Kristoffer Halvorsen (Norway) took the victory in the under-23 men’s road race in the 2016 UCI Road World Championships on Thursday.
Halvorsen pipped Pascal Ackermann of Germany in a photo-finish in Doha, Qatar. Norway and German led into the final kilometre, with their two sprinters engaging in a full-on sprint battle to secure the first road race world title of 2016.
Ackermann looked to have edged ahead of Halvorsen, only to see the Norwegian ease past him on the line – leaving Ackermann banging on his bars in frustration. Jakub Mareczko (Italy) completed the podium in third place.
The strength of the Norwegian and German teams was underlined with riders from those nations occupying four of the top five positions.
Great Britain’s Jonathan Dibben was left slightly off the pace of the lead sprinters in the hectic finale but came through for a creditable ninth place.
GB was left with one rider short after Scott Davies broke and dislocated fingers in a training crash prior to the race.
The under-23 men’s road race gave a preview into how the remainder of the road race events at the 2016 Worlds may pan out.
As predicted, the flat course ended in a predicted bunch sprint but the number of roundabouts and turns on The Pearl disrupted some of the teams lead-out trains.
There were also several touches of wheels causing minor crashes in the bunch within the final five kilometres.
The 2016 Road World Championships continue on Friday with the junior men’s and junior women’s road races. The elite women’s road race takes place on Saturday and the 2016 Worlds draw to a close with the elite men’s road race on Sunday.
Under-23 men’s road race, 165.7km
1. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Norway) in 3-40-53
2. Pascal Ackermann (Germany)
3. Jakob Mareczko (Italy)
4. Phil Bauhaus (Germany)
5. Amund Grondahl Jansen (Norway)
6. Jason Lowndes (Australia)
7. Ivan Garcia (Spain)
8. Aksel Nommela (Estonia)
9. Jonathan Dibben (Great Britain)
10. Alan Banaszek (Poland) all same time
35. Christopher Latham (Great Britain)
45. Tao Geoghegan Hart (Great Britain) at same time
79. Gabirel Cullaigh (Great Britain) at 27 secs
112. James Shaw (Great Britain) at 3-38
DNS Scott Davies (Great Britain)