We hope you got a chance to check out the Road World Championships in Geelong, Australia this past weekend (and yes, some of us did actually stay up to watch the finish of the men’s elite road race live), because there was some pretty exciting bike racing on display. The rolling circuit course around and through the seaside town of Geelong had 2 sharp climbs that whittled down the peloton with each passing lap, and provided a springboard for endless attacks, but in the end each road race ended with a brutal bunch sprint to crown a new world champion. Out riding and didn’t catch the racing? Don’t worry–you can catch all the highlights at Universal Sports cycling page.
In the Under-23 races, American phenom Taylor Phinney lived up to the hype by earning a rainbow jersey in the time trial, and then backed it up with his second medal by sprinting to a tie for 3rd in the road race (won by Australian Michael Matthews).
In the women’s races, Emma Pooley of Great Britain won the time trial, while Italy’s Giorgia Bronzini won the road race with a perfectly timed sprint on the challenging uphill finish (edging out perennial contender Marianne Vos of the Netherlands).
In the elite men’s time trial, Fabian Cancellara proved once again that he is the master of the race against the clock. “Spartacus” won his record 4th world title with a dominant performance, finishing over a minute ahead of Briton David Millar, with Germany’s Tony Martin filling out the podium.
The final event of the weekend was one of the most exciting, as the elite men’s road race came down to a bunch sprint of 20-odd riders, won by Norway’s “God of Thunder” Thor Hushovd (the first Norwegian to don the rainbow jersey as world road champion), ahead of Denmark’s Matti Breschel and Australia’s Allan Davis. But this race was a fascinating and constantly surprising affair, as riders kept launching attacks during the last few laps, only to get reeled in by a hard-charging peloton (although the rate of attrition in the peloton was high with all of this aggressive riding). In the end it looked like Belgium’s Phillipe Gilbert (a pre-race favorite and probably the strongest man in the race) had found a way to break away for good on the final lap, only to be chased down by a group led by defending champ Cadel Evans a few kilometers from the finish. Of course everyone was ultimately swept up by a final select group, that included Hushovd, which led to the fantastic sprint victory by the Norwegian.
All in all, a fitting end to an exciting weekend of racing action!