Great Britain missed out on one of their best chances of a medal at the 2015 UCI Road World Championships as a series of crashes, a badly timed mechanical and illness meant Owain Doull could only manage a disappointing 92nd in the U23 men’s road race.
Doull was well placed going into the final lap before being ridden into from behind and dropping his chain on the cobbled climb of Libby Hill.
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The Welshman, 22 and riding his final race in the U23 ranks, struggled to remount as the French riders Kevin Ledanois and Anthony Turgis began to make their moves, and crashed again while making chase on greasy roads as the rain began to fall in Richmond.
“I couldn’t fault the team, they gave everything for me and it’s a bit disappointing that I couldn’t finish it off,” said Doull, who crossed the line over four minutes down on the winner Ledanois.
“It’s my last race as an U23 and going into it I had good form, good legs, so to miss out was pretty gutting.
“Going up Libby hill the last time I was seventh or eighth, in a good spot, feeling good, then someone hit me from behind and my chain came off and I came to a standstill.
“Then I went to chase back on, I still believed I could get a result. I fought hard enough and I ended up crashing out on one of the corners.”
Watch: Show Us Your Scars #18: Owain Doull
Great Britain had one of the strongest teams going into the race however Tao Geoghegan Hart and Scott Davies, the latter having missed a chunk of racing to a knee injury earlier this season, were unable to figure in the last two laps.
Geoghegan Hart later revealed he was suffering from food poisoning during the race (capping a bad day, he also lost his Garmin on one of the cobbled climbs) while his fellow Sky stagiaire and former CC Hackey clubmate Alex Peters felt similarly out of condition.
“It was just a really, really bad day,” said Peters. “It’s a real shame I wasn’t in better condition. I was cramping, really early on, and that’s unusual.”