Russia’s Anton Vorobyev became the U23 men’s time trial world champion in dominant fashion, finishing over 40 seconds clear of second place and pre-race favourite Rohan Dennis (Australia).
The Russian, who finished fourth at the same race in Copenhagen last year, was unperturbed by the cool and breezy conditions in Limburg and was head and shoulders above the rest of the field. Damien Howson (Australia) finished third.
“I was sure of myself and I hoped that I could win,” a shy Vorobyev said at the post-race press conference. “I saw the course twice and I rode at my maximum from the start.”
Vorobyev rode for the Katusha development team throughout 2012 but will join the professional team’s ranks in 2013 after being taken on as a stagiare for the recent Tour of Denmark. As a measure of Katusha’s confidence in the youngster, he was the third rider to receive a time-trial bike at the start of the season: after none other than Denis Menchov and Joaquin Rodriguez.
Dennis meanwhile was disappointed with second but undoubtedly has a bright future to look forward to when he joins Garmin-Sharp next year.
Last year’s silver medallist Rasmus Christian Quaade could only manage fifth place while British riders Joe Perrett and Sam Harrison finished 29th and 39th respectively.
Sweet victory for Svendsen in Junior race
Norwegian rider Oskar Svendsen won the junior men’s time trial earlier in the day, beating Slovenia’s Matej Mohoric and Maximilian Schachmann of Germany over the 26.6km course.
Svendsen started in the middle of the field and was made to watch and wait as rider after rider came close to his time. Luckily the Norwegian, who was down in sixth position at the second time check, measured his effort well and saved himself enough energy to power up the Cauberg and finish at top speed.
Jon Dibben, who will take the step up to the Olympic Academy Programme next year, was the best placed British rider in 17th while his team-mate Tao Geoghegan Hart finished 35th.
Road World Championships 2012: U23 Men’s Time Trial, 36km
1. Anton Vorobyev (Rus) 44-09
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) at 44 secs
3. Damien Howson (Aus) at 51 secs
4. Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) at 53 secs
5. Rasmus Christian Quaade (Den) at 1-02
6. Marlen Zmorka (Ukr) at 1-09
7. Rasmus Sterebo (Den) at 1-25
8. Jasha Sutterlin (Ger) at 1-28
9. Sergey Chernetski (Cze) at 1-37
10. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) at 1-40
29. Joe Perrett (GBr) at 3-09
39. Sam Harrison (GBr) at 4-07
Junior Men’s Time Trial, 26.6km
1. Oskar Svendsen (Nor) 35-34
2. Matej Mohoric (Slo) at 7 secs
3. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) at 11 secs
4. Alexander Morgan (Aus) at 12 secs
5. Mathias Krigbaum (Den) at 13 secs
6. Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) at 19 secs
7. Brent Luyckx (Bel) at 20 secs
8. Mads Wurtz Schmidt (Den) at 21 secs
9. Ryan Mullen (Irl) at 26 secs
10. TJ Eisenhart (USA) at 26 secs
17. Jon Dibben (GBr) at 50 secs
35. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) at 1-51