Success for Denmark as Julius Johansen defies the clutches of the chasing peloton and a strong Italian squad to claim the junior men's road race title in Norway
Julius Johansen (Denmark) won the junior men’s road race from a solo attack at the 2017 UCI Road World Championships in Norway on Saturday.
The 18-year-old had attacked on the final lap of the 135.5-kilometre event to go solo and take the victory. It is the second consecutive year that a Danish rider has claimed the title after Jakob Egholm won last season.
Italian riders Luca Rastelli and Michele Gazzoli had tried to chase Johansen down, but had to settle for second and third.
British rider Jake Stewart finish in fifth place, continuing the nation’s solid run of results in the junior events. Stewart’s British team-mate, newly-crowned time trial world champion Tom Pidcock finished 25th.
The junior men’s road race comprised 40km before engaging in five laps of a circuit around Bergen, with each loop including an ascent and descent of the 1.5km-long Salmon Hill.
Just as it did in the previous road race categories, Salmon Hill proved to be the launchpad for the decisive move of the race.
Johansen attacked from the lead group just before the final ascent of the climb with 12km to go, and quickly opened out a gap over the chasing group.
As he crested the hill with 10.5km to go he had opened up a gap of over 30 seconds over the chasers. Johansen then tucked low on his top tube and barely pedalled on the downhill, sweeping around the tight bends.
Despite a concerted effort, the chasers – which included Mark Donovan (Great Britain) and Rastelli – could not regain contact with the Dane.
With 5km to go, Johansen had managed to stretch out his advantage to 36 seconds. Back in the peloton, time trial world champion Tom Pidcock (Great Britain) attempted a move to bridge up to the leaders but was caught.
The chasers were all but caught by the remnants of the peloton on the line, with Rastelli just nicking second spot as the pack finished just behind him.
The 2017 UCI Road World Championships continue on Saturday afternoon with the elite women’s road race. The event closes on Sunday with the elite men’s road race.
UCI Road World Championships 2017, junior men’s road race, 135.5km
1. Julius Johansen (Denmark), in 3-10-48
2. Luca Rastelli (Italy), at 51 secs
3. Michele Gazzoli (Italy)
4. Niklas Markl (Germany)
5. Jake Stewart (Great Britain)
6. Florian Kierner (Austria)
7. Filippo Zana (Italy)
8. Olav Hjemsaeter (Norway)
9. Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kazakhstan)
10. Jacob Hindsgaul Madsen (Denmark), all same time