Evans Wins Worlds Road Race
Cadel Evans (Australia), the man who has been chided for finishing second and third too often and for appearing to lack the killer instinct to win major races, is the world road race champion.
Cadel Evans (Australia), who has been chided for finishing second and third too often and for appearing to lack the killer instinct to win major races, is the world road race champion. With four km left, the Aussie showed a clean pair of wheels to eight companions to win the hilly, 19-lap, 262.2-km UCI cycling world championships road race event in Mendrisio, Switzerland in 6:56:26. Alexander Kolobnev (Russia) outsprinted Joaquin Rodriguez (Spain) for the silver medal at 0:27. Evans is the first Australian World road race champion.
Warm, fair skies greeted the riders. During the first lap, Christoph Sokoll (Austria), Matija Kvasina (Croatia), Peter Kusztor (Hungary), Jan Barta (Czech Republic), Yukiya Arashiro (Japan), and Andre Greipel (Germany) sallied off of the front. Two laps later, Mauricio Ardila (Colombia), Gorazd Stangelj (Slovenia), Volodymyr Zagorodny (Ukraine), and Oleg Melehs (Latvia) bridged up to the move. The break of the day had formed.
By the end of the sixth lap, the escapees led the field by 10 minutes. Italy and Spain, the two teams that were widely expected to control the race, went to the front and began to chase. During the next five laps, the bunch would reduce the break's advantage to six minutes.
During the 12th lap, Michele Scarponi and Giovanni Visconti (both from Italy) attacked from the peloton. Francis De Greef and Greg Van Avermaet (both from Belgium) joined the pair, as did Dani Moreno (Spain). Eventually, defending champion Alessandro Ballan (Italy), Rodriguez, Michael Albasini (Switzerland), Johnny Hoogerland (The Netherlands), and Paul Martens (Germany) bridged up to the move. A second chase group, which contained Tom Boonen (Belgium), Michael Rogers (Australia), and Kim Kirchen (Luxembourg), formed. The first chase group was 3:20 behind the leaders, with the second group at 3:59 and the peloton, which contained all of the favorites, at 5:38.
During the 13th lap, the two chase groups merged. The chasers were Ballan, Scarponi, Visconti, and Luca Paolini (all from Italy); Carlos Barredo, Juan Jose Cobo, and Rodriguez (all from Spain); Boonen, Avermaet, De Greef, and Bert De Waele (all from Belgium); Albasini, Oliver Zaugg, and Rubens Bertogliati (all from Switzerland); Rogers; Dmitri Fofonov (Kazakhstan); Sergio Paulinho (Portugal); Lars Bak (Denmark); Hoogerland; Geraint Thomas (Great Britain); Sokoll; Martens; Volodymyr Starchyk (Ukraine); Vladimir Karpets (Russia); Kirchen; Leonardo Duque (Colombia); Christophe Riblon (France); Rein Taaramae (Estonia); and Jose Rujano (Venezuela). At the end of the lap, this group was 3:28 behind the escapees and 1:14 ahead of the peloton.
After 14 laps, the gap between the chasers and the break was 1:53. During the next circuit, the Boonen-Ballan group reeled in the break. By the end of lap 17, the Boonen-Ballan group was 1:19 ahead of the peloton. Attacks in the group had created attrition. The lead group was down to 10 riders.
And then, to quote John Milton, "All hell broke loose." Stangelj attacked on the Acqua Fresca. Kirchen, Paolini, Zaugg, and Rodriguez followed him. Behind, a series of accelerations took place in the peloton. Then, Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) attacked. The resulting combustion formed a group of about 20 riders, which included all