World ITT Championships
Portuguese specialist from Movistar Team finishes just under a minute off medal places, takes third top-ten finish at elite Worlds after Ponferrada ’14 (7th) and Bergen ’17 (4th)
Rohan Dennis (BMC) claimed his first ever elite road rainbow jersey in Innsbruck (Austria) by dominating the 52.5km men’s ITT World Championships course, putting a 1’21” gap on the silver medal. The fight for second place, thought, was tight as Tom Dumoulin (SUN) barely improved Victor Campenaerts’ (LTS) result by few hundredths of a second.
Behind them, and progressing impressively well, finished an excellent Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team). The rider from the Portuguese national team, only the 9th quickest time after the flat initial section -37″ behind Dennis at the 16km check-, improved strongly after the tough climb to Gnadenwald to jump into 6th after 35km, 2′ behind Dennis and 1′ after Dumoulin – yet only 2″ behind fifth place and 17″ off the time by Michal Kwiatkowski (SKY), eventually fourth. Nelson improved even further against the Polish allrounder at the last section, overtaking Jonathan Castroviejo (SKY) in the process to take 5th, 2’14” in arrears of Dennis.
Oliveira’s result today marks his second top-5 finish in the ITT Worlds, only twelve months after his 4th spot in Bergen, and Portugal’s third top-ten result in the race, all of them obtained by the Movistar Team member -7th in Ponferrada, 2014-. The other two Blue members racing on Wednesday, Marc Soler and Eduardo Sepúlveda, finished in 22nd and 45th respectively.
Nelson Oliveira (via Portuguese federation): “I felt quite well over the course – I think the condition was really good before coming to Austria and I gave it my maximum effort; there’s not much I think I can improve from this so, even if it’s only for that, I must feel satisfied with today’s effort. I knew that the first part of the course was going to be more difficult for me, compared to other specialists, but I also knew that I had to save some legs for the climb and the last part. I feel like I measured my efforts well today. I’ve proven again I’m up there with the top riders in this discipline, and I’ll keep on dreaming about those medals in the next few years.”