Bettini Defends World Road Race Championship
Paolo Bettini (Italy) has won the world road race championship for the second consecutive year.
Paolo Bettini (
From the start, the racing was aggressive. After just a few km, Robert Kiserlovski (
Stephane Auge (
During the fifth lap, the Italians began to apply pressure. The resulting combustion caused the peloton to split, with 50-60 riders in the first group. A two-minute gap formed between the first and second groups, with the second group falling 2:00 behind the first one. By the end of the fifth lap, the first group was 0:38 behind the leading trio.
During the sixth lap, the first group absorbed the three leaders. Ruslan Podgornyy (
Early in the eighth lap, the first group reeled in Podgornyy. The two groups nearly came together, but 24 men remained in front. They were Bobby Julich (United States); Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Norway); Kim Kirchen (Luxembourg); Jens Voigt and Marcus Burghardt (Germany); Carlos Barredo, Juan Antonio Flecha, and Joaquin Rodriguez (all from Spain); Rene Mandri (Estonia); Stijn Devolder, Philippe Gilbert, and Johan Van Summeren (all from Belgium); Matej Stare (Slovenia); Alessandro Ballan, Alessandro Bertolini, and Damiano Cunego (all from Italy); Vladimir Efimkin (Russia); Robert Gesnik and Karsten Kroon (both from The Netherlands); Simon Gerrans (Australia); Sandy Casar (France); Christian Pfannberger (Austria); Podgornyy; and Luis Felipe Laverde (Colombia). Eventually, Andriy Grivko (
Julich and the Italians drove the lead group. Behind, the Dutch led the second group. At the end of the eighth lap, the two groups were 1:45 apart.
During the 11th lap, the two groups merged. With 50 km left, Ballan attacked, and a flurry of attacks ensued. With 33 km remaining, Davide