Day of Drama as Juniors Take Centre Stage at UCI World Championships
Aigul Gareeva and Antonio Tiberi both bounced back from dramatic setbacks to claim sensational victories in the Women’s and Men’s Junior Individual Time Trial events at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships
Russian starlet Gareeva had to make a hasty U-turn after missing the tight righthand-bend onto the finishing straight, and Italian Tiberi was then forced into an early bike change after snapping his chain as he rolled down the start ramp.
Both riders showed huge resolve however, with Gareeva wrapping up her win with a 3.61sec advantage over Shirin van Anrooij (Netherlands), and Tiberi took his first rainbow jersey by stopping the clock 7.79sec faster than next-best competitor Enzo Leijnse (Netherlands).
Great Britain meanwhile, claimed their second bronze medal in as many days with Elynor Backstedt taking third place in the women’s race, and Leo Hayter and Oscar Nilsson-Julien both earned themselves top-10 finishes in the men’s equivalent.
Harrogate once again proved a stunning backdrop, with the female riders tackling one lap of the 13.7km circuit before the men took on the same course twice.
VIDEO: 2019 UCI World Championships Women's Junior ITT
Russian rider Aigul Gareeva said: “I was on my absolute limit as I approached that last corner and was following the white stripes on the road instead of looking up at where I was going. It was an error on my part and I was so relieved when I was still able to win. It was a very emotional moment for me and am so proud to have my rainbow jersey.”
Italian rider Antonio Tiberi said: “I knew straight away that I’d snapped my chain but luckily I was able to roll to my team car and get a bike change. I thought at that point there was no chance I would win but I refocused and was surprised to find out later in the race that I was leading. That gave me huge motivation and I could not believe it when I had won.”
VIDEO: 2019 UCI World Championships Men Junior ITT
Great Britain rider Elynor Backstedt said: “It was a hilly and technical circuit but I enjoyed every minute of it. I had a little wobble half-way around which lost me some seconds but thankfully I stayed on my bike. The crowds were absolutely incredible. I was the last rider down the start ramp and I could hear the fans cheering my name before I’d even started. That cheering didn’t stop then for my full ride and it certainly pushed me along. I am really happy with my bronze medal and it was an unbelievable experience."
Yorkshire 2019 CEO Andy Hindley said: “We’ve witnessed some amazing sports stories today. Aigul, Antonio and Elynor all experienced problems during their rides but their ‘never say die’ attitude was hugely inspiring to watch – especially from riders so young. Each of their incidents only added to the drama, and I can’t remember two individual time trials quite as exciting as those we witnessed today.”
About the 2019 UCI Road World Championships
The UCI Road World Championships have only been held in Great Britain on three previous occasions, the most recent of which was at Goodwood in 1982. The 2019 Championships are taking place in Yorkshire until Sunday 29 September.
The celebrations got going on Saturday 21 September when - for the very first time - a UCI-sanctioned, one-day international para-cycling event was held ahead of the Championships. The Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International acted as a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and welcomed entries from every Paralympic road racing classification.
The Championships commenced with the maiden Mixed Team Time Trial Relay and the programme continues with Individual Time Trials and Road Races for Junior (17/18 years), Under 23 and Elite male and female riders.
Approximately 1,400 riders are set to compete from 90 countries and the action will be beamed to a global TV audience of over 250 million.