France’s Pierre Henri Lecuisinier showed that victory doesn’t have to come from a bunch sprint at this year’s worlds when he took victory in the junior men’s road race at the head of a five rider breakaway on Saturday morning.
Mark Cavendish and his colleagues will take note for Sunday’s elite men’s race. British riders came away empty handed after the winning move survived the best part of the final two laps ahead of a ravaging pack.
After a successful day on Friday where bunch sprints decided both races, Britain’s best finisher was Owain Doull in 24th place. Jon Dibben had been in an attack coming over the line with two laps to go but no Briton got into the winning escape that followed.
At the line the bunch were breathing down that move’s neck but three riders from the break held on for the medals. Belgium’s Martijn Degreve took silver while the Netherlands’ Steven Lammertink completed the trinity of traditional cycling nations who both filled the podium and what was originally a six rider move when it broke away in the closing stages of the 126km race.
The symentary of the move with two riders from each country was perhaps the ingredient key to its success. For as doggedly as the Italians chased for a bunch sprint, the break worked fluidly together.
Only once Holland’s Ivar Slik was dropped in the final half lap was the equilibrium spoiled. Even then they functioned efficiently until Belgium’s Rob Leemans attacked with a kilometre and a half to go.
Leemans made a good job of holding off the chase up the lower part of the finishing slope while France’s Guilliame Martin committed himself to pursuing him. As it became clear that Leemans was done for, Degreve stopped policing and launched his sprint. But Lecuisinier had also been waiting in the wheels of his team mate’s chase and clearly had the better output.
After Arnaud Démare’s victory in the under 23 race on Friday, he cruised across the line delighted to have taken France’s second consecutive world title here in Copenhagen.
“I want to thank everyone in the French team, and particularly my team-mate Guillaume Martin, for having helped me to win today,” he said. “The course was really demanding, with lot of breakaways. I’m not sure it will be quite the same tomorrow [for the elite men].”
Road World Championships 2011: Junior men’s road race, 126km
1. Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra) in 2-48-58
2. Martijn Degreve (Bel)
3. Steven Lammertink (Ned) both same time
4. Florian Senechal (Fra) at 3secs
5. Rick Zabel (Ger)
6. Roman Ivlev (Rus)
7. Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor)
8. Nicolas Marini (Ita)
9. Stan Godrie (Ned)
10. Frederik Plesner (Den) all same time
24. Owain Doull (GBr)
34. Jon Dibben (GBr)
72. Alistair Slater (GBr)
92. Matthew Holmes (GBr) at 24secs
122. Sam Lowe (GBr) at 4-48