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Denmark’s Mads Pedersen takes the title after gruelling conditions force the race to be shortened. Pedersen finished ahead of pre-race favourite Italian Matteo Trentin and Swiss Stefan Küng, who took second and third spots respectively.
The race lit up with 234km of the shortened race distance of 261km still to go when a group of 11 riders attacked off the front, including Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic (this year’s winner of the Vuelta), Columbia’s Nairo Quintana and Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz. The group would eventually build up a maximum gap of around 4 minutes 30 seconds before it was eventually reeled in during the first of nine laps on the circuit.
The race saw many abandonments, including one of the pre-race favourites, Philippe Gilbert, who crashed on the first time up the climb up Parliament Street. Remco Evenepoel would stay with him but the combination of wet weather and the crash proved to be too much for the Belgian.
The mood seemed pretty subdued, no doubt dampened by the rain until Lawson Craddock of USA attacked with 67km to go, to be joined by Swiss rider Stefan Kung. The pair would stay away until 46km when Max Pedersen of Denmark joined the duo, which coincided with Craddock’s legs giving up.
Pedersen and Kung worked together in earnest, before being joined by Dutch rider Mike Teunissen and Italian Gianni Moscon. But with 35km to go, Nils Pollitt of Germany attacked and pre-race favourites Matteo Trentin of Italy and Mathieu Van der Poel of the Netherlands took the opportunity to join Pollitt. Trentin and Van der Poel would be the only ones capable of bridging across to the three leaders, working together until the leaders reached the last lap, when Van der Poel would find that the race was one lap too long for his legs and he lost contact with the group.
Moscon would be distanced in the final kilometres, leaving the three riders to fight it out for the finish, with Pedersen reigning supreme in the final few metres.
It was a brutal day but that’s the type of weather I like to race in. When I found myself in that three-man group at the end I would have been happy with any of the medals. Because of that I felt I had nothing to lose and luckily my sprint was enough to get the rainbow jersey. My focus all year had been on this race and this victory is going to change a lot for me; I’m no longer going to be regarded as the underdog.
The crowd was crazy today, especially as there were so many people still around to watch us in weather like that. That was so nice to see and I want to thank them for being on the roadside. This was a really good race and when you win one as hard as this, you feel very proud.
It was six and a half hard hours in the saddle and I just didn’t have it at the end today. I gave it my best shot but it wasn’t enough. The fans were incredible and the atmosphere was building and building with every kilometre. They gave me some massive support and I’m incredibly grateful. It’s been a great Championships and great for cycling here in Yorkshire, and the UK.
The past nine days of action across Yorkshire has once again demonstrated that the UK is a world-class destination for sport and home to knowledgeable and passionate fans who will turn out rain or shine. Via our National Lottery funded event programme, UK Sport is committed to bringing the biggest sporting competitions, like the UCI Road World Championships, to these shores. It isn’t just about the fantastic action, but also the long-term positive social and economic impact which results from holding these major sporting events.
The 2019 UCI Road World Championships have given the sport a brilliant platform to reach even more people and inspire them to get on their bikes. I’d like to thank Yorkshire 2019, everyone across the county of Yorkshire, and British cycling fans for their contribution to a fantastic event and the warm welcome extended to teams from all over the world.
We had to make some difficult calls regarding the route today because it simply wasn’t suitable to race on some of the roads. We had to think about the safety of the public as well as the athletes because we have a duty of care to them. We’d planned for every eventuality and our team did a fantastic job to change things at such short notice.
It was horrific weather but that didn’t stop the public lining the route. Every village, road and climb was packed so I have to say a massive thank you to the people of Yorkshire for turning out and welcoming the riders today. Congratulations to Mads Pedersen as well, he pulled off a phenomenal win.
It’s been an amazing nine days. Every single race, including our para-cycling event which kicked things off, has been spectacular. It’s taken over three years of planning to reach this point and it’s been a superb team effort. My staff at Yorkshire 2019 have been tremendous, as have our delivery partners, local authorities, emergency service providers, transport providers, utilities providers, volunteers – the list could go on and on. I want to say a massive thank you to them, and to everybody who supported this event.
It’s been a phenomenal nine days in Yorkshire and the whole county as shone even in spite of some of the weather. We’ve seen some truly amazing racing and crowned some incredible world champions. Every race has had a fantastic climax to it and that’s testimony to our variety of terrain as much as it is to the riders themselves. The people and businesses of Yorkshire have done themselves proud, as have our partners, emergency services, highways teams, and of course, our army of tremendous volunteers. Every rider and visitor has received a typically warm welcome, and I’m so proud of that.
The legacy and long-term benefits of hosting these Championships will be felt for many years to come and Yorkshire has definitely gone global over the last nine days. Thank you again to everyone who’s come and enjoyed themselves, and to all the businesses and residents for their support.
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