Alejandro Valverde is the new world champion of cycling. The Spaniard did not flinch on the climb of the famous Gramartboden and drove the Frenchman Bardet and the surprising Canadian Woods to the finish line, the Dutchman Dumoulin returned yet, in the last instance back. No problem: Valverde left his three companions don’t have a chance, silver was for Bardet, the bronze went to the Canadian Woods. The Belgians were never eligible for the medals, Ben Hermans was the best fellow on a 23rd place.
The nice thing about world championships is that you the course as you can predict, the likely scenario was, without the slightest detour followed: the start in Kufstein was only just given, or in tabs was a large leading group. Eleven riders with little imaginative names. Unless you are the Dane Kasper Asgreen, world champion ploegentijdrijden with Quick Step Floors, to the wreath of contenders bargained for.
That eleven escapees were given a large head start offered? In the pay of the local circuit in Innsbruck was the lead of the attackers more than seventeen minutes. In the peloton, however, was not gepanikeerd. The French kept the pace high enough, also the Austrian riders wanted to be there for their own people, not an anonymous championship. The gap rose accordingly, with dribs and drabs back, front dunde the leading group with dribs and drabs.
With still four rounds to go was the pace on the long climb to Igls greatly increased, whereby the gate especially at the rear was open. And with victims: for world champion Peter Sagan was this trail clearly too high, the Slovaak let the pack ride without really insisting. But also within the Belgian camp was the havoc large. Both for Tiesj Benoot as for Serge Pauwels went to the front too quickly. Surprising and disappointing.
Italians and Van Avermaet open final
Those who cannot go to the slaughter wanted to be led, had asked the fry. And that realized the Italians. With sixty kilometers to go, they opened the final with an attack of Dario Cataldo, incorporated by The Marchi and Kwiatkowski. But the peloton did not commit, so with two ‘large’ rounds, everything will be repeated fell. In the meantime, reason four riders were still five minutes ahead of the peloton.
Also Greg Van Avermaet realized that he had to attack. The reigning olympic champion chose the kasseiklimmetje in the town in order to do his thing, the Italian Caruso worked, the Spaniard Fraile. The peloton didn’t commit, an olympic champion and patented winner as Van Avermaet will not let you drive away. It was hard for a handful of seconds, a number of riders tried on the long ascent to Igls the leap forward in the direction Of the Team and co as a result that almost the whole platoon up on the wheel of Van Avermaet was driven.
It was the prelude to a magnificent finale with started to sling the necessary attacks with but one goal: the isolate of Alaphilippe. But the French were given the necessary support of the Spaniards in their attempt to bring the game to check. In the meantime, stood by the door at the back still open: Wout Poels, ex-world champion Kwiatkowski, Simon Yates… one by one, the top riders are thrown overboard.
At the start of the last round was all to be repeated: Asgreen and Staeke-Langen, remained at the front, the Spaniards controlled the peloton. But Italy clearly had another plan. The Squadra went into the block at the head of the peloton, with the aim to accelerate the pace systematically to drive. This Was the preparation of the coup of Nibali and/or Moscon?
The Italian pace demanded victims: Tim Wellens solved quickly the role of the platoon, the Belgians had to rely on Teuns, Van Avermaet, Hermans and the surprising Meurisse. The first serious attack was from Kruijswijk, Hermans followed quickly. The Dutch kept attacking. After Kruijswijk was the turn of Sam Oomen to the aanvalstrom drumming, tweeëntig kilometers from the top of the finish line were the last escapees at the time that the rear also Greg Van Avermaet was. Tension asset, especially when Valgren Andersen the long ascent used to for the tired peloton to go for a drive.
What remained was the Höll, the famous climb to Gramartboden. Michael Valgren Andersen, winner of the Omloop het Nieuwsblad, and began to head to the famous climb, but France took the contest firmly in the hands. Alaphilippe made his troops work, in Valverde, Moscon, and Woods stole their trolley. Teuns was the last fellow who played the role had to solve. Oddly enough it was Bardet who is the race conducted on behalf of the French but his effort was taken over by the Canadian Woods. Only two riders were unleashed Canadian follow: Bardet and Alejandro Valverde, the Dutchman Dumoulin was the only one that the trio still within shot loved. The Dutchman turned in two miles back in the forefront of the competition. What followed was a blistering denouement with Valverde as the deserved winner for Bardet and Woods!