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Worlds’08 U23 Men’s TT: Gold for Italy

Race Report : This year’s World Championships in Varese starts off down the ramp today with the Men’s Under 23 time trial, Italy’s Adriano Malori was the last man off and the favorite, young Cameron Meyer from Australia nearly ruined their day, but the Italian came up with the goods.

***See all the Worlds’ action live via internet at UniversalSports.com***

The Under 23 time trial is the perfect place for an up-and-coming young rider to show his wares to prospective Pro teams, although these days you could say they should be doing the business by this age and it’s the juniors that the teams are looking at…although a World Championship is a nice thing to have whatever.

The course is an undulating 33.5 kilometers on a figure of eight that heads out from the Varese-Mapei cycling stadium towards Casciago on a small circuit then back to Varese to start the big loop to Brinzio and then back to the Stadium. The highest point on the circuit is 565 meters, but the start/finish is at 401 meters, so it’s not mountainous.

And They’re Off!
The early riders set off under cloudy skies, but its dry and not too cold, after seeing the fancy start houses for the Grand Tours the one they have here seems small and narrow, hardly enough room the rider and the man with the watch, I can see someone falling off!

These lovely ladies were waiting for the podium finishers.

Tejay Van Garderen from the U.S. sets the fastest time at the early time check at 8.5 kilometers with a time of 10 minutes 55 seconds, but there is along way to the finish on the damp roads around Varese. Italian commentator, Davide Cassani looks as though he would rather be somewhere else, Wrapped up in a big coat and a face like a wet weekend! The Belgian team is lucky enough to have the Quick-Step team bus to warm up next too, as the G.B. team has the Garmin bus.

David Veilleux from Canada sets the time to beat at the finish of 43 minutes 44 seconds, but as he was only the third rider off there are due to be changes. According to Cassani, the Italian rider; Adriano Malori is the favorite, he is also last man off, the Italians are not biased, but when British rider; Russell Hampton starts off we are told the life story of Max Sciandri who is the G.B. team manager and half Italian and lives in the area too!

Cameron Meyer rode a sterling time trial today to finish on the podium in 3rd.

Australian Cameron Meyer has laid down the best times after about half the riders have finished, he led at all the time checks and has a finishing time of 42 minutes 40 seconds, his brother Travis is also here, but is a few minutes slower.

Germany’s Patrick Gretsch was fast, but couldn’t withstand the charge of the Italian favorite, Malori.

Italian rider, Stefano Borci is going well to be faster than Meyer at the last time check as Dutch rider, Dennis Van Winden, takes the wrong side of the road and meets some team cars coming the other way, it’s nearly the end of his cycling career. Big Italian star, Adriano Malori, who is Italian national and European TT champ is interviewed for TV and then sets off, no pressure on him then!

So all the riders are out on the road and Andreas Henig (Germany) pushes into second place with a time of 43 minutes and 9 seconds, as a very young looking Meyer sits in the leader’s seat waiting to find out if he will be a World Champion.

Adriano Malori was the man to beat today, and he showed why, as he blitzed the course to win by almost a minute.

Malori goes into first place at the first time check, faster than German rider, Gretsch and 13 seconds faster than Meyer. The other Italian, Borchi, finishes with a time of 42:59 taking second place at this point. Peter Stetina (U.S.A.) puts in a great time of 43:00 for third, but at this point the fastmen Gretsch and Malori are still out there.

Patrick Gretsch

First Time Check (8 km)
1 Adriano Malori (Italy) 10.26.44
2 Patrick Gretsch (Germany) 10.30.54
3 Cameron Meyer (Australia) 10.39.76
4 Dmitry Sokolov (Russia) same
5 Tony Gallopin (France) 10.45.73

The Italians think they have the winner with Malori as he goes through the second time check fastest, at the finish we have a new second place from Swiss rider Marcel Wyss with a time of 42:47 he had been getting faster through the day as he was second fastest to Meyer at the last time check.

Marcel Wyss came oh so close to Meyer’s last podium spot, but had to settle for 4th.

Malori went fastest at the last time check as the Italians go crazy. Russian rider Sokolov crashes on one of the bends as Gretsch records the fastest finish time (so far) of 42:25 and we just have to wait for the Italian; Malori to come in.

Last Time Check (23 km)
1 Adriano Malori (Italy) 30.33.59
2 Patrick Gretsch (Germany) 30.55.71
3 Cameron Meyer (Australia) 31.19.38
4 Marcel Wyss (Switzerland) 31.23.84
5 Stefano Borchi (Italy) 31.33.06

Sokolov comes in on his spare bike with a disappointing time, he had been at the same time as Meyer at the first check. The mother of Malori is now being interviewed on RAI TV, she seems to think her son has done it and he has as he comes home in 41 minutes 35 seconds, he is immediately mobbed by everyone.

Malori charges down the finishing straight into Mapei Stadium.

First Gold to Italy and the locals are very happy, third placed; Cameron Meyer did a marvelous ride and will surely be the next big thing to come out of Australia, tomorrow we have the woman’s TT over 25 kilometers, so stay PEZ for all the action.

It wouldn’t be a Worlds podium without a sampling of the gold.

World Under 23 TT Championship Result :
1Є Adriano Malori (Italy) 41.35.98
2Є Patrick Gretsch (Germany) 42.25.65
3Є Cameron Meyer (Australia) 42.40.34
4Є Marcel Wyss (Switzerland) 42.47.54
5Є Stefano Borchi (Italy) 42.59.00
6Є Peter Stetina (U.S.A.) 43.00.59
7Є Andreas Henig (Germany) 43.09.69
8Є Jaime Suaza (Colombia) 43.16.42
9Є Mykhaylo Kononenko (Ukraine) 43.24.94
10Є Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Colombia) 43.25.10

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