Under 23 road race photo gallery, by Luc Claessen>>

Under 23 road race photo gallery, by Graham Watson>>

Colombian climbing specialist Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo outwitted the sprinters to take a well-earned if unexpected victory in the under-23 men?s road-race on Saturday. Britain?s Ben Swift rode strongly throughout to take a fine fourth place.

Duarte Arevelo certainly didn’t do it the easy way, going clear in the final kilometre after forming part of the lead groups for most of the 173.5 kilometre race.

Second – less than a second back – was Italian Simone Ponzi, who crossed the line hammering his handlebars in frustration at having come so close to success on home soil. Third in the chaotic bunch sprint was German John Degenkolb, with GB?s Ben Swift taking fourth.

The 22-year-old Duarte Arevalo was in the initial 11-man group that went clear on the second lap, then made the split with three laps to go when he got away with Degenkolb, German Dominik Nerz, and the Italians Daniel Oss and Damiano Caruso.

Even when it started to regroup on the final lap, Duarte Arevalo tucked himself away.

When the attacks failed to really materialise on the final climb, Duarte Arevalo waited until the run-in to Varese, launching his move in the final kilometre and holding off the rest of a disorganised chase group.

Big losers on the day were the Italians, with three riders – more than any other nation – in the lead group in the last kilometre but still unable to clinch gold. Duarte Arevalo?s move caught the home side napping – and they weren?t the only ones.

?I am very pleased because I felt very strong in the race, and 500 metres from the line I went for it because I knew I would lose in a sprint,? Duarte Arevalo explained.

?I clung on and got there, but only just. It?s a great result because I had felt strong in the race and I?ve been training specifically for this race for the last three months.?

Duarte Arevalo had a brief career in the professional ranks, riding in 2007 for the Italian team with the longest name in the peloton – Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Selle Italia – before quitting mid-season.

However, he got homesick, returned to Colombia and then signed for VC Pomme – Dan Martin?s old team – this spring. The Colombian rider?s comeback has proved seriously successful.

It was a thrilling race from start to finish ? and presented a strong case for race radios, barred in U-23 races, to be banned at all levels.

A powerful-looking group of 11 swelled to 24 at one stage – with Swift bridging across at one point – with a strong representation from the home Italian team.

Three laps from the finish Duarte Arevalo?s group of five went clear, but

then Swift reacted in the nick of name, charging across with Cyril Gautier of France.

For a long time Swift and Gautier were in no-man?s land between the five ahead and the bunch, but the Briton persisted. Finally the break of five began to be visible at the end of each straightaway, and finally Gautier and Swift got across.

And that was when the race really came alive because Ireland’s Daniel Martin attacked from the second group and quickly started to close the gap. The only surprise was that no one ? particularly the Australians ? went with him, leaving him to chase by himself.

When they got to the final hill, all eyes were on the back of the front group, expecting Martin to come round the corner any moment.

But the Irishman was not there. Instead Rui Costa of Portugal and Egor Silin of Russia got across and lifted the pace.

On the descent and run-in, the Dutchman Dennis Van Winden got across to make it ten at the front inside the final kilometre. Martin had been swallowed up, presumably paying for his epic, heroic efforts.

Duarte didn’t wait for the sprint to open up and caught the three Italians in the group cold.

Once he was clear, that was it. Ponzi of Italy tried to get on terms but it was too late.

Swift opened his sprint up and looked good for a medal but was pipped over the line by the German.

But the rider from Rotherham – set to join the Russian Katyusha pro team next season – rode an excellent race, looking strong and always alert. If anything he paid for the fact he was left to do more than his fair share of the chasing when getting across to the leaders.

MEN?S U-23 ROAD-RACE RESULTS

1 Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Colombia) 173.5km in 4hr 17min 02sec

2 Simone Ponzi (Italy)

3 John Degenkolb (Germany)

4 Ben Swift (Great Britain)

5 Rui Costa (Portugal)

6 Cyril Gautier (France)

7 Egor Silin (Russia) all same time

8 Daniel Oss (Italy) at 5sec

9 Dennis Van Winden (Holland) at 7sec

10 Damiano Caruso (Italy) at 12sec

GB

77 Jonathan Bellis (GB) at 5min 23sec

88 Jonathan McEvoy (GB) at 7min 32sec

DNF: Alex Dowsett (GB)

Peter Kennaugh

World Championships 2008Ben Swift on his way to a fine fourth

World Championships 2008Fabio Andres Duarte Arvalo wins

Photos by Graham Watson

LIVE COVERAGE AS IT HAPPENED

Scroll down and read upwards to see how the race unfolded

THE LAST LAP

15.31pm LAST KILOMETRE

Duarte gets it for Colombia. Swift fourth.

