Brave riders and bronze medals at the World Championships

The UCI Road World Championships reached their climax on Sunday with the men’s road race and, for a while, it looked like Gianni Moscon (fi’zi:k Antares R1 and Italy) would upset the odds and take an unlikely victory to round out an impressive season that has included claiming the Italian National TT title.

In the closing stages, the 23-year-old bridged the gap to leader Julian Alaphilippe… and it was only in the last 2km that the duo were caught. Come the end, Peter Sagan edged out Alexander Kristoff to win the worlds for the third time in a row. Greg van Avermaet (fi’zi:k Antares 00 and Belgium) finished sixth.

Earlier in the day, huge crowds and overcast skies greeted the riders in the village of Rong. The parcours would take the world’s best 267.5km to the Bergen finish line via a 39.5km opening stretch and 12 laps of the 19.1km finishing circuit. The standout feature of the circuit was the climb of Salmon Hill, a 1.5km ascent that averages 6.4%.

Ten riders set the early pace, the leading group containing Andrey Amador (fi’zi:k Antares 00 saddle). After 24km, the lead had stretched to over 9 minutes. However, with 150km to go, the advantage had shrunk to 4:41mins and it wasn’t long before the peloton had caught them.

With three-and-a-half laps to go, Austria’s Marco Haller made a move off the front but was soon reeled in by several riders including Alessandro De Marchi (fi’zi:k R3B shoes and Italy). Crashes and a disjointed peloton opened the door for Alaphilippe and Moscon but, come Bergen, the sprinters took center stage.

Moscon was subsequently disqualified following video footage of him taking a short tow from his team car in recovering from a crash, an action for which Italian national coach Davide Cassani took full responsibility: ‘What happened is all my fault. I gave him the bottle and told him to hold it… [Gianni]’s a good, honest, guy.’

So no medal for fi’zi:k in the men’s world road race but bronze shone bright earlier in the championships thanks to Chris Froome’s (fi’zi:k Antares R1 and Great Britain) third place in the men’s individual time trial. It matches the Tour-Vuelta double winner’s World Championships bronze medal earned three days earlier in the TTT alongside his Sky team-mates.

The world’s best now prepare for the semi-classic Milano-Torino on Wednesday 4 October and the final classic of the season, Il Lombardia, on Sunday 7 October.