2014 UCI Road World Championships: U23 Men’s Road Race Photo Gallery

New South Wales? Caleb Ewan?has claimed the fifth medal for Australia at the UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, winning silver in the under 23 men?s road race. Ewan took out the bunch sprint for silver while a late solo charge from Norway?s Sven Erik Bystrom saw him earn the rainbow stripes. “I?m pretty happy, of course disappointed not to get the gold but we did all we could,” said Ewan 20, who also claimed the silver medal in the junior race in the Netherlands, two years ago and finished fourth in the 2013 under 23 race. Sun greeted the field as they started 10 laps of the hilly 18.2km course. With the field knowing the Australian had one of the fastest finishes, the team were a visible presence in the peloton from the start. An aggressive start saw numerous attacks fail before a group was finally allowed to go clear. Adil Barbari (ALG), Roman Kustadinchev (RUS) and Sebastian Schonberger (AUT) built up a maximum advantage of around three and a half minutes. Alex Clements (TAS) assumed the early workload along with newly crowned time trial world champion Campbell Flakemore (TAS). Heading in to the second half of the race, the gap fell and attempts were made to bridge across. With three laps remaining, a new group of Ruben Zepuntke (GER), Roman Kustadinchev (RUS), Sebastian Schonberger (AUT), Lennard Hofstede (NED), Tilgen Maidos (KAZ) and Pierre-Roger LaTour (FRA) had formed. The gap continued to fall under the emphasis of all six Green and Gold jerseys on the front of the peloton. Heading in to the final lap the team had nearly brought the field back together. Kevin Ledanois (FRA) had an advantage of around 10 seconds as Sam Spokes (NSW), Jack Haig (VIC) and Rob Power (WA) lead the peloton. With the pressure on the field to do something, attacks came thick and fast. The lead constantly changed ahead of the final climb of the day. Bystrom attacked on the final climb with Power taking chase and almost making it across. Over the top, a group of 40 riders formed trying to bring things back together. However it wasn?t to be with Bystrom taking the win solo while Ewan easily won the sprint for silver ahead of Kristoffer Skjerping (NOR). Rob Power finished 35th in the front group, with Jack Haig 67th and Sam Spokes 78th. Despite missing out on gold, Ewan was very pleased to have taken a medal. “The course didn?t suit me so it could have gone either way, though we hoped for it to come back for a sprint. “Thank you to the whole team, without them it would not have been possible. Not just the team but all the staff at the AIS. They do everything for us.” The race ends Ewan?s time as an under 23 as he transitions to his professional contract with Orica-GreenEDGE on the 1st of October. “I missed a lot of racing after crashing at Ronde van Vlaanderen and a lot of the year I was playing catch up.” “The last couple of months I came good. With a win at Tour de l’Avenir and now here, it is a good finish.” Images copyright Bart Hazen

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