Duarte of Colombia into the last kilometre clear.

Van Winden gets across. Ten to fight it out. Three Italians in there.

Sillin of Russia attacks for a long one with 800m to go.

15.31pm

Now a Dutchman, Dennis Van Winden, is riding across to the front nine. And behind him is a Belgian, Jan Bakelandts.

15.30pm NINE IN THE LEAD

Oss, Caruso, Ponzi (all Italy)

Duarte (Colombia)

Swift (Great Britain)

Sillin (Russia)

Costa (Portugal)

Degenkolb (Germany)

Gautier (France)

15.28pm

The big puzzler is what on earth happened to Daniel Martin of Ireland. One minute he was closing in on the front six. Then suddenly Rui Costa of Portugal was across to the front group and since then, we’ve not seen Martin at all.

15.26pm

Big attack from Gautier of France, matched by Duarte of Colombia.

They get a gap.

15.25pm

The other rider to get across to the front group is the Russian Egor Silin. And another Italian has come across – Simone Ponzi.

Swift is in there at the back of what is now a nine-man group.

15.24pm

The Portuguese rider Rui Costa is one of two who got across to the front six. Martin seems to have disappeared.

Rui Costa puts on the pressure at the front.

15.23pm

The time check is saying 36 seconds to Dan Martin, but there’s a group coming across to the front six. Where on earth did they come from?

15.22pm

Swift will probably want to wait for the sprint now. He has to watch the attacks though. Caruso is at the back, keeping everyone ahead of him. He is the danger man.

15.21pm

Martin is at the bottom of the climb. It can’t be more than 20 seconds between the front six and the Irishman now.

15.20pm

They start the climb for the last time, fanned across the road. Oss, Gautier, Duarte, Swift, Degenkolb, Caruso.

15.19pm

Whatever happens now, Swift and Martin have been superb. Swift recognised the danger and rode across to the front group on lap two. Martin chose his moment, towards the end of the penultimate lap, to try to get across but they, together with the Italian Damiano Caruso, have contributed to this race.

15.18pm

The lead between the front six and Martin is now 38 seconds. He’s trimmed at least 20 seconds out of the gap in the first half of this final lap. He can perhaps bridge the gap on the climb.

15.17pm

The six leaders: Oss, Caruso (both Italy), Swift (GB), Dekenkolb (Germany), Gautier (France) and Duarte Arvalo (Colombia)

Nerz of Germany is between them and the chaser Daniel Martin (Ireland). The group behind has split up completely. No time checks at the moment. Martin is chasing hard, but the front six are working well together, waiting for the hill to make their moves, no doubt.

15.12pm

We have a cracking race on our hands here. Not only is there the suspense of seeing whether Ireland’s Daniel Martin can get across to the leaders, but there’s the six riders out front who currently hold the race in their hands. The attacks will come on the climb, for sure.

It’s 21 years since Martin’s uncle, Stephen Roche, won the professional world title in Villach, Austria.

Four years ago, Martin rode the junior world champs road race for Great Britain, before taking Irish nationality.

15.11pm

The critical thing for Martin is that he needs to get across to the leaders as soon as possible, preferably before the big climb, so he can perhaps make contact and then see if he has enough left to attack them.

15.08pm

So, now we have a fascinating chase on the final lap. The six leaders are rolling on well. Caruso looks to be the dangerous man, as he’s the one who has made a couple of attacks on the previous lap.

Martin is giving it absolutely everything on the first, smaller climb. He’s actually around 30 seconds behind the German, Nerz, who was dropped from the front group.

Swift may be tired, he’s done a lot of work riding across to the group in the first place, but he’s had time to recover and he’s got a super sprint from a small group like this.

