Thursday, June 20, 2024

Junior & Womens’ Road Races World Championships 2013 – van Der Poel & Vos


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Road Race World Championships 2013… I forgot to turn off the message alert on my BlackBerry and it started beeping away just before 04:00 am – it didn’t matter, I was awake anyway.

The aphids had breached my defences and the irritation of the bites had wakened me.

It was Pete Jacques on the text from Trinidad, quoting the Sunday Times;

‘A Team Sky cyclist has received a letter from the sport’s governing body, the UCI asking him to explain suspect blood values dating back to September 2012, three months before he joined the world’s number one team.

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke was selected to ride for Great Britain in today’s world championship road race in Florence but pulled out on Thursday citing lack of form.’

We’ll not draw and quarter the man, let alone hang him before he’s even tried for his offence – that’s if there is a charge to answer – but it would be a very disappointing one if it’s true.

I was in communication with him just a few weeks ago when I saw the percorso here, after last year’s cracking ride at Valkenburg, this looked made for him.

He cited Sky’s insistence on his using unfamiliar training methods for his lack of results, this year.

Let’s hope that ‘it ain’t so;’ even though it will for sure dominate the Media today and add to the negatives of an already poor Worlds for the GB team with the juniors, U23 and ladies all failing to show and just Bradley Wiggins’ silver TT medal in the trophy cabinet.

Road Race World Championships 2013
Franck Bonnamour.
Road Race World Championships 2013
The Junior peloton.

The French, Danish and Netherlands teams all showed themselves in the Junior Road Race World Championships 2013 – as Androni manager Gianni Savio always says; ‘you must honour the race!’ – with Franck Bonnamour away with Colombian Martinez in the closing stages.

Road Race World Championships 2013
Mathieu Van Der Poel.

But it was third generation star, Mathieu Van Der Poel who stole the day for The Netherlands with a classy solo display.

His granddad is Raymond Poulidor, his dad is Adrie Van Der Poel so he’s stuck closely to that old adage of ‘choosing your parents carefully.’

His list of palmarès at just 18 years-of-age is astonishing and already includes a cyclo-cross world junior title.

Road Race World Championships 2013
Mathieu Van Der Poel has already won a lot.

But for all his successes he still looked overwhelmed by what he’d achieved, yesterday.

Unusually for a young Dutchman, he wasn’t on a Giant, with a nice looking white Zannata as the weapon of choice; with it’s gear ratios checked as soon as he crossed the line to make sure that one turn of the pedals doesn’t take the machine more than 7.93 metres.

Road Race World Championships 2013
Mathieu Van Der Poel’s bike is checked soon after he crossed the line.
Road Race World Championships 2013
Bampot fans.

The bams were out in force as I headed off in search of nice images; the course is tough but isn’t photogenic with the percorso on the edge of town.

Road Race World Championships 2013
The Basilica di Santa Croce is the principal Franciscan church in Florence.
Road Race World Championships 2013
A glimpse of the main church in Florence, il Duomo di Firenze, or the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore to give it its correct name.

The race route only makes one pass through the old city on it’s way in to pick up the circuit which is on the north side of Florence in the hills.

Road Race World Championships 2013
The womens’ peloton hurtles through the narrow streets.

I decided I’d like some shots of the ladies in Florence’s historic centre and snapped them with the Duomo’s campanile (bell tower) in the back ground.

The thing about writing for Pez is that US readers don’t just want the hardcore stuff, they like to see what Italy and the big races are all about – not just riders pulling faces.

And on that subject, it certainly wasn’t a procession as the US driven peloton’s carbon rims rattled across the old stone sets of Florence.

I had to get a taxi back across to the circuit after my little adventure, though – I couldn’t face all those long, long, soulless straights I walked to get to the old town.

Cabs in Florence on a Saturday afternoon are scarcer than they are on Edinburgh’s Leith Walk at 03:00 am on a Sunday and it took me an age to grab one and get back to the circuit.

Road Race World Championships 2013
The gentlemen and ladies of the press hard at work.

There were two laps to go when I arrived and settled into the press tribune.

The percorso was patently too hard for most of the field and the leaders didn’t need to drive off the Salviati on the penultimate circuit – the rest were done.

Marianne Vos proved that she’s head and shoulders above the rest at the moment – but the US commentator’s inane rantings that she’s the best cyclist in the world and comparable to Eddy Merckx were completely over the top.

What would he have said about Beryl Burton; how many times would she have won the World Ladies’ TT Champs – maybe a dozen?

Road Race World Championships 2013
It was a bit of a press feeding frenzy at the finish.

The scenes around Vos after the finish were about the craziest I’ve ever witnessed; even by the radj standards of the cycling Paparazzi this was nutty.

Road Race World Championships 2013
Marianne Vos looked in shock at her win and treatment shortly afterwards.

Vos looked upset by it all as the UCI officials struggled to gain order.

Road Race World Championships 2013
Emma Johansson.

Silver medallist Johansson was a bit phased by the mayhem too and it left me wondering what today’s finishing line scenes are going to be like – especially if ‘The Shark’ or ‘Pippo’ do the business.

Road Race World Championships 2013
Rossella Ratto.

Bronze medallist Ratto got a comparatively easy run in as the mad throng around Vos followed her right to the door of the ‘controle.’

My nice pizza and Moretti La Rossa – their new strong, red beer – was tempered a little by the hassle of trying to find a cab to get back to the digs – another operatic performance.

But that’ll all be irrelevant when that big peloton streams on to the circuit at lunch time – Cancellara? Sagan? Nibali? Pippo? Valverde? Kolobnev? Gilbert?

In just over 12 hour from now, we won’t have to guess.

Results - Junior & Womens' Road Races World Championship 2013

Womens' World Championship

1 Marianne Vos (Netherlands) 3:44:00
2 Emma Johansson (Sweden) 0:00:15
3 Rossella Ratto (Italy)
4 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) 0:00:33
5 Evelyn Stevens (United States of America) 0:00:46
6 Linda Melanie Villumsen (New Zealand) 0:00:50
7 Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) 0:00:52
8 Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)
9 Tiffany Cromwell (Australia) 0:01:40
10 Tatiana Antoshina (Russian Federation)
11 Elena Kuchinskaya (Russian Federation) 0:02:41
12 Claudia Häusler (Germany) 0:03:34
13 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) 0:04:20
14 Megan Guarnier (United States of America) 0:04:41
15 Annemiek Van Vleuten (Netherlands) 0:05:03
16 Eleonora Van Dijk (Netherlands)
17 Paulina Brzezna (Poland)
18 Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) 0:05:05
19 Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain) 0:05:28
20 Trixi Worrack (Germany)
21 Eugenia Bujak (Poland)
22 Ashleigh Moolman (South Africa)
23 Flavia