Friday, 2 January 2015

In the middle of July in Nyon we had European Championships for juniors and u23. The field was pretty strong with most of the big names showed at the start but on the other hand the route wasn't very hard so it was all about making a move in right place and right time. It's all about road race of course but let's start with the time trial.

Lennard Kamna (photo: UEC Cycling)

There was no surprise: Lennard Kamna has won the title with solid gap ahead of track specialist from France, Correntin Ermenault and Tobias Foss from Norway, one of the most consistent junior in 2014. As you probably noticed most of the top time trialists in u19 in 2014 was not coming from Europe so it was pretty obvious that Kamna will win the title. I was pretty disappointed when i noticed that Brits won't take part especially if you consider that Matthew Gibson was the only European that has beaten Kamna in time trial, except Igor Decraene of course.

Norwegian team at the fron of the bunch (photo: Ch. Haenggelli)

Now let's get back to the road race. Once i started to read what happened that day i memorized Magnus Bak Klaris attacking in the very beginning of Gent Menen before he finally joined the right move and won the race. In EC we had similar start of the race with later champion, Italian Edoardo Affini tried to jump away in the first kilometers of the race together with Bozic and Piashkun . Right after their move Rayane Bouhanni joined with Russian rider Lliechev. Martin Palm, Peter Lenderink and Michel Cornelisse also tried to join but failed. Piashkun crashed and was dropped from the leading group but Matic Veber from Slovenia joined.

Rayane Bouhanni in early attack (photo: Ch. Haenggelli)

They group had over a minute gap after 30 kilometers of racing. Norwegian team tried to control the big group and were slowly reducing the gap to escapers with help from Belgians. After around 70 kilometers of racing and hard work from Belgium and Norway the leading group was finally caught. After that, Norwegians managed to keep the group together despite several attacks. Bouhanni tried once again but didn't manage to get away. Once after he was caught his teammate Pierre Idjouadiene attacked and was quickly joined by Affini, Gino Mader from Switzerland  and Jordi Warlop from Belgium. It was the right move probably because there was a Belgian rider in front and no Norwegians so they had to work again but this time with no help from the other strong teams like Belgium and France. The final sprint won Affini ahead of Warlop and Idjouadiene. Italy, Belgium and France, no surprises at all. Tom Wirtgen attacked before the final kilometer and almost caught Gino Mader. Davide Plebani from Italy was the first from the peleton finishing sixth in the race. With Danish and British riders missing the strongest teams managed to put their riders in the right move and Norwegian team failed as they were hoping for sprint finish with Blikra as their leader.

Affini finishing with solid gap  (photo: Ch. Haenggelli)

Final podium: Warlop, Afini, Idjouadiene (photo: Ch. Haenggelli)

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