Vasil Kiryienka crushes elite men’s TT worlds

Thu, 24/09/2015 - 00:11

Vasil Kiryienka has always been an exceptional time trialist, but on Wednesday he proved himself to the world’s best. A podium finisher at the 2012 world time trial championships, the Belorussian blazed to a rainbow jersey with the best intermediate splits at all three time checks in the 53km race. Adriano Malori, an Italian seven years younger than the winner, slotted into second by 9.08 seconds. France’s Jérôme Coppel was perhaps the biggest surprise on the medal stand, taking third.

“Today I knew it was good for me. The course was exactly suited to me,” said Kiryienka. “I had references from the radio. I knew the time. But the most important thing was the race against myself. I knew the time references. But from the start I was feeling really good. Tom Dumoulin and Tony Martin were favorites. But I think today was my day. I was feeling great.”

Top-10 results

  • 1. Vasil Kiryienka, Belarus, in 1:02:29.45
  • 2. Adriano Malori, Italy, at :9.08
  • 3. Jerome Coppel, France, at :26.62
  • 4. Jonathan Castroviejo, Spain, at :29.36
  • 5. Tom Dumoulin, Netherlands, at 1:01.51
  • 6. Rohan Dennis, Australia, at 1:07.96
  • 7. Tony Martin, Germany, at 1:16.73
  • 8. Maciej Bodnar, Poland, at 1:17.33
  • 9. Marcin Bialoblocki, Poland, at 1:22.42
  • 10. Moreno Moser, Italy, at 1:31.61

The course began at a suburban amusement park and wound through the countryside before reaching the Virginia capital and concluded with a steep 300-meter climb leading to a left turn onto the closing straight.

Australian Michael Hepburn set the fastest times at the first three splits, riding early in the order and setting a best time at the finish. However, he wasn’t long for the hot seat. First it was Briton Stephen Cummings riding to a new best time by a fraction of a second, and then Pole Marcin Bialoblocki smashed the top time by over 36 seconds.

Australian Rohan Dennis was on a good ride, going fourth through the second time check, but he had a mechanical shortly thereafter and required a bike change, effectively ending his medal run.

Coppel was next to take the lead, unseating Bialoblocki by nearly one minute after riding an increasingly fast pace through the race. The French national TT champ spent awhile in the hot seat, but Malori, a former under-23 world time trial champion, running fifth-to-last in the order, bested his time easily.

But it was Kiryienka, 34, who would take the day. He delivered a brilliantly consistent ride, with fastest splits at each check and unseated Malori.

In addition to Dennis, other favorites faltered in Richmond. Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, a medal winner in last year’s worlds TT, could only manage fifth, suffering from a hip injury. Three-time world champion Tony Martin of Germany finished a distant seventh. It was Martin’s first time off the worlds TT podium in seven years.