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Disappointment for U23 Kiwi men
Sep 24th, 11. The U23 Kiwi team started today's Worlds race with big ambitions but results in a road race can change in an instant, as they did today.
Despite aggressive riding and early breakaways, the 12 lap men's U23 race always looked like it was gearing up for a sprint finish.
The field joined up with the last attackers with less than 20km to go, and the pace increased further in preparation for a mass sprint.
22 year old Kiwi fastman James Williamson was ready, in form and motivated to fly the Kiwi flag in the last few metres thanks to earlier support from teammates George Bennett and Tom David, but it was not to be.
Unfortunately, a minor pile-up close to the finish line of the 168km race took away his chances.
Williamson could only look on in frustration when, on the second to last corner, he saw the bunch ride away from him while was left with another rider's handlebars caught up in his back wheel.
Only David was in the final 87 rider front bunch from which Frenchmen Arnaud Demare and Adrien Petit took gold and silver.
"George (Bennett) had to fight back from an early mechanical and then a puncture cost him while Tom had ridden well in support of James. But a small crash caught James out and there was no way he could get back on which was disappointing," explained BikeNZ Director Sportif, Andy Reid.
Both Williamson and Bennett were left frustrated and disappointed with their day.
The UCI Road World Championships continue tonight with the junior men's and elite women's road races. The young Kiwi team have worked well together with many succceses this year and are eager to deliver another top performance. (See road race start lists...)
While today's races ended in bunch sprints, Linda Villumsen believes her women's peloton will split up before the finish line (Read more ...)
UCI World Road Championships
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