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2009 World Championships - Elite Men's Road race
By Mark Sharon
Date: 9/27/2009
2009 World Championships - Elite Men's Road race

2009 Road World Championships -  Elite Men's  Road Race
Thunder from Down Under - Cadel Evans takes the rainbow jersey at the Elite Men's Road Race with solo effort.

Cadel Evans has secured Australia's first ever win at the UCI World Championships, arriving at the finishing line 51 seconds ahead of Russia's Alexander Kolobnev (2nd) and Spain's Joaquím  Rodriguez who joined Cadel on the podium. Samuel Sanchez and Fabian Cancellara filled out the top five finishing at 30 seconds.

Cadel Evans throws kisses to the fans as he crosses the finish line.
Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

A blistering attack by Evans on the final climb of the Torrazza di Novazzano with about 7.5 kilometers to go. Cadel came up the road on the right side passing the current chase group of Cunego, Cancellara, Sanchez ... h quickly caught and passed Kolobnev and Rodriguez who had attacked the group and opened a gap.

The Australian put in a ferocious attack out of the saddle climbing the 10% grade so fast neither Rodriguez or Kolobnev could catch his wheel as he passed. Evans opened a 20 second gap and continued to hammer over the summit. The effect on the riders behind was devastating with Ballan being dropped from the group.

Evans continued a relentless attack until he crossed the line to a warm welcome from the fans at the finish. Cancellara and Sanchez recovered in the next two kilometers and picked up the chase distancing their former break mates but unable to catch the three up front.

Arashiro leads the early break of ten... the group built up a max tilting at 12 minutes when the Italian team led the attack setting the stage for their capture. Photo © 2009 Bart Hazen

Previously, the closest the Aussies have come to a win s gold medal in the Elite Men's world road race was Robbie McEwen's silver medal in 2002 in Zolder when Rockin Robbie won silver behind the Lion King Mario Cipollini. Of course the Aussie's have all that gold and rainbow maillots they have won in track... and lets not forget the previous Junior road wins and recent U23 time trial title won by Jack Bobridge either... 

well now,  they must have a complete collection to show off in Melbourne. Speaking of which the Worlds will be held in Geelong in the Melbourne area on Cadel Evan's home turf where he will defend his title. Though Cadel thinks the parcours doesn't favor his talents. Earlier today he said that the Mendrisio circuit did and that's why he had set the race as a major target of his year.

Journeyman Marzio Bruseghin leads the large break chasing down the early break of ten riders. Photo © 2009 Bart Hazen

Until the last two laps, the race had been dominated first by a breakaway of ten which reached 10 minutes plus. On lap 12 the Italians attacked and a group of 19 riders which contained 4 of the Azzurri crew; defending champion Alessandro Ballan, Giovanni Visconti, Marzio Bruseghin and Michele Scarponi. The Italians  carved themselves a gap on 3 minutes on the peloton and another group of chasers 20 strong.

three Aussies on the front: Wesley Sulzberger on point leads the peloton in the chase of the two groups of escapees. Photo © 2009 Bart Hazen

A determined chase by the Aussies led by Stuart O'Grady, Wesley Sulzberger Mathew Hayman and Simon Clarke started closing the gap to both lead groups. The escape ad the two chase groups merged with 32 km to go just as the Italians caught the remains of the first break. The Aussies closed the gap to the two groups to 1 minute an attack by the Swiss Cancellara and Zaugg on the descent of the 17th lap brought the favorites to the leaders by the start of the last two laps and 27 km to go.

Slovenian Gorazd Stangelj then Alexandre Vinokourov each took a stab at a solo win as the final lap opened; but both were caught in a few kilometers.

Attacks on the 18th lap shed Ballan, and his troops as a group of 21 riders including Cancellara, Valverde, Evans,  Rodríguez, Samuel Sanchez, Vinokourov, Oscar Freire, Kim Kirchen, Sergio Paulinho and Ivan Basso with the first chse group at 46 seconds as they went into the final 13.8 km circuit.

When these efforts seemed to wither Cancellara he signaled to Zaugg for water on the final climb but there was none to give. Kolobonev and Rodriguez attacked as the entred the final climb and Cancellara struggled to respond. 

Nearing the summit Evans attacked... he could now sense glory and was spending most of his time out of the saddle, his lead increasing as he drove himself up the last climb. Behind him the chase was proving less determined with Cancellara once more taking control. It wasn't enough and Evans knew the win was his. Crossing the line he opted out of the two handed salute and instead blew retrained kisses to each side of the course before patting his heart. As he slowed over the line he could be seen kissing an object on a chain around his neck.

The nature of Cadel's win also came as a surprise to commentators. Evans is not noted for an attacking style, preferring instead a process of attrition, so when he attacked from a group of leaders which contained some notable one day riders the immediate assumption was that it was his team mate Simon Gerrans on the move. This should put paid to the idea that Evans is not an attacking rider.

Chapeau Cadel!

The 2009 Worlds Podium: Alexandr Kolobnev - silver, Cadel Evans - Gold and the Maglia Iridata and Joaquin Rodriguez - bronze.   Photo © 2009 Bart Hazen

UCI 2009 World Championships
Elite Men's Road Race Results

262.2 km - 6:56:26 - 37.777km/h
1 21 Evans Cadel Australia 6:56:26
2 41 Kolobnev Alexandr Russia 
- 0:27
3 16 Rodriguez Oliver Joaquin Spain  
4 17 Sanchez Gonzalez Samuel Spain  6:56:56 - 0:30
5 108 Cancellara Fabian Switzerland

Mrs. Chiara Evans was there to watch Cadel win only 3 km from their home.
Photo © 2009 Bart Hazen

6 50 Gilbert Philippe Belgium  6:57:17 - 0:51
7 101 Breschel Matti Denmark 
8 4 Cunego Damiano Italy
9 18 Valverde Belmonte Alejandro Spain
10 22 Gerrans Simon Australia 6:58:13
- 1:47
11 36 Wegmann FabianGermany 
12 59 Arvesen Kurt-Asle Norway 
13 105 Sörensen Chris Denmark 6:58:25 - 1:59
14 87 Hoogerland Johnny Netherlands 6:58:28 - 2:02
15 12 Freire Gomez Oscar Spain
16 2 Basso Ivan Italy
17 124 Cardoso Andre Fernando S. Martins Portugal  6:59:10 - 2:44
18 176 Barry Michael Canada
19 39 Ivanov Serguei Russia
20 88 Kroon Karsten Netherlands  6:59:16 - 2:50

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