15.05pm

As they go through the finish line to mark one lap (17.3km) to go the situation is:

6 leaders

Damiano Caruso (Italy)

Daniel Oss (Italy)

Ben Swift (Great Britain)

John Dekenkolb (Germany)

Cyril Gautier (France)

Fabio Andres Duarte Arvalo (Colombia)

1 chaser at 37sec

Dominik Nerz (Germany)

1 chaser at 1-01

Daniel Martin (Ireland)

Bellis group at 1-42

First part of the bunch at 1-53

LAP 9 OF 10

15.03pm

Martin has set himself a big task here. Unfortunately for him, no one went with him when he attacked, so he has to try to ride across a gap of around a minute on his own. The German rider Nerz is in the gap between the six-man leaders and Martin, but he’s cooked so won’t be able to do much should the Irishman reach him.

15.02pm MARTIN ATTACKS FROM SECOND GROUP

Ireland’s Dan Martin has attacked from the chase group and is off in pursuit of the front group.

15.00pm

That attack by Caruso put the German rider Nerz in trouble. He’s off the back. Caruso attacks the front group again. It’s left to the Frenchman Gautier to close it down.

14.59pm ATTACK BY CARUSO

The Italian Damiano Caruso attacks on the top of the climb and splits the front group, but it all comes back together.

14.58pm

The Aussies have Travis Meyer and Wesley Sulzberger in that chase group.

14.55pm

When the chase group reaches the climb, there’s going to have to be some kind of move because time is running out for those who want to get across to the front group. The seven leaders are still more than a minute ahead.

The chase group is led onto the bottom of the climb just as the leaders approach the top. That chase group, with Martin and Bellis in it, has around 15 riders in it.

14.53pm

When they go through the finish line the next time there will be just one 17km lap to go. The seven-man Swift group is still more than a minute clear of the very powerful-looking chase group of 15+ riders. Daniel Martin and Jonny Bellis are in it. The Irish champion has been very active, Bellis has been sitting in there, keeping calm, ready to react in case they get up to the front group.

14.46pm SWIFT JOINS FRONT GROUP

After the long chase, Ben Swift and Cyril Gautier are across to the front group to make seven leaders on the penultimate lap.

Behind them is a group containing Ireland’s Daniel Martin, Britain’s Jonny Bellis and Australia’s Wesley Sulzberger. Martin is doing a lot of work in that chase group to reduce the gap from 1-20.

Alex Dowsett has retired from the race, his job done.

LAP 8 OF 10

14.40pm

At the end of the eighth lap with two laps to go the five leaders are just 10 seconds ahead of Swift and Gautier. Behind them it’s breaking up and the race is really on. A big group containing Dan Martin has got clear of the group and is looking dangerous.

The bunch is now at 2-17 and the bunch is all but sitting up. It looks like if you are not off the front now, it’s game over.

5 leaders

Daniel Oss (Italy)

John Degenkolb (Germany)

Fabio Andres Duarte Arvalo (Colombia)

Dominik Nerz (Germany)

Damiano Caruso (Italy)

2 chasers at 11sec

Ben Swift (Great Britain)

Cyril Gautier (France)

2 chasers at 1-20

Polivada (Ukraine)

Tristan Meyer (Australia)

Dan Martin and Jonny Bellis group at 1-39

Bunch at 2-17

14.35pm

Ireland’s Dan Martin is off the front of the bunch, fully committed to the move. The bunch is splitting. It’s getting aggressive back there. Swift is still not across to the front five yet, but he and Gautier are giving it everything.

14.27pm

Now there are five in the front group as Damiano Caruso of Italy has joined his team-mate Oss.

Swift and Gautier are trying to get across too, but at the moment, being stuck out there doesn’t look the ideal place to be. The bunch is still big, although it’s splitting up a bit on the climbs.

The race is really going to start in earnest with two laps to go.

14.24pm

The four leaders ? Oss, Degenkolb, Nerz and Duarte are going well.

Behind them the other Italian, Caruso, is trying to go across on his own, having sat on the back of the Swift group.

Now Swift is in the third group on the road, with only French rider and European under-23 road race champion Cyril Gautier for company. Smukulis of Latvia has gone backwards.

