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WORLDS’23 Males’s RR Breakdown: Van der Poel’s Powerful, Technical Rainbow Journey!


World Street Race Championships 5 Takeaways: Spencer Martin breaks down how one of many hardest World Street Race Championships between traditionally nice rivals was gained. The battle got here all the way down to the 4 greatest one-day riders of our time: Mads Pedersen, Tadej Pogačar, Wout van Aert and the eventual winner, Mathieu van der Poel.

– This text is an excerpt from the Past the Peloton e-newsletter. Join right here for full entry. –

*** You possibly can learn the total PEZ ‘Race Report’ HERE. ***

Males Elite Street Race Highlights – 2023 UCI Biking World Championships

This Sunday, after hours of all-out racing within the streets of Glasgow, Scotland, Mathieu van der Poel soloed his first profession Elite Males’s Street Race World Title. He completed this by attacking and dropping an elite entrance group of Mads Pedersen, Tadej Pogačar, and Wout van Aert on an absurdly technical 50-corner 14-kilometer-long metropolis circuit. Not even a crash from Van der Poel, after he slid out within the moist downhill nook with 17 kilometers remaining, might derail the dream trip. The Dutch famous person crossed the end line 1’37 forward of Van Aert, who got here in a couple of seconds forward of Pogačar.

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The lads’s race map and profile

Regardless of the 270-kilometer-long course, notably its 140-kilometer-long circuit within the Glasgow metropolis middle course, trying benign on paper and drawing criticism for its lack of pure magnificence and resemblance to a criterium course, the race produced one of the all-out shows of racing seen in trendy biking, with elite health, technical ability, and tactical nuance required to make the profitable group. The day was so demanding that by the top of it, the reigning World Champion, Remco Evenepoel, who rode clear for a solo victory along with his uncooked energy to win final 12 months’s World title, was dropped as a result of his lack of technical potential, and the gaps have been a few of the largest ever at a highway World Championships between the highest few ending positions.

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Mathieu van der Poel – The largest win of his profession and provides to his rainbow jersey assortment

2023 World Street Race Championships High 5
1) Mathieu van der Poel (The Netherlands) +0
2) Wout van Aert (Belgium) +1’37
3) Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia) +1’45
4) Mads Pedersen (Denmark) +1’45
5) Stefan Küng (Switzerland) +3’48

To increase on the premium subscribers-only post-race breakdown, I’ve damaged down the important thing moments and takeaways from the race under:

2023 World RR Championships Race Pocket book:

140km-to-go: As they enter the Glasgow metropolis circuit, the Danish staff is driving a particularly laborious tempo on the entrance, which has already strung out the sector into a protracted, single-file line. That is usually one thing you’d count on to see in a 70-minute criterium, not in the course of a six-hour-long highway race.

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116.5km: Inside a couple of minutes of racing on the extraordinarily technical circuit, the peloton is already breaking apart, with the race’s strongest riders, Mads Pedersen, Tadej Pogačar, Wout van Aert, and Mathieu van der Poel, within the entrance group. Discover how Van Aert is already pulling by means of on the entrance, regardless of it solely thinning the group and eliminating his Belgian staff’s numerical benefit, whereas Van der Poel is sitting, considerably comfortably, within the pack.

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112.7km: To regulate the race and preserve strikes from getting off the entrance, Van Aert’s Belgian staff will get to the entrance and units a tough and regular tempo. Nonetheless, this difficult tempo retains their co-leader and defending champion, Remco Evenepoel, caught out of place and too far down the peloton. Evenepoel’s weaker technical ability exhibits.

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97.5km: As a consequence of missing the flexibility to ‘float’ in direction of the entrance like Van Aert and Van der Poel, Evenepoel realizes his solely manner of surviving the circuit is to power a small transfer off the entrance. He assaults, and whereas it seems to be for a second like he’s making an attempt a particularly long-range solo transfer, just like how he gained Worlds in 2022, he quickly sits up barely and appears again, which is an indication that he desires others to bridge as much as him.

