Oscar Elworthy was the fastest of the Kiwis in the race against the clock in the men’s junior time trial at the UCI World Road Championships. Elworthy finished 26th in Bergen, as Great Britain’s Thomas Pidcock took the world title.
Matching the elite women’s race, the junior men took on the 21.1km course that featured a bit of everything, cobblestones, climbs, flat sections and the odd technical element. Again wet roads had an impact on the race. Ben Hamilton was the first of the two Kiwis to make their way down the start ramp, with Hamilton and Elworthy flying the flag for New Zealand.
Hamilton started slowly, going through the first time check with an average speed of 36.36kph, but from there he progressively picked up. From 60th fastest at the first time check Hamilton went through the second 41st, the third 40th and finally crossed the line with a time of 29.46mins which would eventually be strong enough for 35th of the 78 starters.
Oscar Elworthy’s ride was much more of a yoyo. He was nudging on the door of the top 20 with the first time check, going through 14 seconds slower than the time of Andreas Leknessund who set the fastest time at the first check. From there Elworthy slowed through the second section of the race which took him up the Birkelundsbakken before accelerating again to produce a strong finish. Elworthy finally stopped the clock in 29.12mins which would be good enough for 26th place; an average speed of 43.103kph.
Gold, however, was fought out between three riders, with Thomas Pidcock of Great Britain, Antonio Puppio of Italy and Norway’s Andreas Leknessund fighting it out tooth and nail. Leknessund was fastest through the first and second checks but then faded dramatically to eventually finish 8th. Meanwhile Pidcock and Puppio were both producing strong and consistent efforts, with the Brit slightly better, finally stopping the clock 11.92sec up on the Italian. In third place though came Polish rider Filip Maciejuk who started slowly but then ramped up the pace significantly over the climb and in the latter stages to take the bronze medal.