LAP 7 OF 10

14.15pm ? 3 laps to go

Three hours of racing done, three laps to go.

Swift’s group is 38 seconds down. The bunch is closing in but is splitting up. Dan Martin of Ireland was just off the front of the bunch, which is a minute back from the front of the race. Britain’s Jonny Bellis is positioned at the front of the bunch too.

4 leaders

Daniel Oss (Italy)

John Degenkolb (Germany)

Fabio Andres Duarte Arvalo (Colombia)

Dominik Nerz (Germany)

3 chasers at 38sec

Ben Swift (Great Britain)


Damiano Caruso (Italy)

Gatis Smukulis (Latvia)

The bunch at 1-04

14.12pm

Swift wants to be careful here. He’s getting no help from Smukulis or Caruso and is being forced to do all of the chasing work. The two Germans up front are co-operating but the Italian Oss and the Colombian are both contributing too, so it’s going to be hard for Swift to ride across the gap on his own.

The Latvian gave a hand there but it’ll need more than one turn.

14.09pm

Ben Swift, Damiano Caruso of Italy ? one of the favourites for the race ? and the Latvian Gatis Smukulis are setting off in pursuit of the leading four.

Swift is doing the bulk of the work, shoulders rocking gently as he powers on, the Latvian neatly in the slipstream, Caruso sitting on, mindful he has his team-mate Oss up front.

So we have four in front, then the Swift group, then the rest of the break, which is being closed down by the bunch steadily.

14.06pm

Swift has been very much involved in the racing since the third lap, but don’t forget Great Britain still has last year’s Jonny Bellis and Peter Kennaugh sitting in the bunch.

It’s worth noting that this is probably the strongest all-round GB line-up since the under-23 race was introduced in 1996. See all Great Britain’s riders and performances in the World Championship under-23 race from 1998 to 2007. It is interesting to see some of the names who have come through the ranks.

Most notably, Charly Wegelius, who has had a long pro career now, but also the likes of Russell Downing, Jamie Burrow, Yanto Barker, Dan Fleeman, then the new generation of Cavendish, Thomas and Stannard.

13.58pm

Ben Swift isn’t too happy about the four riders who are off the front of the lead group ? Daniel Oss (Italy), Fabio Andres Duarte Arvalo (Colombia) and two Germans Dominik Nerz and John Degenkolb. The British rider is one of those keen to chase it back down again. It’s been a very active, aggressive race so far for the Rotherham rider. Presumably he is not worried about doing too much too soon and wants to be one of the ones forcing the action. He is bang in form, after second place in a one-day race last Sunday, and a strong showing in the Tour of Britain.

13.53pm

The gap between the big leading group and the bunch is now only just over a minute. It’s splitting up a bit too, so it’s not necessarily much of an advantage to be in there.

The riders who made a big effort to get across to it, may now regret expending that effort.

At the front of the leading group two Germans an Italian and the Colombian have clipped off the front, causing the rest of the leaders to be in two minds about what to do.

LAP 6 OF 10

13.51pm

Six laps covered, four to go. That means 104km covered and 70 to go. They have been racing for two hours and 34 minutes. It’s been pretty aggressive so far. The lead group of more than 20 is 1-11 up on the bunch.

Britain’s Ben Swift is in that lead group, having bridged across to it with a small group.

24 leaders

Stefan Borchi (Italy)

Cyril Gaultier (France)

Thomas De Gendt (Belgium)

Dominik Nerz (Germany)

Alexander Porsev (Russia)

Jonathan Monsalve (Venezuela)

Ricardo Van der Velde (Netherlands)

Rafael Valls Ferri (Spain)

Rafael Andriato (Brazil)

Dejan Bajt (Slovenia)

Fabio Andres Duarte Arvalo (Colombia)

Tony Gallopin (France)

Martin Reimer (Germany)

Alexei Kunshin (Russia)

Michael Kreder (Netherlands)

Ben Swift (Great Britain)

Damiano Caruso (Italy)

Daniel Oss (Italy)

John Degenkolb (Germany)

Biel Kadri (France)

Johann Rabie (South Africa)

Stefano Pirazzi (Italy)

Gatis Smukulis (Latvia)

Oleg Opryshko (Ukraine)

Bunch at 1-11

13.37pm

The Dutch rider in the lead group, Ricardo Van der Velde, is the son of former pro Johan Van der Velde. Those who remember the 1980s will know he was the rider who crossed the summit of the Gavia first, ahead of Andy Hampsten and Erik Breukink, on the legendary stage of the 1987 Giro d’Italia.

