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“I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle the last 50km. The last two laps, my left leg started to deteriorate, and I was having to hump it around the pedals pretty hard. I couldn’t have expected more from myself.” 

Photo: Sirotti

BRENT BOOKWALTER

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TAYLOR PHINNEY

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TYLER FARRAR

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WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

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28.09.2015 @ 21:13 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The 2015 UCI Road World Championships concluded in Richmond on Sunday with the elite men's road race in which Alex Howes posted the top result for Team USA in 12th-place.
 
The 261-kilometer race kicked off with an eight-man breakaway which driven by Virginia native Ben King. For a while, it looked good for the break as the group had, at one time, a four-minute lead over the peloton. With five laps to go, however, the break was caught on Libby Hill.
 
"It was such a long race that I don't think guys were able to just blow it up every lap," explained King afterwards. "The lap we got caught on, they really blasted up it (Libby Hill) and then the peloton split into a bunch of pieces but I was able to recover a little bit."

 

“When they told us in the race meeting to watch for anything with eight to 10 riders, I was pretty excited,” King told Velonews. “As a Virginian, everyone I know was out on the course. It was very cool to be out front and put on a show.
  
“Libby Hill was unbelievable. It gives you goose bumps. It was just incredible, and it gets you pumped up to have that kind of support. We probably went out a little hot, and then you look down and realize you still have 200km to go.”
  
“It was really cool for me to be out front, and when we got caught, I was still able to contribute to the team. It was great to be on Team America, in America, in my home state of Virginia. It was super cool.”

 
Despite some mechanical issues and a bike change in the first half of the race, Taylor Phinney then ended up in a late race breakaway that lasted until only two laps remained.

"The first half of the race did not go so well for me," Phinney said. "I felt like I was just chasing back for the first half but then I started to get into it. It started to get a little more stressful and the original breakaway came back early. It gave me another opportunity to go for it and so I bridged up to the guys. That was a special experience.

 

“I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle the last 50km. The last two laps, my left leg started to deteriorate, and I was having to hump it around the pedals pretty hard. I couldn’t have expected more from myself.”

Tyler Farrar was part of a break on the final lap and was caught just 5km from the finish.

 

“I was suffering all day on Libby Hill, and I knew if I waited and waited, I’d be in the second group,” Farrar told Velonews. “My tactic was if they hesitate just long enough that they catch me at the top of Libby Hill, then I’m in with a shot. Sometimes you have to gamble big. Instead, they caught me at the foot of Libby Hill, and it was game over.”
  
“Our goal was to never use our energy just dragging the peloton along. We’d rather have been on the front foot all day making them chase us as opposed to always playing defensive, that’s what we did."

 

“I am happy with how things went,” Howes said. “I mean, you always want more unless you are in the rainbow jersey. I don’t think we can be too disappointed with our ride today.”
 

Team USA, as well as other teams, attacked all day long but as the finish approached – the peloton was mostly together. It was Peter Sagan (SLO) to make the winning move and his attack put him in the rainbow jersey ahead of silver and bronze medalists Michael Matthews (AUS) and Ramunas Navardauskas (LIT).
 
After Alex Howes crossed the line with the main bunch in 12th, Brent Bookwalter was next for the USA in 19th. King was 53rd, Tyler Farrar was 79th, Phinney was 85th, and Lawson Craddock was 109th for the USA.
 
The 2015 UCI Road World Championships are now in the books! In total, Americans earned nine medals on their home soil: Megan Guarnier's bronze in the elite women's road race, Chloe Dygert's and Emma White's gold and silver in both the junior women's road race and time trial, and Adrien Costa's and Brandon McNulty's silver and bronze in the junior men's time trial.  In addition to the Team USA medals, Taylor Phinney scored team time trial gold with his BMC Racing Team on Sunday while Evelyn Stevens grabbed team time trial silver with her Boels Dolmans squad.

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