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Worlds’14 Under-23 Men’s TT: Flakemore By A Feather!

Race report: Well, if you’re going to snatch a last gasp world title you might as well do it by the narrowest margin you can manage. Rainbow-banded joy for Australia’s Campbell Flakemore, as the luck of the Irish deserted another pre-race favorite, Ryan Mullen. The winner’s advantage? 0.48 seconds!

Flakemore went off third from last of the 63 starters, and produced a perfectly weighted ride to make up a whopping 20-second deficit from the second time check. That he overhauled Mullen by such a ludicrously close margin was one thing; knowing last man out Stefan Kueng of Switzerland was within spitting distance meant the Under-23 men’s TT went to the wire.

Ultimately, it was the immaculately sculpted icing on a perfectly baked cake for Australia. Macey Stewart and Anna-Leeza Hull took gold and bronze in the Junior Women’s TT this morning, with another Aussie – Alex Manly – in fourth. The silver went to Denmark’s Pernille Mathiesen. Three medals from six is a heck of a return for one nation off two events.

Macey Stewart kicked the day off perfectly for the Aussies with gold in the Junior Women’s TT

How it went down
Of course, on any given day you can have a list of chronomen (and women) that you think should do well, but a Worlds Time Trial is a snapshot. It’s like a bank statement just before you’ve paid your rent. It’s just a moment in time and not necessarily a true reflection of the state of affairs.

We’ve had a few results at the Under-23 men’s TT, that look odd when you turn your mind back. I don’t mean that in a disparaging way, or implying that there were smoke, mirrors and noxious chemicals involved.

The year that the recently retired Thor Hushovd won this title (1998), he beat Cadel Evans into ninth, and put more than a minute into Marco Pinotti and Dave Zabriskie who were both outside the top ten, which is something that just wouldn’t be expected a few years later.

Fabian Cancellara’s best was a silver behind Evgeni Petrov at Plouay in 2000, although he was junior champion twice. Tony Martin is also notably absent from the roll of honour. Some riders just develop or focus on different things. Marcel Kittel took bronze behind Taylor Phinney and Luke Durbridge in Melbourne in 2010, while Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands was only seventh. Kittel is now one of the premier sprinters in the world and Dumoulin is getting up to the absolute top level in time trials.

One question asked every year in this event is whether someone has matured enough to take a step up. Luke Durbridge won in 2011 after a silver the previous year. His fellow Aussie Damien Howson took the title last year after a bronze in Valkenburg in 2012.

In the ‘stepping up’ category today were Flakemore (4th last year), Kueng (6th), Mullen (7th), Louis Meintjes (25th for South Africa but fresh off finishing the Vuelta) and Davide Martinelli from Italy who is now a stagiaire for Team Sky (29th last time out).

Martinelli certainly has the chops for a TT – he’s a multiple junior and under-23 champion in the discipline in Italy – but the smart money was lying on Mullen and Flakemore.

Grey-dappled skies sighed gloomily above Ponferrada for the 26km test. West-south-west out of the city, dropping down before a gradual climb to halfway after the race turned north and east. Then a sharp kicker of a climb as the route headed south and to the finish. It was a course, surely, for a powerhouse, rather than someone who is particularly noticeable in the hills.

Turkey’s Ahmet Orkun was first down the ramp, but wouldn’t trouble the podium later on. The roads were still puddled a little as he set off, but the skies looked ominous.

A very serious early marker was then set by the Portugese rider Rafael Reis, who stormed home in 43.09, allowing him to take up medium-term occupancy of the hot seat. James Oram from New Zealand, and Louis Meintjes (South Africa) then fell short, which may have come as a surprise to some, before Mullen embarked on a thunderous ride as the rain started to come down.

Mullen was fastest at the two intermediate checkpoints, and rounded it off with a brilliant 43.50 finish, knocking Reis off top spot.

Mullen set the time to beat

Taylor Eisenhart (USA) was over 2.30 down but Flakemore was just behind him, unleashing his full might on the road. The second half of the race he produced will have been watched with great fascination from the lofty heights of the World Tour.

It was agonising for Mullen, but elation for the Australian … or it was after he’d regained his composure after such a huge effort.

Flakemore in full flight – next step, World Tour?

Germany’s Max Schachmann put in a good ride for a final fifth position, but arguably the biggest disappointment on the day was Martinelli – second-last to leave the start house, he could only manage 19th, nearly two minutes off the pace.

