Mads Pederson Wins Worlds In Battle Of Attrition, Conditions

Denmark's Mads Pedersen sprung a huge surprise when he emerged from a rain-drenched Yorkshire road race with cycling's world title on Sunday.

Join Pro to access over 100 world class events live and on-demand

After 261km and over 6 hours and 27 minutes of exhausting racing in hostile conditions that took a huge toll on the field, the 23-year-old unleashed an astonishing late burst. He left a devastated Italian Matteo Trentin and Swiss rider Stefan Kung trailing in the silver and bronze positions.

"That's an unbelievable day, I didn't expect this morning," said the Leopard-Trek team rider, who enjoyed great success at under-23 level.

"It was just survive, survive, survive. Then hope for the best in the sprint," said Pedersen, who was far from favourite to beat Italian 30-year-old Trentin, usually a crack in the sprints.

"When I saw the finish line, I thought, 'anything can happen'," he said.

The race was shortened Sunday morning as relentless overnight rain took its toll on the narrow roads through the Yorkshire dales, flooding an iconic hilly section of the route that featured in the 2014 Tour de France which was cut out altogether.

In the brutal conditions, only 46 of the 182 starters crossed the finish line.

The rain also turned the Harrogate fan park into a quagmire and grounded the television helicopters.

Washed Out

Dutch 24-year-old Mathieu van der Poel will have a hard time forgetting the Yorkshire weather too.

The bookies pre-race favourite had looked set for victory with a lap to go but cracked, suddenly and spectacularly.

"You have to keep in front, keep focussed and keep going," Pedersen explained.

Three-time world champion and cycling superstar Peter Sagan left his pursuit too late as the Slovak tried to bridge the gap with 5km remaining.

"Oh well," said the nonchalant Sagan, who finished fifth and could have become the first ever four-time world road race champion.

"(It was a) good decision for these guys to attack. For me I thought it was too far to go," said Sagan of the attack led from 31km out by Italian Ineos rider Gianni Moscon, who came fourth.

"The Germans and Belgians thought they would control the race, but it didn't happen like that."

The top British rider on the day was Ineos youngster Tao Geoghegan Hart, who slacked off at the finish to 2min 20sec to finish an honourable 26th.

"Seriously harsh. Maybe just a little too hard in the end," said the 24-year-old from Hackney.

When asked if he took something away from the race he replied: "I don't think so".

Tough Day For Thomas

The 2018 Tour de France champion took part even though he was off form, and dropped out after a few of the nine laps of the treacherous Harrogate circuit.

"Wet, cold and not quite the feeling in the legs that I hoped for. It was a tough day out there," said the affable Welshman.

"It was kind of what I was expecting. I'd come here to ride for the boys. It's not a nice feeling - in a home World Championships," added the Ineos man.

"We rode well together. The atmosphere, the crowd was really good. This is something we'll remember for sure."

A star-studded field struggled to cope with the rain.

Among the early victims, defending world champion Alejandro Valverde cut a sorry figure as he pulled out with 100km to go.

"That was just crazy," said the outgoing champion Valverde who clinched a four-way struggle at Innsbruck in 2018.

"I just felt beaten and I told my teammates I wouldn't be able to keep up," said the 39-year-old, who looked visibly haggard despite pulling out with 100km to go.

Ireland's Dan Martin and Belgian Philippe Gilbert, world champion in 2012 and reigning Vuelta champion Primoz Roglic of Slovenia, all dropped out.

Transgender Athlete Defends Her Place In Women's Cycling

Transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon has defended her right to compete in women's sport despite accepting trans athletes may retain a physical advantage over their rivals.   

Taylor Phinney Retires From Professional Cycling

null

This weekend in Japan,  Taylor Phinney will zip up his EF Education First kit for the last time. He’ll pin on his numbers, and clip in for what is the final professional race of  a career that’s been beautiful, frustrating, and everything in between.  From the Olympics to the Tour de France to the cobblestones of Roubaix, there’s no one who’s done it quite like Taylor Phinney. He won numerous junior titles on the track and competed in the individual pursuit at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, finished fourth in the road race and time trial at the 2012 London Olympics four years later, completed two Tours de France and last season came in eighth at Paris-Roubaix, his favorite race. He fought back from a career-threatening leg break sustained in 2014, and along the way began to ponder a life outside of professional racing. Eventually, the side of him hoping to explore art and music, the side of him hoping to dig deeper into a place rather than a suitcase… that side won out. We talked to Phinney about his decision to move on from road racing, how he reconciles the expectations held by others for his cycling career with his own ambitions and dreams, and what’s next.   

Five Stages That Will Define The 2020 Tour de France

The 2020 Tour de France route unveiled in Paris on Tuesday set pulses racing with a host of mouth-watering stages in prospect. Here, we present five stages that will define the race.

Injury, Age Put Froome In Doubt For 2020 Tour de France Bid

A course made up of 29 lung-busting climbs would appear to be tailor-made for Chris Froome but the four-time champion admitted on Tuesday that he may not even be on the start line at the 2020 Tour de France.

Route Reveal: No Easy Stages In Mountainous 2020 Tour de France

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The 2020 Tour de France promises to be one for the climbers after organisers revealed a route on Tuesday which includes 29 high altitude ascents and five summit finishes including the individual time trial.

Mountains Galore in 2020 Tour de France, According To Course Designer

The 2020 Tour de France will be as mountainous and open to attacks as this year's vintage edition, the race designer hinted to AFP a day ahead of the official Grande Boucle route unveiling.

Bauke Mollema Wins Il Lombardia With Long Range Attack

Dutch rider Bauke Mollema crossed the line alone on the banks of Lake Como taking victory ahead of the race favourites with a solo break from 20km in cycling's season-ending Tour of Lombardy on Saturday.

Grand Tour Winers Bernal, Roglic To Clash At Il Lombardia

null

Tour de France champion Egan Bernal and Vuelta a Espana winner Primoz Roglic have carried their fine form into this week's Italian classics culminating in Saturday's season-ending Giro di Lombardia.

Bernal, Sosa Dominate Gran Piemonte In One-Two Finish

null

Tour de France champion Egan Bernal made a solo break to win Thursday's Gran Piemonte semi-classic race through the north of Italy, to warm up for this weekend's season-ending Giro di Lombardia.

7 Favorites And Underdogs For Il Lombardia 2019

null

The startlist for the final monument of the season, Il Lombardia, features grand tour winners from 2019, the Liege-Bastogne-Liege champion, and countless other contenders.