13.32pm

Ben Swift and the two Italians he was with have got across to the front group and the Great Britain man is working at the front. The problem is that the group is now 20-strong, which may be a bit too much and they are starting to attack each other.

LAP 5 OF 10

13.22pm

The front group of 11 was caught by the chase group of four, making 15 at the front.

Ben Swift and the two Italians were doing the bulk of the work to bring the next group across too. The pressure applied by Swift and the Italians meant that the second chase group started to split up.

The bunch is a couple of minutes down on the front runners.

15 leaders

Stefan Borchi (Italy)

Cyril Gaultier (France)

Thomas De Gendt (Belgium)

Dominik Nerz (Germany)

Alexander Porsev (Russia)

Jonathan Monsalve (Venezuela)

Ricardo Van der Velde (Netherlands)

Rafael Valls Ferri (Spain)

Rafael Andriato (Brazil)

Dejan Bajt (Slovenia)

Fabio Andres Duarte Arvalo (Colombia)

Tony Gallopin (France)

Martin Reimer (Germany)

Alexei Kunshin (Russia)

Michael Kreder (Netherlands)

5 chasers at 11sec

Ben Swift (Great Britain)

Damiano Caruso (Italy)

Daniel Oss (Italy)

John Degenkolb (Germany)

Biel Kadri (France)

2 chasers at 1-00

Stefano Pirazzi (Italy)

Gatis Smukulis (Latvia)

2 chasers at 1-07

Klaas Lodrwisck (Belgium)

Oleg Opryshko (Ukraine)

Bunch at 2-00

LAP 4 OF 10

12.59pm Swift in chase group

The riders have completed four laps of the course, and have done 1hr 41min of racing.

The 11-man group that went clear on lap two is pressing on and there are two chase groups trying to get across. Great Britain’s Ben Swift is in the second of these groups.

The Italians are being particularly aggressive, with one man in the front group and two in the second chase group.

At the moment the bunch is not particularly organised, but the fact Britain’s main man Swift is chasing indicates that there are some dangerous men up the round.

11 leaders

Stefan Borchi (Italy)

Cyril Gaultier (France)

Thomas De Gendt (Belgium)

Dominik Nerz (Germany)

Alexander Porsev (Russia)

Jonathan Monsalve (Venezuela)

Ricardo Van der Velde (Netherlands)

Rafael Valls Ferri (Spain)

Rafael Andriato (Brazil)

Dejan Bajt (Slovenia)

Fabio Andres Duarte Arvalo (Colombia)

4 chasers at 42sec

Tony Gallopin (France)

Martin Reimer (Germany)

Alexei Kunshin (Russia)

Michael Kreder (Netherlands)

7 chasers at 1-11

Ben Swift (Great Britain)

Damiano Caruso (Italy)

Klaas Lodrwisck (Belgium)

Daniel Oss (Italy)

John Degenkolb (Germany)

Biel Kadri (France)

Gatis Smukulis (Latvia)

Bunch at 2-23

LAP 3 OF 10

12.45pm

Three of 10 laps in this 173.3km race have been covered. The current situation is that an 11-man group, which went clear on the second lap, holds a gap of 1-23 over a group of four, with the bunch another minute back.

11 leaders

Stefan Borchi (Italy)

Cyril Gaultier (France)

Thomas De Gendt (Belgium)

Dominik Nerz (Germany)

Alexander Porsev (Russia)

Jonathan Monsalve (Venezuela)

Ricardo Van der Velde (Netherlands)

Rafael Valls Ferri (Spain)

Rafael Andriato (Brazil)

Dejan Bajt (Slovenia)

Fabio Andres Duarte Arvalo (Colombia)

4 chasers at 1-23

Tony Gallopin (France)

Martin Reimer (Germany)

Alexei Kunshin (Russia)

Michael Kreder (Netherlands)

Bunch at 2-07