U23 medallists into big timeClose
Delighted with the result of today's under-23 road race, all three medallists are likely to be ridinPICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE For a long time it looked like it the U23 World Championships was coming down to a duel for gold between Belarussian Kanstantin Siutsou and Italian Domenico Pozzovivo. With three laps to go the pair broke away and quickly established a gap. "At first I didn't know that it was the decisive breakaway. But after I saw that we had a little gap on the others I realised it was the right one and I began believing in it even though my legs were hurting," explained the 22 year old from Belarus. And on the last of the 13 laps Siutsou took off from the Italian, leaving no doubt about who was the strongest rider in the field. Kanstantin Siutsou may not be a household name to the cycling community yet. But after his brillant performance in this road race he has taken a big step towards the pro ranks. However, among the in-crowd and those constantly on the lookout for new talent, the Belarussian has already been discovered. "I'll be riding as a professional with Fassa Bortolo next year," confirmed Siutsou, who has been living in Italy for about three years. Up to now he's been representing the Velotex team, who have also groomed riders such as Yaroslaw Popovych and Tomas Vaitkus. Silver medallist Thomas Dekker, who had been furious after finishing second in the time trial, took this defeat in a much lighter way. "I'm not so disappointed today. When we (Mads Christensen and Dekker) attacked (on the last lap) and caught Pozzovivo we knew we were riding for second place because Siutsou was too far ahead of us. When Mads opened the sprint I waited as long as possible before I launched my sprint and I'm satisfied with my second place," said the Dutchman, who's has signed to ride for Rabobank next year. Danish bronze medallist Mads Christensen admitted that for a short while he was dreaming of silver when he opened a gap to Dekker with about 600 metres to go. "I?m not a big sprinter which was why I attacked in the last corner. Unfortunately Thomas was too quick for me. But I think this was the right result, and this is still my best day as a rider yet," said the Dane, who currently rides for the third division Team PH, but is negotiating a move to CSC.