Finally a successful breakaway made it to the finishing line. After two races ending in a bunch sprint, Saturday morning's Junior men ITT was decided by a six-man sprint instead, with Arnaud Gerard of France taking the first Gold Medal for his country in these Worlds.
The French National Champion outsprinted Finnish Jukka Vastaranta, with Australian Nicolas Sanderson taking the bronze.
In a race marked by several crashes, also affecting three members of the British squad, another Aussie (Ryan Sullivan) was involved in a massive fall just while crossing the finishing line. The Australian was the most badly affected rider: the man hit his head on the asphalt, and stood on the road for a few minutes, before being taken to hospital. Thankfully Sullivan had his helmet on.
As for race dynamics, after several attacks and break attempts (one of them also featuring American Tyler Farrar, who eventually ranked 16th) in the earlier part, the winning break formed at the beginning of the final lap, when three riders (the above mentioned Gerard and Sanderson plus Holland's Tom Vellers) went clear and managed to open a significative gap on the chasing peloton.
Soon later one of the main favorites, Slovakia's Matej Jurco, rode clear from the main bunch and kept doing a solo chasing work. He succededed in gradually closing the gap to the leading trio, but as for actually catching them, the East-European needed the help of two more riders able to say goodbye to the rest of the peloton: Vastaranta and another Dutchman, Joost Van Leijen.
So a leading group of six formed, and at the end of the last ascent of Sterrenwacht climb, the gap between them an the chasing peloton had extended to 23 seconds.
The chasers were working hard to bring them back, but their efforts eventually proved useless, as the leaders saved a 9-second gap and turned the fight for the title into a six-man affair.
Even the efforts of Another Aussie, James Meadley, who rode clear from the bunch in the last km. and tried to get across to join the leaders, proved vain; he could only take seventh place, 5" behind the winner.
Italians won the bunch sprint, but it was a worthless victory, and the boys of the "Squadra Azzurra" this time looked like being quite upset after they crossed the finishing line.
Junior Mens Road Race
JUNIOR MEN'S ROAD RACE - FULL RESULTS:
1. Arnaud Gerard (France) 2h50'17"
2. Jukka Vastaranta (Finland) - s.t.
3. Nicolas Sanderson (Australia) - s.t.
4. Tom Veelers (Holland) - s.t.
5. Matej Jurco (Slovakia) - s.t.
6. Joost Van Leijen (Holland) - s.t.
7. James Meadley (Australia) - at 05"
8. Mauro Santambrogio (Italy) - at 09"
9. Emanuele Rizza (Italy) - s.t.
10. Samuele Marzoli (Italy) - s.t.
11. Lukaz Fus (Czech Rep.) - s.t.
12. Vitalij Samsonov (Lithuania) - s.t.
13. Aldo Ino Ilesic (Slovenia) - s.t.
14. Heinrich Haussler (Germany) - s.t.
15 .Aldis Abolins (Latvia) - s.t.
16. Tyler Farrar (USA) - s.t.
17. Stanislav Kardos (Slovakia) - s.t.
18. Ruslan Sambris (Moldova) - s.t.
19. Iouri Trofimov (Russia) - s.t.
20. Risto Usin (Estoni) - s.t.
21. Daisuke Koiwa (Japan) - s.t.
22. Tomas Micek (Czech Rep.) - s.t.
23. Pascal Zaugg (Switzerland) - s.t.
24. Juha-Matti Alaluusua (Finland) - s.t.
25. Andrei Hauryliuk (Belarus) - s.t.
26. Matti Breschel (Denmark) - s.t.
27. Jan Sel (Czech Rep.) - s.t.
28. Markus Eibegger (Austria) - s.t.
29. Dmitry Kozantchouk (Russia) - s.t.
30. Pekka Jaaskelainen (Finland) - s.t.
31. Manuel Rhyn (Switzerland) - s.t.
32. Nazareno Rossi (Switzerland) - s.t.
33. Veaceslav Talasimov (Moldova) - s.t.
34. Bert De Backer (Belgium) - s.t.
35. Olivier Stiler-Cote (USA) - s.t.
36. Nathan Mitchell (USA) - s.t.
37. Andrei Laptsenkov (Estonia) - s.t.
38. Leon Makarovic (Slovenia) - s.t.
39. Andrey Dimovskikh (Kazakhstan) - s.t.
40. Dumitru Creciun (Moldova) - s.t.
41. Ronny Luedtke (Germany) - s.t.
42. David Vitoria (Switzerland) - s.t.
43 .Bartosz Pajor (Poland) - s.t.
44. Denis Birjukov (Estonia) - s.t.
45. Huub Duyn (Holland) - s.t.
46. Alexey Kolessov (Kazakhstan) - s.t.
47. Vincent Jerome (France) - s.t.
48. Andreas Finnerup (Denmark) - s.t.
49. Jurgen Roelandts (Belgium) - s.t.
50. Paidi O'brien (Ireland) - s.t.
51. Rene Mandri (Estonia) - s.t.
52. Cameron Evans (Canada) - s.t.
53. Ryan Sullivan (Australia) - s.t.
54. Alexey Esin (Russia) - s.t.
55. Vanja Satinovic (Croatia) - s.t.
56. Maxim Belkov (Russia) - s.t.
57. Oleksandr Shuvayev (Ukraine) - s.t.
58. Janez Rozman (Slovenia) - s.t.
59. Gianni Meersman (Belgium) - s.t.
60. Mark Jamieson (Australia) - s.t.
61. Martins Polakovs (Latvia) - s.t.
62. Andy Schleck (Luxembourg) - s.t.
63. Igor Klak (Poland) - s.t.
64. Peter Velits (Slovakia) - s.t.
65. Clemens Fankhauser (Austria) - s.t.
66. Leon Nel (South Africa) - s.t.
67. Martin Velits (Slovakia) - s.t.
68. Josef Kugler (Austria) - s.t.
69. Leonard Snoeks (Norway) - s.t.
70. Thomas Dekker (Holland) - s.t.
71. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) - s.t.