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On the run in to the finish line, he even had time to hold his head in disbelief and subsequently sit up and cruise home with 300 metres still to go.

Photo: Sirotti

MATEJ MOHORIC

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27.09.2013 @ 18:33 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Having broken clear on the penultimate lap, Matej Mohoric of Slovenia won a spectacular solo victory in the World Championship road race for under-23 men in Florence, Italy. The 18-year-old, who won the Junior Men's World champion last year, bridged across to solitary escapee Flavien Dassonville of France to unceremoniously ditch him on the main climb of the race’s 16.57km course to Fiesole.

 

From that moment on, the Slovenian turned the race into a spectacular one-man show as he held on to lay claim to the title. On the run in to the finish line, he even had time to hold his head in disbelief and subsequently sit up and cruise home with 300 metres still to go.

Impressively, South African Louis Meintjes gave a lone chase of the Slovenian on the final lap, but could only get to within three seconds of the celebrating Mohoric as the winner had stopped pedalling as he approached the line.

Reduced to less than a score of riders, the chasing pack made a dash for the line which was taken by Sondre Enger of Norway ahead of Australia’s Caleb Ewan and Latvia’s Toms Skujins, 13 seconds behind.

The race’s opening 57.2km leg from Montecatini Terme saw a predictable breakaway consisting of Andzs Flaksis of Latvia, Kolya Shumov of Belarus, Jaka Bostner of Slovenia, Meron Teshome Hagos of Eritrea, Mihkel Raim of Estonia and Zoltan Sipos of Romania. They opened a gap of 4’31” ahead of the peloton as they crossed the finish line for the first time.

However, Raim was left behind on lap one and was back in the bunch at the beginning of lap two, while Sipos lost contact on the climb to Fiesole on lap three, leaving just four up front.

After a series of attacks and counter-attacks, a chase group formed with Meintjes, but the presence of Dassonville in the group meant that it made little progress. Mohoric counter-attacked the group and joined up with Alaphilippe with just two kilometres to go in the penultimate lap.

The duo was 20 seconds clear at the bell, with Dassonville still present at the front, and disrupting the chase once more, until Italy took over onto the Fiesole climb again.

Mohoric led over the top, then escaped on the descent as Meintjes gave chase. Over Via Salviati the Slovenian was just 8 seconds ahead of the South African with five kilometres to go, but several riders were breaking clear of the peloton just a few seconds behind them.

Mohoric powered down the drop, however, and was holding his lead as he neared the final short, jagged knock over the railway with 2.5km left. Mientjes appeared to be edging closer, but the Slovenian was still several seconds clear as he rode under the flamme rouge.

The peloton was gaining on the South African, but looked to be far too far away to be able to do anything more than contest the bronze medal.

As he began to look across his shoulders on the finishing straight, it started to dawn on Mohoric what he was about to achieve and he commenced his celebrations with 300 metres to go. Accordingly, Mientjes managed to close the gap to some degree, but the Slovenian had everything under control and comfortable sealed an impressive coup.

Results:
1 Matej Mohoric (Slovenia)
2 Louis Meintjes (South Africa)
3 Sondre Enger (Norway)
4 Caleb Ewan (Australia)
5 Toms Skujins (Latvia)
6 Davide Villella (Italy)
7 Dylan van Baarle (Netherlands)
8 Silvio Herklotz (Germany)
9 Julian Alphaphilippe (France)
10 Patrick Konrad (Austria)

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