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90.9km: Evenepoel’s try and power a cut up doesn’t work, and he’s quickly shuffled again and caught in a second group on the highway because the race weaves by means of its limitless corners. Van der Poel, sensing a chance to separate up the Belgian staff and isolate Van Aert for a 1v1 battle, assaults up the steepest hill on the course with the intention to power a small group clear and preserve Evenepoel and his Belgian teammates caught within the chase group.

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72.7km: This tactic finally succeeds, and Van der Poel doubtless can’t consider his luck when Van Aert begins pulling by means of to distance his personal group of teammates caught behind. Presumably, Van Aert thinks that if he can get forward of Evenepoel, his path to victory is way extra simple. Nonetheless, this neutralizes his staff energy, one of many greatest benefits he has over Van der Poel. Even when he doesn’t need Evenepoel within the transfer, he’s doing pointless work and throwing away a free card to take a seat on, and forcing others to tempo. Additionally, with out France represented right here, the chance they will maintain off the chase group is slim.

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65.9km: The chase group, led by France, finally reels within the Van Aert group. Belgium instantly returns to the entrance to set a tough tempo whereas Van der Poel strikes again to relaxation within the slipstream.

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64km: Belgium’s extraordinarily laborious tempo by means of the technical course finally drops Evenepoel, who’s pressured to spend huge quantities of power chasing again on after being gapped in each nook.

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61km: The tempo on the entrance slows, and as quickly as Evenepoel returns to the entrance, he begins attacking, as soon as once more falling into the ‘off the entrance or off the again’ lure. As quickly as he’s reeled in by Pogačar, Van Aert assaults, making an attempt to arrange the identical ‘assault, counter-attack, assault once more’ dynamic that cracked Pogačar on stage 11 of the 2022 Tour de France. Nonetheless, in contrast to that scenario, they’re permitting different favorites, like Van der Poel, to take a seat in whereas they tire each Pogačar and themselves out with the assaults.

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40.1km: With Alberto Bettiol dangling 30 seconds off the entrance, Van Aert will get clear and begins driving away from the chase group with an elite sub-group. Nonetheless, this chase group contains all of the favorites, Van der Poel, Van Aert, Pogačar, and Pedersen, which suggests Van Aert is just driving away from his staff and isolating himself in opposition to his prime rivals.

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29.9km: At one level, Van Aert is digging deep to set a particularly laborious tempo, however not attacking to trip clear in a solo transfer, to reel in Bettiol whereas three Belgian teammates, together with Evenepoel, chase laborious 45 seconds behind, with Van der Poel in his wheel. Even making an allowance for that he desires to be as far forward of Evenepoel as attainable, this appears ill-advised, and contributes to his fatigue later within the race.

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22.3km: Simply as they catch a fading Bettiol on one of many steepest pitches on the course, Van der Poel well assaults extraordinarily laborious, which permits him to make use of the slowing Bettiol as a kind of display to gradual the response from the others. However, inside seconds, we will see that Van der Poel is just stronger than the opposite three riders and can be virtually inconceivable for them to reel in.

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16.6km: With a wholesome 34-second lead, Van der Poel slides out and crashes in a moist downhill nook. Usually, this is able to be the top of a profitable transfer as a result of potential harm to the rider and/or gear.

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16.5km: Nonetheless, impressively, Van der Poel is again up and on his bike simply six seconds after his fall, and again as much as full velocity simply seven seconds later.

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16.4km: 16 seconds after Van der Poel remounts and simply 10 seconds after he’s again as much as race velocity, the Van Aert-led chase group rides by means of the identical nook. However, with out race radios, they doubtless don’t know that Van der Poel has crashed, and now has a damaged shoe, and that they might have a sensible probability of catching him in the event that they work collectively proper right here.

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End: Regardless of the damaged shoe and a torn jersey/shorts, Van der Poel simply holds off the chasers to cross the end line for his first profession elite World highway race title.

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Chase group end: Exhibiting why the chase group had a lot hassle working collectively, Van Aert will get second place after driving away from the others heading into the end, whereas Pogačar impressively out-sprints Pedersen for third place. This implies we get the identical prime three as we had earlier this 12 months on the Tour of Flanders (simply in a special order), and it highlights simply how good these prime three riders are throughout almost each sort of terrain.

