Mark Cavendish becomes World Champion in Copenhagen ... in a sprint !
If the circuit of the World Championships Road Cycling in Copenhagen (Denmark) seemed to be perfect for a sprint finish, the distance was the only real difficulty for the best sprinters in the world which could prevent them from winning here. This distance didn't however cause any trouble to Mark Cavendish who becomes the first British World Champion since 46 years!
The summary of the race in line, men elites, of the World Championships in Copenhagen (Denmark)
At 10AM the race started in the city center of Copenhagen for a 266 kilometer long race including 17 laps of 14 kilometers on the main circuit of the race. After several attempts right from the start, it was finally a group of 7 riders which really formed the breakaway of the day. In this group we find Anthony Roux (France), Pablo Lastras (Spain), Tanel Kangert (Estonia), Christian Poos (Luxembourg), Maxim Iglinskiy (Kazakhstan), Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia) and Oleg Chuzhda (Ukraine) and the peloton allows them to create quite a gap, up to 8 minutes.
Behind them, it's first the British riders and than also the German riders who try to keep the gap at a decent level and the race goes on in this configuration for several kilometers.
At about one hunderd kilometers from the finish, it's up to Johan van Summeren (Belgium), winner of Paris-Roubaix 2011, to wake up the race by placing an attack from the front of the peloton. He gets company from his compatriot Olivier Kaisen, the French rider Yoann Offredo, Simon Clarke (Australia) and Luca Paolini (Italy). While this group is chasing behind the 7 leading riders, Christian Poos gives up his attempts in this leading group.
While the two leading groups are almost getting together, Blel Kadri (France) falls and holds up a big part of the peloton including Greg van Avermaet (Belgium), the previous World Champion Thor Hushovd (Norway) and the German riders Tony Martin, Bert Grabsch and Andreas Klier. Fränk Schleck (Luxembourg) even decides to abandon after this fall.
At about 60 kilometers from the finish the two Dutch riders Pieter Weening and Bauke Mollema start the pursuit on the 11 leading riders. They get company from Baden Cooke (Australia), Thomas Rohregger (Germany) and Nicki Sřrensen (Denmark).
At 3 laps from the finish, the riders in the leading group are not really working together anymore and Anthony Roux decided to launch a solo attack. The other riders in the leading group are rapidly taken back by the peloton in which only Maarten Tjallingii (The Netherlands) starts the pursuit of Roux. Without much success however and finally Roux reintegrates the peloton and Thomas Voeckler (France) attacks, followed by Klaas Lodewijck (Belgium) and again Nicki Sřrensen.
Their gap never goes up very high though (its maximum was 17 seconds) and Johnny Hoogerland (The Netherlands) thus easily bridges the gap with the leading trio when he attacks from the peloton. Behind them it's still the British riders who do the hard work, with Bradley Wiggins leading the peloton. At about ten kilometers from the finish Thomas Voeckler decides to give up this breakaway attempt. When Johnny Hoogerland attacks again, the French rider however immediately follows him and the group comes back together. They didn't however count on Great-Britain which continued the work at the head of the peloton and when the group was taken back, Thomas Voeckler attacked again. He gives up this attempt rather quickly though when he realises that he cannot resist to the peloton coming back quick.
In the last 3 kilometers, the Australian riders take over at the head of the peloton and everything is than in place for a bunch sprint on the last, slightly uphill, straight line (see The race course of the World Championships cycling in Copenhagen (Denmark) on Google Maps/Google Earth). Oscar Freire (Spain) is the first to launch the sprint, very early, but finally it was Mark Cavendish (Great-Britain) who managed, on the right side of the road, to work up solo (with no real "train" to tear on him) and thus win this World Championship Cycling on Road in Copenhagen and thus take the rainbow jersey for the year to come. Matthew Goss (Australia) took the second place behind him and the photo finish was necessary to find out that André Greipel (Germany) was third, less than a millimeter ahead of Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland).
