Bettini Defends World Road Race Championship

News & Results

10/1/2007| 0 comments
by Gerald Churchill

Bettini Defends World Road Race Championship

Paolo Bettini (Italy) has won the world road race championship for the second consecutive year.

Paolo Bettini (
) has won the world road race championship for the second consecutive year. Bettini took a five-up sprint to win the gold medal in the 14-lap, 267.4-km race in
Stuttgart, Germany in 6:44:43. Alexandr Kolobnev ( Russia) took the silver, and Stefan Schumacher (
) won the bronze. Bettini is the first man to take consecutive victories in the world championship road race since 1991-92, when Gianni Bugno, another Italian, turned the trick.


From the start, the racing was aggressive. After just a few km, Robert Kiserlovski ( Croatia) sallied off of the front, and Roman Bronis (
) joined him. Tyler Farrar ( United States ) countered, and Vladislav Borisov ( Russia), Zoit Der ( Serbia), and Yukia Arashiro (
) followed. The quartet passed Kiserlovski and Bronis, but by the end of the first lap only Farrar was at liberty.


Stephane Auge ( France) and Marlon Alirio Perez Arango (
) attacked and led the bunch by 2:08 at the end of the second lap. Marcin Sapa ( Poland) and Dainius Kairelis (
) attempted to bridge up to the break, but the pair never came close to succeeding. Sergei Kolesnikov (
), however, did reach Auge and Arango. The trio led the field by 5:17 at the end of the fourth lap.


During the fifth lap, the Italians began to apply pressure. The resulting combustion caused the peloton to split, with 50-60 riders in the first group. A two-minute gap formed between the first and second groups, with the second group falling 2:00 behind the first one. By the end of the fifth lap, the first group was 0:38 behind the leading trio.


During the sixth lap, the first group absorbed the three leaders. Ruslan Podgornyy (
) attacked from the first group and led it by 0:23 at the end of the sixth lap. The Dutch led the second group, which was 3:00 behind the first.


Early in the eighth lap, the first group reeled in Podgornyy. The two groups nearly came together, but 24 men remained in front. They were Bobby Julich (United States); Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Norway); Kim Kirchen (Luxembourg); Jens Voigt and Marcus Burghardt (Germany); Carlos Barredo, Juan Antonio Flecha, and Joaquin Rodriguez (all from Spain); Rene Mandri (Estonia); Stijn Devolder, Philippe Gilbert, and Johan Van Summeren (all from Belgium); Matej Stare (Slovenia); Alessandro Ballan, Alessandro Bertolini, and Damiano Cunego (all from Italy); Vladimir Efimkin (Russia); Robert Gesnik and Karsten Kroon (both from The Netherlands); Simon Gerrans (Australia); Sandy Casar (France); Christian Pfannberger (Austria); Podgornyy; and Luis Felipe Laverde (Colombia). Eventually, Andriy Grivko (
) joined the group.


Julich and the Italians drove the lead group. Behind, the Dutch led the second group. At the end of the eighth lap, the two groups were 1:45 apart.


During the 11th lap, the two groups merged. With 50 km left, Ballan attacked, and a flurry of attacks ensued. With 33 km remaining, Davide


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