New Zealand World Tour professional Patrick Bevin has finished agonisingly just two seconds off an historic podium after an outstanding performance in the elite men’s time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire.
The fourth placing by the Waikato rider is the best result achieved by a Kiwi elite male at the UCI World Road Cycling Championships, and while he came so close to the podium, Bevin has marked himself as a genuine contender for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
His performance was a further progression from his eighth placing at last year’s world championships in Austria and today he again led the way for the Vantage New Zealand elite team at Harrogate.
Australian Rohan Dennis outclassed the field to retain the title he won last year, more than a minute ahead of Belgian Remco Evenepoel, with Italy’s Filippo Ganna in third, only two seconds faster than Bevin for the final spot on the podium over the 54km test.
“Today was an improvement. Given the course and the field and being the world championships, then it is disappointing to miss the podium by such a small amount. But that is cycling. Fourth is fourth,” said Bevin.
“It was a big step forward today. That is two worlds in a row that I have turned up and performed. I’ve gone to eighth and now fourth and I want to keep that momentum going.”
Bevin was ninth fastest overall through the first time-check at 16.7kms, nine seconds behind Ganna in third but by the 37.7km point he had reduced that margin to 1.3 seconds. The pair remained almost the same over the final 16kms to the uphill finish in Harrogate, both averaging 48.3kph for the journey.
Bevin said he was proud of his efforts in what has been a challenging year with a revamped team with new equipment and broken ribs from a crash that forced him out of the Tour de France.
“This has come at the end of a trying year. It was good that I could bring it all together and finish well after breaking my ribs which really put a hole in the year. It has been an up and down year. The biggest positive is that I managed to navigate the adversity that is cycling and come back out here and have a big performance. I can take a lot of heart out of that.”
Bevin will have his final race of the year in Sunday’s road race before a well-earned rest and time to plot his plans for the Tokyo Olympics.
Attention now turns to the road racing, with five New Zealanders in action tomorrow in the junior male road race over 148kms from Richmond to the north through the testing Yorkshire Dales to Harrogate. The Vantage New Zealand team includes three riders from the national under-19 team who performed strongly in France this year in Reuben Thompson, Drew Christensen and Ari Scott along with national junior age time trial champion Logan Currie and Jumbo Visma academy rider, Finn Fisher- Black.
Results, elite male individual time trial, 54kms:
Rohan Dennis (Australia) 1:05:05.35, 1; Remco Evenepoel (Belgium) 1:06:14.28, 2; Filipo Ganna (Italy) 1:07:00.35, 3; Patrick Bevin (New Zealand) 1:07:02.51, 4.