Mark Cavendish, who already took the green jersey in the Tour de France 2011, thus became the first British World Champion since 1965 when Tom Simpson took the rainbow jersey in the World Championships in Spain. The rider from the Isle of Man commented his victory as follows: The result couldn't have been otherwise, after all the hard work of the British team.
I hope I can realise the double win next year with the Olympic Games in London.
The classification of the World Championships Road Cycling in Copenhagen
The top 10 of the race in line, men elite
Here's the top 10 of the 266 kilometer long race which took place today:
1/ Mark Cavendish (Great-Britain) - 5h40'27"
2/ Matthew Goss (Australia)
3/ André Greipel (Germany)
4/ Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)
5/ Jurgen Roelandts (Belgium)
6/ Romain Feillu (France)
7/ Borut Bozic (Slovenia)
8/ Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)
9/ Oscar Freire (Spain)
10/ Tyler Farrar (USA)
A double French win in the Espoirs race - Arnaud Demare ahead of Adrien Petit
Arnaud Demare (CC Nogent sur Oise), trainee with the FDJ team since August, won the World Championship Cycling on road in the Espoirs category.
The young rider, who celebrated his 20th anniversary on the last day of the Tour Poitou-Charentes 2011, took this title by winning the sprint at the end of the slightly uphill straight line on the circuit north of Copenhagen.
Already 5th in the World Championships in Australia last year, the young future neo-pro saw the race end exactly as he planned it to be. Indeed, despite the endurance race over 168 kilometers, the peloton was still quite compact while approaching the finish line. Leading the peloton were the Australian and British riders, but the French riders Adrien Petit and Arnaud Demare were perfectly placed to place their attack in the middle of the road at about 300 meters from the finish. Sitting in the wheel of Petit, Demare took over at about fifty meters from the finish and thus, almost easily, won this race!
Adrien Petit (also coming from CC Nogent sur Oise), who finish second, also raised his arms with the new World Champion Espoirs and the French duo thus celebrated the double win, finishing ahead of Andrew Fenn (Great-Britain), Rudiger Selig (Germany) and Marco Haller (Austria).
Here's the top 10 of the Espoirs race:
1/ Arnaud Demare (France) - 3h52'16"
2/ Adrien Petit (France)
3/ Andrew Fenn (Great-Britain)
4/ Rudiger Selig (Germany)
5/ Marco Haller (Austria)
6/ Filippo Fortin (Italy)
7/ Wouter Wippert (The Netherlands)
8/ Alexey Tsatevitch (Russia)
9/ Tosh van der Sande (Belgium)
10/ Andris Smirnovs (Latvia)
For the juniors another French rider took the rainbow jersey, finishing with the two other riders of the final breakaway group at 3 seconds ahead of the peloton.
Here's the top 10:
1/ Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (France) - 2h48'58"
2/ Martijn Degreve (Belgium)
3/ Steven Lammertink (The Netherlands)
4/ Florian Sénéchal (France) - +0'03"
5/ Rick Zabel (Germany)
6/ Roman Ivlev (Russia)
7/ Daniel Hoelgaard (Norway)
8/ Nicolas Marini (Italy)
9/ Stan Godrie (The Netherlands)
10/ Frederik Plesner (Denmark)
For the women the number two almost deserves to be mentioned much more than the one who won the race. Indeed, after having been World Champion in 2006, Marianne Vos took the second place for the 5th time in row, this time because got locked up when the sprint started ...
Here's the top 10 of this race:
1/ Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) - 3h21'28"
2/ Marianne Vos (The Netherlands)
3/ Ina Teutenberg (Germany)
4/ Nicole Cooke (Great-Britain)
5/ Julia Martisova (Russia)
6/ Chloe Hosking (Australia)
7/ Elizabeth Armitstead (Great-Britain)
8/ Ludivine Henrion (Belgium)
9/ Rasa Leleivyte (Latvia)
10/ Aude Biannic (France)