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5 Key Takeaways

The primary three takeaways are my preliminary post-race ideas on Sunday after the race.

1) Mathieu van der Poel completes his transformation from careless expertise to polished champion

  • The 28-year-old famous person bounced again from a lackluster Tour de France and probably even confirmed that was half of a bigger plan by executing a tactically good race to win his first profession World highway title.
      • Outdoors of netting him a World Championship, the win means Van der Poel now has two World Titles (CX & Street) and two Monument victories (together with runner-up finishes at E3 and Flanders) in a single season. That is an unbelievable haul for a profession, not to mention a season, and places Van der Poel into ‘rider of the 12 months’ conversations.’
  • The win exhibits how Van der Poel has drastically advanced from a rider who raced with out forethought and full abandon to somebody who has gained a stunning quantity of tactical nuance in his one-day driving. As an alternative of launching from absurd distances, he now targets an actual level on the course the place he desires to launch his race-winning transfer and works all the pieces backward from there.
    • Whereas he nonetheless launches ill-advised mid-race assaults right here and there, he has added a barely extra subdued technique to his recreation, and has gained three of the largest one-day races of the 12 months by sitting again and letting others do the work for him, earlier than launching a knock-out assault.
      • For instance, the Belgian staff managed the race for lengthy stretches of in the present day’s race and even spent important power 1-2 attacking Pogačar with Remco Evenepoel and Van Aert. On the similar time, Van der Poel sat again and allowed Pogačar and Van Aert to put on themselves out earlier than launching a brutal assault on one of many seemingly numerous quick, punchy climbs that suited his skills so properly.

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All smiles between Van Aert and Evenepoel the day earlier than the race

2) The Belgian duel technique of Wout van Aert & Remco Evenepoel fell to items late within the race

  • Wout van Aert and Remco Evenepoel, the 2 cornerstones of the extremely sturdy Belgian staff, had disappointing days as their aggressive two-pronged technique fell aside after Evenepoel was dropped from the lead group.
  • Wout Van Aert: Van der Poel’s long-life rival added yet one more irritating second-place end at a World Championship-level highway occasion.
    • Out of six whole podium finishes at Worlds, European, and Olympic highway championship occasions, he now has 5 2nd locations and one third place.
    • This provides to his disappointing 2023, the place he has did not win at each main goal (Milano-Sanremo, Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders, Tour de France) and solely has a single victory, E3, to indicate for his supreme expertise and health.
  • Nonetheless, whereas many followers and the Belgian media will painting these runner-up finishes as an entire failure, in the present day’s outcome was doubtless the results of Van der Poel merely being stronger than Van Aert on the day.
    • The one selections we will look again on from in the present day is Van Aert being so keen to work when clear with a small group forward of the diminished peloton and taking it upon himself, together with Evenepoel, to assault and counter-attack Pogačar, whereas Van der Poel sat within the group.
      • Had he been extra even handed along with his power, maybe he would have had an opportunity to reply to Van der Poel’s profitable transfer.
  • Remco Evenepoel: The reigning World Champion completed over 10 minutes in arrears of Van der Poel after being dropped with 35 kilometers remaining.
    • Defending his title was at all times going to be a tricky activity for Evenepoel, who’s making an attempt to stretch his peak type for the six-week interval between Worlds and the top of the upcoming Vuelta a España, however an absence of technical expertise, not type, seemed to be the primary problem for Evenepoel at in the present day’s race.
      • Unable to ‘float’ inside the highest ten positions on the entrance, which is essential on a 50-turn metropolis circuit, Evenepoel was pressured to take a seat on the again, which takes an enormous toll as a result of having to dash out of each nook to get again on phrases with the riders within the entrance of the group, who’re capable of undergo the turns at a a lot a lot simpler, and smoother, tempo.
      • Because of the incapacity to take a seat on the entrance, the 23-year-old was consistently yo-yo-ing between sitting on the again and attacking off the entrance. A rider would possibly have the ability to get away with this on a smoother or much less technical circuit, however over 140 kilometers of racing on a circuit as difficult as in the present day’s, even a rider as proficient as Evenepoel will finally be caught out because of the huge power expenditure required by this model.
  • One does must marvel how Evenepoel’s detour from Vuelta prep to defend his World Title will have an effect on his possibilities on the upcoming Vuelta in opposition to top-tier GC riders who’ve had a lot smoother build-ups.

