Boonen Wins World Road Race
Tom Boonen (Belgium) has won the world road race championship.
Tom Boonen ( <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
The peloton took a while to wake up. At two km, Krasimir Vasilev (
Initially, only the undermanned British squad chased. This served the interests of the sprinters' teams such as the Italians, the Belgians, and the Australians without conferring any advantage on the Britons. Eventually, however, other teams joined the pursuit and reduced the escapees' advantage to by the end of the seventh lap.
Attrition took its toll. During the seventh lap, Lopez Martin was dropped, and Vasilev fell off of the pace a lap later. By the end of the eighth circuit, the fugitives led by .
The Spaniards began to chase, and their pressure split the bunch. The Italians, however, brought the peloton back together. Joost Posthuma (
A series of attacks took place. During the ninth lap, Denis Shkarpeta (
The Australians led the chase. Shkarpeta dropped Muravyev, but the peloton caught him soon after. Chris Kern (
Pieter Weening (
The French, who had missed the break, led the chase. The Spaniards drove the break, but the peloton made up ground. Bettini attacked, and Wegmann, Piil, Devolder, Gilbert, Valverde, and Perdiguero followed.
The Australia-led bunch continued to close on the break, and only about 0:20 separated the bunch from the break as the last lap began. Perdiguero and Bettini attacked but were brought back. Piil and Gilbert countered, and Wegmann joined them. The Australians, however, rode them down.
Karsten Kroon (Netherlands) attacked, and Bettini, Julian Dean (New Zealand), Bjorn Leukemans (Belgium), Koos Moerenhout (Netherlands), and Alexander Vinokourov (Kazakhstan), among others,