Major upset in men's elite time trial as top-seeded riders finish off the pace in Richmond
- Brits Alex Dowsett and Steve Cummings finish outside top 10
- Photos by Graham Watson

Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) took a surprise victory in the elite men’s time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, USA, on Wednesday.

Kiryienka set a blistering time of one hour, two minutes and 29 seconds over the 53.5-kilometre route having set the fastest times through all three of the on-course intermediate time checks. Most of the 34-year-old’s professional career has been spent in the service of team leaders, not least at current squad Sky, so it was satisfying to see him let off the leash and take a major victory.

The Belarusian’s win wasn’t the only surprise appearance on the podium, as Italian Adriano Malori finished in second spot at nine seconds, with Frenchman Jerome Coppel in third at 26 seconds.

Vasil Kiryienka in action during the 2015 Elite Mens TT World Championships

Vasil Kiryienka: fastest throughout the course

Adriano Malori in action during the 2015 Elite Mens TT World Championships

Adriano Malori was the only rider to get close to Kiryienka’s time, and claimed silver

Jerome Coppel in action during the 2015 Elite Mens TT World Championships

Jerome Coppel provided another podium surprise, claiming bronze for France

Former world champion Tony Martin (Germany) finished well off the pace in seventh position, one minute and 16 seconds down on Kiryienka. Martin crashed out of the Tour de France in July, and has struggled to regain his form after recovering from a broken collarbone.

Dutchman Tom Dumoulin also finished off the podium after great expectations as a result of his Vuelta a España time trial win and silver medal last year. He came in for fifth, just over a minute behind Kiryienka.

Australian Rohan Dennis suffered a mechanical, and also finished off the podium in sixth after having to stop and change bikes. Even before that incident, though, he was off the speed of the front runners.

Alex Dowsett in action during the 2015 Elite Mens TT World Championships

Brit Alex Dowsett put in a strong ride, but finished outside the top 10

Steve Cummings in action during the 2015 Elite Mens TT World Championships

Steve Cummings was highest-placed British rider in 14th

Great Britain’s hopes of securing a top 10 place were shattered as Steve Cummings placed 14th and Alex Dowsett came home in 17th spot. It means that Britain will only qualify for one place in the men’s time trial at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

>>> Dowsett and Cummings out to secure Rio places at Worlds TT

American hope Taylor Phinney made a solid comeback to the Worlds from severe leg injury, placing 12th for the home nation.

Focus now shifts to the road race categories at the 2015 UCI Road World Championships. After a rest day on Thursday, racing resumes with the junior women’s and under-23 men’s road races on Friday. Saturday hosts the junior men’s and elite women’s road races, and the final event is the men’s road race on Sunday.

>>> 2015 UCI World Championships road races preview

Adriano Malori (Italy),  Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) and Jerome Coppel (France) on the podium for the Mens TT at the 2015 UCI World Championships

Adriano Malori (Italy), Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) and Jerome Coppel (France) on the podium for the men’s TT at the 2015 UCI World Championships

Result

Elite men’s individual time trial, 53.5km
1. Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) in 1-02-29
2. Adriano Malori (Italy) at 9 secs
3. Jerome Coppel (France) at 26 secs
4. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain) at 29 secs
5. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) at 1-01
6. Rohan Dennis (Australia) at 1-07
7. Tony Martin (Germany) at 1-16
8. Maciej Bodnar (Poland) at 1-17
9. Marcin Bialoblocki (Poland) at 1-22
10. Moreno Moser (Italy) at 1-31
Other
12. Taylor Phinney (USA) at 1-36
14. Stephen Cummings (Great Britain) at 1-58
17. Alex Dowsett (Great Britain) at 2-06

  • Tom Sparkes

    Sick of some people getting on Coppel’s back he just put in a top ride on the day. Let’s not forget he was the superstar of French cycling a few years ago.

  • J1

    Not totally surprising, Kiryienka and Malori are quality testers, but Coppel? Dodgy.
    The most surprising thing was how Kiryienka gained 9 seconds on Malori when they were even just before the end climb.

    Martin didn’t have good preparation for it due to his Tour crash, Dumoulin had an injured Glute and I’m pretty sure they mentioned that Dennis had been ill in the run up to the event too, so there’s some obvious reasons for the sub-par times.

    Popular victory anyway, everybody loves Kiry, such a quality Domestique.