23 – there’ll be an early break and much more control.

Let’s hope so.

But whatever happens, a great week so far for GB – medals for the junior ladies in the time trial and then ‘smiler’ Lucy Garner in yesterday’s road race, Emma Pooley in the ladies’ TT, Bradley in the men’s TT and Andy in the U23 yesterday.

World U23 Road Race Championship 2011
Lucy was out spectating today wearing her new jersey, and so would you!

Such results would have been unthinkable a decade ago; hats off to David Brailsford and – as the Americans would say – the power of the ‘mighty dollar,’ or in our case, the lottery dough.

Two races today, juniors and ladies – another two GB medals? another two bunch sprints?

World U23 Road Race Championship 2011 Gallery