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One year on from taking a sensational victory in the German national championship, new T-Mobile signing and procycling Fab Four member Gerald Ciolek added a world title to his growing list of successes when he won the six-rider sprint that decided the under-23 championship in Salzburg on Saturday. The 20-year-old German finished ahead of France's Romain Feillu and Russia's Alexandre Khatuntsev.
"I've had a good season so far, and even managed to win on the ProTour," said Ciolek, who won a stage on the Tour of Germany earlier this season. "This win is like confirmation for me. And I'm looking forward to the next two years with T-Mobile. I just hope they will be able to put the rainbow colours on my team jersey. It will be good racing as the world champion, but the most important thing for me is that I keep the hunger to go out and win races."
The women's title was also taken by a young up-an-comer, as Holland's Marianne Vos outpaced Germany's Trixi Worrack and Britain's Nicole Cooke on Saturday afternoon. "It was a hard race, I followed wheels for the last two laps and then the lead group broke away," said the 19 year old. "It was hard to stay with [Nicole] Brndli and Cooke, but after we were pulled back I thought I might just have a chance in the sprint. I had no idea I could win so clearly in the bunch sprint, but when I saw there was nobody else there I knew I'd done it."
Already the Dutch national champion and the world cyclo-cross champion this season, Vos has just signed a five-year contract with her Dutch team, DSB. "My next objective is to defend my cyclo-cross title and then after that I will take a short break," she said.
Cooke had mixed feelings after once again finishing on the Worlds podium but missing out on the main prize. "Marianne and I were working very hard in the break, but I don't think we were strong enough with the German squad chasing behind. I'm very happy with my ride, because I know I was able to help shape the race all the way through," said Cooke, who was closely marked by all teams.
"We haven't raced each other lots and lots, but Marianne's a good rider and showed that today on the climb by doing her fair share of the work," Cooke said of the new world champion. She wasn't shirking at all and I think she raced a very good race."
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