Madrid Worlds round-up

Generation of 80 dominate men's road race, Italians can't win even with '50' riders, Antequera takes

Generation of 80 dominate men's road race, Italians can't win even with '50' riders, Antequera takes
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM As usual, there was much talk in the aftermath of the men's world road race championship about suspect alliances during the race, with the Italians supposedly receiving huge amounts of cooperation, which in the end they failed to deliver on. Spain's Paco Mancebo said that "Italy had ridden with 35 cyclists", while new world champion Tom Boonen said he thought the Italians had fielded as many as "50 riders". There was surprise in the press room about the work that the British team did on the front of the bunch in the first half of the race, while Alessandro Petacchi's Fassa Bortolo team-mate Konstantin Siutsou was also prominent early on. - In the end, the race was dominated by the generation of 1980. Silver medallist Alejandro Valverde and bronze medallist Anthony Geslin are both 25, while Boonen while reach that mark on October 15. Boonen's victory made him the first rider in history to win Flanders, Roubaix and the world title in the same year. - All of the Spanish team were delighted with Alejandro Valverde's silver medal, which they viewed as much deserved considering the efforts they had produced to enliven the race and deny most of the sprinters the stage they had been hoping for. The success also provided another feather in the cap of national selector Paco Antequera, whose future with the team is now in doubt. Antequera has been in the position since the 1997 Worlds in San Sebastian, during which time the previously under-performing Spanish team has won no less than 11 medals in the elite men's time trial and road events. But earlier this year he was involved in a long dispute with the president of the Spanish federation and only returned to the championships this year on a temporary contract. He is set to make a move into more permanent team management with Comunitat Valenciana. - None of the riders in Saturday morning's women's road race were overly impressed with their 9am start, which meant they failed to draw the size of roadside and TV audience they have in the past in what is one of the few events of their season to gain widespread exposure. Hopefully, this aberration in planning should change at next year's championships in Salzburg, when the six events are scheduled to take place on separate and consecutive days.
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