Mads Pedersen won the men’s elite race at the Road World Championships on Sunday in a surprise victory amid heavy rain in northern England.
The 23-year-old Dane beat Matteo Trentin and Stefan Kung as the race – 261 kilometres (162 miles) in the cold and wet Yorkshire Dales – came down to a much-reduced sprint on Parliament Street.
“It’s unbelievable. I didn’t expect this when we started this morning. It was an unbelievable day,” Pedersen said. “It’s every rider’s dream to wear this jersey and for me to do it now, it’s unbelievable.”
Trentin was first to open up but the Italian soon realized he had gone too soon as Pedersen swept past him to win by a comfortable margin.
Gianni Moscon came in fourth ahead of three-time former world champion Peter Sagan.
Organizers announced early Sunday that the route would be cut by 19 kilometers to 261 kilometers, bypassing the key climbs of Buttertubs and Grinton Moor as flooding struck roads made famous by the 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour de France.
Defending champion Alejandro Valverde climbed off with 100 kilometers to go, with 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas another to give up early.
”I would have liked to have finished the race, to be there out of respect for my teammates and for Spain,” Valverde said in a tweet from the Spanish cycling federation. ”It was very cold, very windy, and raining … I was completely frozen.”
— UCI (@UCI_cycling) September 29, 2019
Road World Championships 2019 – Men Elite road race results:
|1||Mads Pedersen (Denmark)|
|2||Matteo Trentin (Italy)|
|3||Stefan Kung (Switzerland)|
|4||Gianni Moscon (Italy)|
|5||Peter Sagan (Slovakia)|
|6||Michael Valgren (Denmark)|
|7||Alexander Kristoff (Norway)|
|8||Greg van Avermaet (Belgium)|
|9||Gorka Izagirre (Spain)|
|10||Rui Costa (Portugal)|
|11||Sonny Colbrelli (Italy)|
|12||Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark)|
|13||Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic)|
|14||Carlos Betancur (Colombia)|
|15||John Degenkolb (Germany)|
|16||Ion Izagirre (Spain)|
|17||Amund Grondahl Jansen (Norway)|
|18||Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia)|
|19||Nils Politt (Germany)|
|20||Niki Terpstra (Netherlands)|