Stefan Kueng was last off, and was producing a fine ride. While he ovehauled Reis for the podium, he ultimately came in nine seconds too late for top spot. Enough for a bronze medal for the Swiss rider.


The top eight men were within 48 seconds of each other, so it was a fantastic spectacle.

Keep it dialled to Pez for all the latest from Ponferrada.

U/23 Mens TT Results:
1 Campbell Flakemore (Australia) 0:43:49.94
2 Ryan Mullen (Ireland) 0:00:00.48
3 Stefan Kueng (Switzerland) 0:00:09.22
4 Rafael Ferreira Reis (Portugal) 0:00:19.32
5 Maximilian Schachmann (Germany) 0:00:37.84
6 Jonathan Dibben (Great Britain) 0:00:38.28
7 Andreas Vangstad (Norway) 0:00:44.88
8 Louis Meintjes (South Africa) 0:00:48.36
9 Frederik Frison (Belgium) 0:01:07.22
10 James Oram (New Zealand) 0:01:09.57
11 Lukas Postlberger (Austria) 0:01:25.43
12 Nils Politt (Germany) 0:01:27.68
13 Viktor Manakov (Russian Federation) 0:01:28.62
14 Steven Lammertink (Netherlands) 0:01:38.56
15 Thery Schir (Switzerland) 0:01:44.31
16 Soren Kragh Andersen (Denmark) 0:01:44.42
17 Alex Kirsch (Luxembourg) 0:01:45.57
18 Juan Camacho Del Fresno (Spain) 0:01:46.03
19 Davide Martinelli (Italy) 0:01:55.32
20 Alexander Evtushenko (Russian Federation) 0:01:55.33
21 Mario Gonzalez Salas (Spain) 0:01:55.74
22 Jan Marcus Faaglum Karlsson (Sweden) 0:01:57.38
23 Robin Carpenter (United States Of America) 0:01:57.53
24 Scott Davies (Great Britain) 0:02:01.65
25 Ignacio Prado (Mexico) 0:02:02.28
26 Dion Smith (New Zealand) 0:02:05.42
27 Jose Luis Rodriguez (Chile) 0:02:06.43
28 Willem Jakobus Smit (South Africa) 0:02:09.83
29 Oleg Zemlyakov (Kazakhstan) 0:02:10.22
30 Viktor Okishev (Kazakhstan) 0:02:17.72
31 Ruben Pols (Belgium) 0:02:23.19
32 Tom Bohli (Switzerland) 0:02:24.75
33 Marlen Zmorka (Ukraine) 0:02:27.91
34 Gregor Muhlberger (Austria) 0:02:36.66
35 Taylor Eisenhart (United States Of America) 0:02:37.39
36 Miguel Angel Lopez (Colombia) 0:02:37.49
37 Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Poland) 0:02:37.62
38 Ioannis Spanopoulos (Greece) 0:02:40.64
39 Carlos Ramirez (Colombia) 0:02:56.88
40 Remi Cavagna (France) 0:02:58.82
41 Seid Lizde (Italy) 0:03:08.64
42 Facundo Lezica (Argentina) 0:03:12.95
43 Casper Von Folsach (Denmark) 0:03:22.33
44 Bruno Maltar (Croatia) 0:03:31.11
45 David Per (Slovenia) 0:03:33.48
46 Bruno Armirail (France) 0:03:54.61
47 Hugo Angel Velazquez (Argentina) 0:04:03.42
48 Anasse Ait El Abdia (Morocco) 0:04:06.57
49 Ahmet Orken (Turkey) 0:04:10.13
50 Abderrahmane Mansouri (Algeria) 0:04:34.30
51 Valens Ndayisenga (Rwanda) 0:04:38.33
52 Dmitriy Rive (Kazakhstan) 0:04:43.94
53 Salaheddine Mraouni (Morocco) 0:04:47.71
54 Pontus Kastemyr (Sweden) 0:04:48.16
55 Tural Isgandarov (Azerbaijan) 0:04:59.52
56 Adil Barbari (Algeria) 0:05:01.17
57 Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Rwanda) 0:05:04.25
58 Feritcan Samli (Turkey) 0:05:14.91
59 Pablo Cruz (Honduras) 0:06:01.42
60 Szabolcs Sebestyen (Romania) 0:06:29.81
61 Shern Mun Benedict Lee (Singapore) 0:07:21.47
62 Diego Hossfeldt (Qatar) 0:07:41.77
63 Victor Cartin (Republic of Moldova) 0:09:56.68

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