That was one the most thrilling races I’ve seen in a long, long time! I never doubted that it would come down to a bunch kick, but thought for sure that this flat course would make it very hard to stay wake to see the end. I’m happy to be wrong when we’re treated to a spectacle like this. If that doesn’t pump you up and make you want to race your bike, nothing will!
Nearly every team was trying to make the race as hard as possible so they didn’t deliver Cavendish to the finish line. When the first significant break went at 140kms (with van Summeren, Clarke, etc) I thought it was a big mistake that Wiggins hesitated and didn’t go with them. Not that it was ever going to stay away, but it did put a lot of pressure on the GB team to control the gap and chase it down. They were the ones with everything to loose.
Attacks were coming from everywhere trying to weaken the British team in the final laps. Seeing Wiggins stringing out the bunch for the final ~10km was phenomenal. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the Italians tried to swarm the British but no one could get around him!
When the Aussies got up to the front with 3.5kms remaining I was screaming at the tv, “It’s too early guys!!! Too early!”. They weren’t listening and got overtaken by the Germans at 2km remaining, but still managed to hold onto a strong position heading into the final corner.
Would Renshaw Have Made A Difference?
I still believe Renshaw deserved to make the selection and the difference between gold and silver was not about tactics or strength, but about a split second timing. Hayman and Haussler did a terrific job in their leadout but at the end of the day it was up to Gossy to finish it off. Maybe if he didn’t hesitate to begin his sprint? Maybe if he had been wearing a skinsuit and plastic wrap over his helmet he would have won? We could argue until we’re blue in the face, but I don’t think the result would have been any different.
The confidence and determination of two non-traditional cycling nations, Great Britain and the Australia, was absolutely amazing to watch last night. I’d love to be a fly on the wall to hear what the Italians, Belgians, and Dutch were saying after the race.
Great Britain rode the strongest race and Cavendish demonstrated why he’s the best in the world on this type of course. Gossy showed enormous potential in a breakthrough year, but Britain and Cavendish rode the best race and left no question marks. For them to make a plan, announce it to the world, and deliver on it is incredible.
When you look at the past three World Championships, it’s been an amazing run. Cadel with gold in ’09, Davis with bronze in ’10, and Goss with silver in ’11. That’s something to be proud of!
Last but not least, I’d like to congratulate local Brisbanite Beau Chenery for photographing his first major road race event and thank him for sending in his excellent photos. He was inspired by seeing Veeral Patel pack up and follow his dream of becoming a photographer and I admire what you’ve done Beau. Good on ya!
1 Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) 5:40:27
2 Matthew Harley Goss (Australia)
3 André Greipel (Germany)
4 Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)
5 Jurgen Roelandts (Belgium)
6 Romain Feillu (France)
7 Borut Bozic (Slovenia)
8 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)
9 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spain)
10 Tyler Farrar (United States Of America)