Julian Alaphilippe (France) claimed today’s Elite Men’s Road Race World Championship title in Imola, Italy today, after the French ride executed a well-timed attack on the final climb of the Cima Gallisterna with 12 kilometers remaining to seize the coveted Rainbow Jersey by 10-seconds ahead of his closest rivals Wout Van Aert (Belgium) and Marc Hirschi (Switzerland).
Jonas Koch (Germany), Torstein Traen (Norway), Marco Friedrich (Austria , Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan), Yukiya Arashiro (Japan), Eduard-Michael Grosu (Romania) and Ulises Alfredo Castillo (Mexico) formed the day’s early breakaway effort, subsequently opening up an advantage of seven minutes over the peloton. However, with 68 kilometers remaining, the escapees were reined in by the chase.
From there, it was the large national teams with their respective hopefuls that took over the pace setting, particularly France, Belgium and Great Britain.
Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia) later attacked during the penultimate lap, quickly riding clear of the peloton at the foot of the Cima Gallisterna.
However, thanks to the efforts of the Belgian team, Pogacar was eventually reeled back in with 18 kilometers to go.
Attacks from the Italian and French teams further whittled down the peloton, until just six riders formed the final lead group along the upper slopes of the Gallisterna.
Alaphilippe’s trademark surge on one of the steepest points was enough to set him up for a career-first World Championship, ending France’s 26-year drought in the men’s World Championship Road Race.
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