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Stopping the clock in 1.04.36, Kiryienka was in a class of his own in the Chrono des Nations; Bialoblocki was 1.12 behind in second and Le Bon completed the podium

Photo: Sirotti

CHRONO DES NATIONS

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JOHAN LE BON

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TEAM SKY

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VASIL KIRYENKA

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18.10.2015 @ 17:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Vasil Kiryienka (Sky) proved that he is a worthy world champion when he won the traditional Chrono des Nations time trial in dominant fashion. The Belarusian covered the 51.53km course in 1.04.36 to beat Marcin Bialoblocki (One) by 1.12 while Johan Le Bon (FDJ) had to settle for third, 1.37 off the pace.

 

During his reign as world champion, Tony Martin had made it a habit to show that he deserved his title by winning the season-ending time trial Chrono des Nations. Bradley Wiggins broke the tradition as he skipped the traditional French event but today it was again the rainbow jersey that were flashed at the top step of the podium at the end of the 34th edition of the event.

 

Vasil Kiryienka took an impressive win in Richmond and he was obviously keen to win his first race in the coveted jersey. Unlike many other strong riders who had started their holiday early, the Belarusian has clearly done his training as he turned out to be in a class of his own on the rolling 51.53km course.

 

Prior to the event, it was billed as a Worlds revenge as silver medalist Adriano Malori (Movistar) and fourth-placed Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) were both in attendance. However, unlike Kiryienka, both Movistar riders have apparently already started their off-season as they were nowhere near the podium.

 

Instead, it was again Polish sensation Marcin Bialoblocki who delivered a standout performance. The Pole had already caused an upset when he beat Kiryienka in the Tour de Pologne time trial and finished in the top 10 at Worlds and today he was again proving his class as he slotted into the lead by beating home favourite Johan Le Bon.

 

Obviously, Kiryienka was keen on getting revenge from the Polish defeat though and he had consistently been posting better time checks throughout the race. Hence, it was no surprise when he powered up the uphill finishing straight to stop the clock in a time that was 1.12 faster than Bialoblocki’s, nearly catching his four-minute man Castroviejo after having already passed Malori. Le Bon completed the podium.

 

The race marked the end of the European season. The Tour of Hainan is the final race with attendance from WorldTour teams and then the next chance to watch the best riders comes at the Australian and New Zealand National Championships and the Tour Down Under in January. The European season starts on January 28 with the first race in the Mallorca Challenge series.

 

A rolling course

The 34th edition of the Chrono des Nations time trial was held on a 51.53km course around the city of Les Herbiers. The terrain was rolling with a number of smaller climbs but was generally suited to the big pwerhouses.

 

It was a rather pleasant day in France when Lukas Winter (Austria) rolled down the ramp as the first rider. However, he wouldn’t be the first to reach the finish as he was passed by several riders. Instead, it was the fourth rider to have hit the course, Sander Cordeel (Vastgoedservice), who was the first to cross the line, stopping the clock in 1.08.26, followed closely by Plychronis Tzortzakis (Greece) who slotted into second.

 

Best time for young German

Cordeel didn’t even get the chance to sit in the hot seat as Olivier Pardini (Verandas Willems) crossed the line in 1.07.40 just minutes later. The new Belgian leader had not even caught his breath before he was also beaten by Daniel Westmattelmann (Kuota-Lotto) who posted a time of 1.07.24.

 

That time proved to be much harder to beat. Rudy Molard (Cofidis) slotted into fourth with 1.08.28 and Benat Txoperena (Murias Taldea), Theo Vimpere (Auber) and Romain Guillemois (Europcar) wete all far off the pace. Ronan McLaughlin (Madison) got much closer with 1.08.02 but it was only good enough for third.

 

Le Bon takes the lead

Jon Insausti (Murias Taldea) and Pierre-Luc Perichon (Bretagne) were also far behind and Gaetan Bille (Verandas Willems) did even worse with 1.11.16. Instead, it was French climber Pierre-Roger Latour (Ag2r) who had a surprisingly good ride with 1.08.26 that was good enough for fourth.

 

As expected, it was Johan Le Bon (FDJ) who finally managed to beat Westmattelmann when the Frenchman powered across the line in 1.06.13 to shave more than a minute off the best time. Gustav Erik Larsson (Cult) was no threat as he could only manage 7th.

 

Rossetto misses out

Instead, it was Reidar Borgersen (Joker) who looked like he could come away with the goods but 1.07.07 was only good enough for second. Moments later, Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida) crossed the line in 19th after having been passed by several riders.

 

Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) did his best to beat Le Bon but came up short by 25 seconds which was enough to move into second. Nelson Oliveira (Lampre-Merida) was 16 seconds slower, moving into third.

 

Kiryienka takes the win

However, all eyes were on Bialoblocki who has posted good intermediate checks and the Polish sensations didn’t disappoint as he was 25 seconds faster than Le Bon. That left just the three stars, Castroviejo, Malori and Kiryienka on the course.

 

The intermediate checks had already shown that the two Movistar riders did no longer have their Worlds condition while the world champion was on a storming ride. Hence, it was no surprise to see the rainbow jersey near catch his four-minute man Castroviejo who crossed the line in 9th, with Kiryienka following just 15 seconds later with the best time of 1.04.36. One minute later, Malori arrived with a time that was good enough for seventh, meaning that Kiryienka could celebrate his first win as world champion.

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