2019 UCI World Road Championship
Spanish champion from Movistar Team hampered by rainy, cold weather in tough Worlds, as Colombian finishes into main group behind new jersey holder Mads Pedersen (DEN / TFS).
23-year-old Dane Mads Pedersen (TFS) claimed Sunday’s victory at the 2019 UCI Elite Men’s World Road Race Championships after a grueling race in Yorkshire, over 260km under relentless rain and cold weather which kept three quarters of the day’s peloton from reaching the line in Harrogate.
Pedersen was the strongest into an agonic sprint, ahead of Matteo Trentin (ITA / MTS, silver) and Stefan Küng (SUI / GFC, bronze), after the three left behind big favourite Mathieu van der Poel (NED / COC), who cracked despite his strong, decisive attack just over two laps before the end, which left behind a main bunch including Carlos Betancur, 14th following a couple of good moves off the front.
The race for the Movistar Team riders -which saw Nairo Quintana and Richard Carapaz joining the morning break– was nevertheless overshadowed by a DNF for the former champion, Alejandro Valverde, who was severely affected by the tough weather conditions and forced to abandon with just over six laps left.
“I want to extend my apologies to my team-mates and everyone in Spain,” were the Murcian’s words, the race still to finish. “I was completely soaked, unable to get warm, and told my team-mates I couldn’t carry on. Everyone already knew it was going to be a tough Worlds, and this weather made it even worse.”
Other than Betancur, and amongse the eleven Blues taking the start with their national teams on Sunday, another two team-mates finish: Andrey Amador (39th), about eight minutes after Pedersen, and Imanol Erviti (44th), nearly fifteen minutes behind.
Cover picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport