Van Baarle takes silver in epic Worlds road race

26 Sep 2021

Van Baarle takes silver in epic Worlds road race

Related riders

World Championships - Road Race, 268.3km

Dylan van Baarle put in a superb ride to take second place in a memorable edition of the World Championships road race in Flanders.
The race played out at a relentless pace in front of a packed Belgian crowd, with Van Baarle twice forcing his way into key moves to put himself into medal position.
The Grenadier still had enough strength in his legs after 268 kilometres to out-sprint his rivals for second place, and a richly deserved silver medal for the Netherlands.
Tom Pidcock had joined Van Baarle in a star-studded 17-rider move with 60km to go and set about biding his time on the run-in.
With Julian Alaphilippe launching a solo bid out front, and a second counter-attack going away, the Brit took it upon himself to set off in pursuit on the final lap in Leuven, coming tantalisingly close to the podium battle on the finishing straight, taking an eventual sixth place.
Up ahead there had been no stopping Alaphilippe, with the Frenchman launching multiple attacks en route to a classy solo victory, taking back to back rainbow jerseys.

10 Grenadiers representing six nations began the race, with Pidcock’s GB teammates Luke Rowe and Ben Swift getting through a lot of work on the front. Eddie Dunbar (Ireland) was in the mix for the early break, while Michal Kwiatkowski put in a strong acceleration with 60km to go. He was assisted by Polish teammate Michal Golas in his final worlds appearance. 
Ethan Hayter (Great Britain) bounced back from an early crash and launched an acceleration as an extremely attacking race began to intensify. Gianni Moscon suffered an early puncture but got through a lot of work for his Italian teammates. Carlos Rodriguez was representing Spain and gained invaluable experience in his first senior road race.

- Reaction from Dylan van Baarle to follow

- Tom Pidcock

"It was cat and mouse. I had a feeling it would be coming into the race on this circuit. There’s no climb that’s hard enough just to ride off – well apart from if you're Alaphilippe! I was just saving it for one attack and I waited too long and missed the race to be honest. I missed the train. Alaphilippe did an unreal ride. Fair play to him.

"It was unreal. We weren’t riding on roads today, we were riding in a stadium. My ears were ringing – it was incredible."
Final result:

1. Julian Alaphilippe (France) 5:56:34
2. Dylan van Baarle (Netherlands) +32"
3. Michael Valgren (Denmark) s.t.
4. Jasper Stuyven (Belgium)
5. Neilson Powless (USA)
6. Tom Pidcock (Great Britain) +49"
35. Ethan Hayter (Great Britain) +6:27"
36. Michal Kwiatkowsk (Poland) s.t.
53. Carlos Rodriguez (Spain) +6:39"
58. Gianni Moscon (Italy) +6:52"