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World Championships Round-Up – The Past, The Present & The Future | The Cycling Race News Show


Welcome to the GCN Racing News Show. This week, the rainbow jerseys get dished
out in Innsbruck, we go through the winners and losers from the past week, plus we’ve
got round 2 of the Cyclo-Cross World Cup from Iowa City. The new road World Champions have now all
been crowned – for the next 12 months, they will have the honour of wearing the rainbow
jersey in the discipline in which they won the event – except for the team time trial
world champions – don’t even ask. The most dominant display of the week came
on Saturday in the women’s Elite race. Pre-race favourite Anna Van Der Breggen of
the Netherlands attacked with over 40km’s to go, and was never seen again. She caught and dropped Amanda Spratt, and
although she held on for 2nd, the Australian was a full 3 minutes and 42 seconds behind. For Van Der Breggen, it erased the one blemish
in her palmares – she’s won almost all there is to win in road cycling, but this was the
one that was missing. That also means the Boels Dolmans have had
the World Champion in their ranks for four years in a row. Almost as dominant was Remco Evenepoel. The Belgian was the hot favourite in the junior
men’s road race, having won the time trial, plus pretty much every other junior race of
note this year. Things didn’t initially go according to
plan – he was involved in a mass pile-up which meant that he had to close a minute and a
half’s gap to the front. Which he did, with relative ease, and it wasn’t
long before he’d regained contact that he’d gone on the attack, eventually going solo
and winning by a minute and a half. Remco is the son of former pro rider Patrick
Evenepoel, but amazingly, he didn’t take up the sport until the beginning of last season,
having pursued a career in football prior to that. He turns pro next year with Quickstep, as
a 1st-year senior – that means we’ll have a rider competing at the top of the sport,
who was born in the year 2000. How depressing! Coming from a cycling nation though, that
is a lot of pressure and expectation building up on some very young shoulders, and it’s
going to be very interesting to see how he copes with it. Watch this space. Another young man who will be joining the
Pro ranks next year is Marc Hirschi, who won the U23 event world championships to add to
the European title he won in Glasgow last month. He moves from the Sunweb development squad
to their full pro team. Our GCN Rider of the week, though, is Laura
Stigger. The Austrian lives just 50km’s from Innsbruck,
and won the first of the road races, the junior women’s, in front of her home crowd.. Stigger is the current MTB cross country world
junior champion, and in her post-race quote, she said “I just wanted to have fun, this
is just my 2nd ever road race”. Well Laura – that must have been fun, I mean
I wouldn’t know, but I imagine you enjoyed yourself – well done. The Elite time trial world championships went
true to form – in the women’s, it wasn’t just double Dutch, but triple Dutch Annemiek
Van Vleuten got the better of compatriots Anna Van Der Breggen and Ellen Van Dijk to
retain her title. Incredibly, she’d go on to finish 7th in
the road race despite having suffered a tibial eminence fracture in a mid-race crash. Here she is arriving home on crutches – hard
as nails. In the men’s, Rohan Dennis put in a dominant
display to finish over a minute clear of Tom Dumoulin, and take his first world championship
title. Interestingly, having finished 3rd, Victor
Campenaerts went straight onto the boards in Switzerland to do some testing for a possible
hour record attempt. Apparently, he has already done 54.8kph for
half an hour, watch this space. And so, we move onto the Elite men’s road
race. It was the only race to finish on the Hell
Holl climb, with ramps of up to 30%. Was it brutal? Yes it was – so brutal that Andrei Zeits,
who finished 22nd, had to walk up it…… It spelt the end of Julian Alaphilippe’s
chances, and by the end of it, three riders were locked together. Romain Bardet, Mike Woods, and Alejandro Valverde. Tom Dumoulin made it 4 with a couple of kilometres
to go, but with nobody able to spring a surprise attack, it came down to a sprint, and there
was only ever going to be one winner. 15 years after picking up his first medal
at the Elite World’s, an emotional and elated Alejandro Valverde finally won the Gold medal
and the Rainbow jersey. A lot has happened in those 15 years – Valverde
has picked up 4 Bronze medals, 2 silver, 4 Liege Bastogne Liege, 5 Fleche Wallone’s,
11 stages and the overall at the Vuelta, and a 2 year ban for blood doping. And so his win, was, well, somewhat controversial. For some, it was a deserved reward for years
of sacrifice and hard work from one of the most consistent riders the sport has ever
seen. For others, it left more than a sour taste
in the mouth. If you’re not a fan Valverde, then when
he wins, generally you can forget about it and move on to the next race, but now, those
rainbow bands will serve as a constant reminder of cycling’s less than perfect past. On the other side of the coin, he’s served
his punishment, and therefore he has a right to compete. It’s a subject we would like your thoughts
on as we’re going to be talking in depth about it on tomorrow’s GCN Show – get stuck
into the comments section below, let us know how you felt when Valverde crossed the line
yesterday. Before we finish with the World Championships
– well done to Mike Woods, who’s capped off a great season by finishing with a Bronze
medal, to Romain Bardet, who took France’s best result for some time with 2nd, and to
Tom Dumoulin. The Dutchman has, this year, finished 2nd
in the Giro, the Tour, the World Time Trial championships, and now 4th in the road race. An incredible level of consistency and professionalism
which is something we can all look up to. On to Cyclo Cross now, and It was the perfect
trip to the States for Belgian Toon Aerts. A win at the weekend in Iowa City made it
two races, two wins for the 24 year old from Belgium, racing for Telenet Fidea. In a repeat 1-2 of last week, Aerts got the
better of Van Aert, the two had been locked together until lap 6 of 8, at which point
Van Aert made a mistake. Aerts didn’t need a second invitation, taking
full advantage and eventually winning by a comfortable margin of 51 seconds. Michael Vanthourenhout came in third, making
it an all Belgian podium. In the women’s race, we had a new winner. Not just from this season either – a win in
Iowa marked the first career World Cup win for Katie Keough of Cannondale Cyclocrossworld. This time last year, Keough had finished runner-up
in both the US rounds of the World Cup, so this felt like a just reward for the 26 year
old. She made light work of the muddy conditions,
powering clear on the 2nd lap, and finishing with over half a minute’s advantage. Behind, a strong finish from 21 year old Evie
Richards of Trek Factory Racing saw her finish in the runner-up position, whilst last week’s
winner Marianne Vos could only manage 3rd this time around. Vos, though, leads the overall standings in
the World Cup, which will now take a three-week break before resuming in Bern, Switzerland. We’ll take a one week break now before we
return with the Race News Show next Monday, don’t worry though, there are plenty more
videos before then, including tomorrow’s GCN Show so don’t forget to get involved
in the comments with your opinion on Valverde’s win – we’d really like to hear from you,
whatever your thoughts. OK – if you’d like to subscribe to GCN,
all you’ve got to do is click on the globe, and if you would like to see Oscar and James
do their own race around Innsbruck, on Zwift, you can find that down here……they didn’t
win, obviously.

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