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by Shane Stokes
September 23, 2017
Cosnefroy wins under 23 world road race championship; Pirrone adds junior road race title to time trial gold; Benfatto wins again at Tour of China II; Degenkolb hospitalized as health issues continue; Hammer series expands in 2018 with Hammer Stavanger; ‘Screw the naysayers’: Chloe Hosking ready to make an impact at Worlds; Deignan: I wanted to be on the startline to end the season on my own terms; Ride with Marianne Vos at the Holden Giro della Donna; Video: Riding a bike blind – Daniel Kish’s echolocation in action
Confounding predictions of a bunch sprint, France’s Benoit Cosnefroy took victory in the world under 23 road race championship on Friday, outsprinting Germany’s Lennard Kämna at the end of the 191 kilometre race. The duo finished three seconds clear of a chasing group, which had gradually inched closer but which ran out of time before the finish.
Denmark’s Michael Carbel Svendgaard outsprinted Oliver Wood (Great Britain) , Vincenzo Albanese (Italy) and the rest for bronze. “I had a brilliant level of team support that really helped me to save my energy right up to the last lap,” said Cosnefroy.
“I knew that a World Championships is often won on the last lap and I waited right until then. I was worried about using up energy by going full out on the descent, but then I said to myself, you might as well try, you don’t want to leave this race with any regrets. I said to myself I had to try with the break, it was one chance out of two. Winning is just incredible.”
The duo’s success resurrected the debate about allowing WorldTour riders compete in the Under 23 event. Cosnefroy is part of the Ag2r La Mondiale setup since August, and last weekend won the GP d’Isbergues. Kämna is a pro with Team Sunweb, rode the recent Vuelta a España and was part of the gold medal-winning squad in last Sunday’s team time trial.
The day was marked by several breakaways, with Kämna bridging across to the front group on the final lap and then pushing ahead alone the last time up Salmon Hill. Cosnefroy was in the chase group and got clear on the descent, bridging across and then working with the German to hold off the hard-chasing group behind. The gap was falling all the way to the line, but they had enough of an advantage to hold on.