One slick-as-you-please sprint finish, one lung-bursting solo ride to glory, both the product of superb teamwork. Safe to say the under nineteen riders produced a memorable day of racing.
Women U19 road race
Team Italia nailed their sprint lead out and Elisa Balsamo finished it off in style, sailing across the finish line to claim gold with bike lengths to spare. There were more medals for the USA and Norway as Skylar Schneider out-kicked Norwegian Susanne Andersen for silver.
Lack of fans at the podium ceremony? Not a problem when you have teammates like these #Joyous… if a little off key
Bronze for Norway … just goes to show you don’t necessarily need a large team if you ride with heart and play it clever.
Men U19 road race
The young Danish team are on fire! Silver in the TT, they went one better today when Jakob Egholm got away with team mate Julius Johansen in the final 10km, and then just kept going to take a panachetastic solo win. [You can imagine how hoarse Midge was by the end of it – #DontLookBack #RIDE!!!]. Seven seconds later Niklas Markel (Germany) led the chase group home for silver, just out-sprinting Switzerland’s Reto Muller who rounded out the podium.
The Danes got plenty of riders in the decisive move, and made that advantage pay with aggressive riding to ensure the peloton didn’t come back. Johansen deserves special mention for his constant attacks, as does Brandon McNulty (USA) for bringing them back time and time again. The race was a fascinating mix of constantly evolving tactics. It’s the first time we’ve seen a non-sprint finish… elite teams take note!
We love rainbow podium tears… He cried, they cried, we all cried #NotADryEye
More final thoughts
Once again we witnessed the distressing sight of a rider overcome with heat exhaustion. I am not going to link to the clip of Norwegian Iver Knotten at the side of the road, but am relieved that his Federation report he is recovering well. I have tried so hard this week to celebrate the riders and their rainbows, but like everyone else this makes me so angry. It’s a situation that could and should have been avoided. At the very least, if they have to ride in Doha, don’t have them do so in the middle of day. These two tweets sum up my feelings…
Header image: Podium for U19 women © Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images