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Tadej Pogačar – The world’s most versatile rider

3) Tadej Pogačar’s third-place end on a course that didn’t notably swimsuit him cements his standing because the world’s most versatile rider

  • Regardless of coming off a disappointing and tough Tour de France, Pogačar rolled as much as a race that didn’t notably swimsuit him and bagged a massively spectacular third-place medal.
  • Coming into the day, Pogačar’s probabilities of profitable in opposition to rather more highly effective riders like Van Aert and Van der Poel have been virtually zero on a circuit that was basically a city-center criterium and didn’t function a single climb longer than a minute.
    • Nonetheless, these slim possibilities didn’t let Pogačar cease him from making an attempt, and his trip to seize a medal right here exhibits unbelievable bodily expertise in addition to cements his place as a real ‘racer’s racer’ that’s at all times recreation to throw down, even when programs and situations don’t swimsuit him.
      • Needless to say Van der Poel and Van Aert might need been capable of greatest Pogačar on in the present day’s circuit, which was virtually purpose-built for his or her skills, however they will’t come near even difficult Pogačar on his stage-racing terrain.
  • Whereas Van der Poel would possibly at present be in pole place for ‘rider of the 12 months’, if Pogačar can rally to win Il Lombardia on the finish of the season, he would virtually definitely must be celebrated as 2023’s greatest rider, since this would go away him with a 100% win price at one-week levels races (2/2), 4 main one-day wins, together with two monuments, a runner-up on the Tour de France and medal on the World Street Race Championships throughout a single season.

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Mads Pedersen narrowly missed out on the rostrum

4) Mads Pedersen could have missed out on the rostrum, however his Danish staff’s techniques efficiently maximized his probabilities of profitable the race

  • The Dane might need narrowly missed out on the rostrum, however Pedersen put in one of the spectacular rides on the day to make the profitable transfer after having his Danish staff set an preliminary laborious tempo on the circuit, realizing that the tougher the race was, the higher probability he had of being ready to win.
    • Sadly, he ran up in opposition to three different riders who benefited from the identical dynamic, however 4th remains to be a formidable outcome when going up in opposition to a few of the greatest all-around skills within the historical past of the game.
    • Additionally, a comfort for Pedersen is that it’s tough to think about how he or his staff might have created a scenario that produced a better chance of a Pedersen victory, and he was solely an in depth dash away from ending on the rostrum.

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Scott Road – The steepest of the quick, robust climbs

5) The Glasgow circuit produced a few of the hardest line-to-line racing ever seen in a race of this distance

  • The ten laps of the 14-kilometer Glasgow circuit produced a few of the hardest, and most fun, line-to-line racing I’ve ever seen in a 270-kilometer-long race.
    • The truth that on a circuit that didn’t function a sustained climb longer than a minute, the margin between 1st and twentieth place was greater than eight minutes, which is way bigger than the mountainous Austrian course from 2018, ought to function yet one more reminder that metropolis circuit programs are almost at all times far tougher than anticipated when initially trying on the profile.
  • Metropolis circuits produce harder-than-expected racing merely as a result of the truth that they create a dynamic the place everyone seems to be sprinting into and out of corners each few seconds…for hours on finish.
    • However, outdoors of that, Sunday’s race was so tough as a result of it suited the favorites.

      • Pedersen, Pogačar, Van Aert, and Van der Poel knew {that a} laborious, strung-out race was good for them since it might enable them to make use of their superior bike-handling expertise to ‘float’ close to the entrance, whereas sturdy, however much less technically proficient riders, like Evenepoel, can be caught additional down the bunch, and finally dropped, as a result of this tempo.
        • In brief, a tough tempo eradicated variables between these riders and a possible win.

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One of many 47 per lap corners

# Spencer Martin is the creator of the cycling-analysis e-newsletter Past the Peloton that breaks down the nuances of every race and solutions large image questions surrounding staff and rider efficiency. Join now to get full entry to all of the accessible content material and race breakdowns. #


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