Thursday, 24 September 2015

Leo Appelt from Germany is the new World Champion in time trial after brilliant performance on course in the city of Richmond. Adrien Costa and Brandon McNulty, two American riders and biggest pre race favorites, finished second and third respectively.

Final podium: Adrien Costa, Leo Appelt, Brandon McNulty (photo: Tim de Waele)

Leo Appelt completed the 30km time trial in time of 37:45 which would give him fourth place in under23 race held a day before. Adrien Costa lost 17 seconds while Brandon McNulty lost 59.

Ilya Gorbushin, first year junior from Kazakhstan, was the early starter that surprised many by riding below 40 minutes as the first rider. He was the leader for quite a long time finishing on the ninth place in the end.

Leo Appelt on the road for rainbow (photo: Tim de Waele)
Leo Appelt also started pretty early and right from the first checkpoint it was obvious that he is riding for podium spot. He set amazing time at the first split, 8:17 which was only one second slower then Mads Wurtz in u23 race the day before. He managed to keep the amazing pace, especially in the final part of the race and took the lead with almost two minutes gap on Gorbushin. Another strong performance from the second wave of riders was Alexys Brunel ride, first year junior and vice champion of France in time trial, who managed to finish just behind Gorbushin and was tenth at the end of the day.

Brandon McNulty (photo: steephill.tv/sirotti)
McNulty was the late starter in second group of riders. Tension was rising as American was coming to the first checkpoint but the huge gap we saw (almost thirty seconds behind Appelt) was a sign that it's going to be extremely hard to beat Appelt that day. McNulty managed to keep Appelt's pace in the middle part of the course but in the final part it was just a little bit too fast for Brandon and he finished 59 seconds behind Appelt. Second place at the moment and bronze medal at the end, still amazing result for first year junior.

The third wave was all about Keagan Girdlestone and Jasper Philipsen. Two totally different riders, climbing prospect from South Africa (or New Zeeland) and future classic specialists and first year junior was riding pretty equally on the whole course until the final split where Girdlestone managed to speed up a little and took the second place on the line, behind Appelt. Philipsen started earlier and was dropped to third place at the moment, finishing the time trial on sixth spot and second highest ranked first year junior, behind McNulty.

Jasper Philipsen (photo: @JSaulsky)
The final group of nine riders was filled with the favorites. First one was Tobias Foss who managed to keep the good pace on whole course and finished the day on eighth spot. Right after him, we had two riders who managed to set great time at first split. Both Niklas Larsen and Gino Mader was close to McNulty on all three checkpoints. Mader even managed to ride faster then McNulty on third checkpoint and took his second spot for the moment. But in the end, both riders faded and Mader finished fourth (fifth in the end) and Larsen was seventh in the final standings.

The last rider who could beat Appelt was the final starter, Adrien Costa. Possibly the biggest talent in
Adrien Costa (photo: steephill.tv/sirotti)
his age category, surprisingly being overshadowed by McNulty's performances this year, started pretty slow and was only sixth at the first split, already 26 seconds behind Appelt. The battle for gold was over ? Thought so. But Costa proved to be an amazing rider and managed to get closer to Appelt on the next two checkpoints. At the finish of the first lap he was just 17 seconds behind and at the third one only two seconds were left! But Appelt was simply unbeatable at the last part of the course, Costa lost 17 seconds and in the end and took silver medal, once again after finished second last year in Ponferrada.

All the top riders gave their first thoughts to Directvelo journalist:
Leo Appelt was surprised about his result: "I do not believe that I won the World Title. I am also a little surprised at my victory. I tried to keep a constant speed throughout the thirty kilometers. And finally, I'm the fastest. Nevertheless, it was very tight until the end with Adrien Costa. Stay on the "Hot Seats" for nearly two hours was also very difficult. Now I am free and I have no pressure for the road race on Saturday. "

Brandon McNulty was more then happy about his performance: "I knew that against the clock to thirty kilometers was very long before taking the start, especially for me. First we had the tailwind and we reach to 60 km / h speeds. I therefore preferred not to give everything from the start, especially as we had a headwind in the second part. I wanted to give everything in the lump. I just did the same in the second round. It's great to be my first medal for the World Championship and especially in the first year Junior. Now I hope I can fight for the title next year. "

Adrien Costa won a silver medal once again: "I wanted to win. But I finished two years in a row on the podium, so I can't be disappointed. I was highly motivated. The crowd really helped me, encouraged, especially in the last climb."
About Saturday's road race:  "I tried not to think about it. Now I'll start to concentrate on Saturday. I will be very interested, but collectively we have a very strong team,"

Keagan Girdlestone finished fourth in the hardest time trial of his career:
"It's amazing to realize such performance for my first participation in the World Championships."
"Quite a stressful time, but enjoyable to go through." he said about sitting on "Hot Seats" for quite a long time. "It was the biggest battle against the clock of my career. But I rarely perform thirty kilometers of individual effort. It was therefore painful. There was also a lot of wind, especially headwind at the second pass over the bridge." 
About atmosphere and Saturday's race: "There is a great atmosphere here. The people are very welcoming and will not hesitate to support us on the side of the road. I'll take a rest and concentrate fully on the road race where I also hope to achieve a good result " 

Results
Full detailed results with time splits and each checkpoint can be found here:Tissottiming

You should also check great stats prepared by @Velofacts showing how strong was Appelt at the first and last sections: Velofacts stats

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