Juniors show their maturity on day two
The second day of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships got underway with aplomb as 50 riders from 31 nations took on the Women Junior Individual Time Trial with a further 64 riders from 35 nations taking part in the Men Junior Individual Time Trial.
In stark contrast to the previous day’s racing, there was nothing but blue skies as the riders rode off the start ramp in the women’s time trial, and blue was a colour that would be seen for a while as France’s Lea Curinier set a fantastic early time of 22.51 across the 13.7km course and with that, a place on the hot seat.
The Netherlands’ Leonie Bos and Sweden’s Wilma Olausson took the lead time respectively, before another Dutch rider helped to further cement the Netherlands, after yesterday’s stunning win, as time trial specialists in the form of Shirin van Anrooij who sped over the line to set a time of 22.19.
Van Anrooij was sat on the very edge of the hot seat awaiting the fates of rivals Aigul Gareeva of Russia, Sofia Collinelli of Italy and home favourite Elynor Backstedt.
Despite an earlier slip, Gareeva was motoring but her efforts almost ended in disaster as the 18-year-old Russian took a wrong turn just before the ascent finish on Parliament Street costing her around 10 seconds. Despite this her stellar effort was rewarded with the fastest time, having still managed to beat the leader van Anrooij by 3.61 seconds.
Italy’s Camilla Alessio sat in the bronze medal position to complete the live podium ahead of the last rider on the track Backstedt’s finish, but would not hold on as the British rider who finished third last year in the same event at the World Championships took third once more and with it, the bronze medal.
The men’s route took in two laps of the Harrogate circuit and 27.6km of terrain. It would turn out to be a day of almost disasters as after the women’s winner Gareeva suffered some misfortune but still managed to hold on to a lead, eventual men’s winner Antonio Tiberi suffered similar issues, albeit not of his own doing.
Coming into the first corner, the Italian suffered a mechanical and had to change his bike but this wouldn’t stop the 18 year old from putting the hammer down and setting a fantastic winning time of 38.28 – almost 8 seconds ahead of his closest rival the Netherlands’ Enzo Leijnse and another 12 seconds ahead of Germany’s Marco Brenner in third.
Early on in proceedings two British riders, Leo Hayter and Oscar Julien-Nilsson had given the home crowd something to cheer about, with Julien-Nilsson spending a little time in the hot seat before the Netherlands’ Enzo Leijnse took his spot atop of the leaderboard.
Germany’s Marco Brenner put in a wonderful performance to eventually take third place and at just 17, it’s clear that the young German will be one to watch in coming years and even as a rider to look out for in the Men Junior Road Race on Thursday 26th September.
Leijnse can be proud of a great day’s work and deserved his silver medal, but the spirited efforts of the Italian Tiberi proved too much for the Dutchman who took home the rainbow jersey amidst a few happy, disbelieving tears.