Baroncini secures Italy 2nd World Championships gold

Friday 24 September 2021

The U23 men also have a new world champion in their midst. After an extremely thrilling final it was Italian Filipo Baroncini who took the victory. Biniam Ghirmay from Eritrea and Dutchman Olav Kooij joined him on the podium in Leuven.

A few hours after the world champion of the junior men was crowned, it was time for the U23 men to fight for the gold. They started their race at the Grote Markt in Antwerp for a 160 km trip to Leuven.

They did not have to wait long for a breakaway. After less than 10 kilometres Karpenko from Estonia, the New-Zealander Currie and the Irishman Ward accelerated. They eventually built up a maximum lead of almost five minutes. After an introduction to the city loop in Leuven, it was off to the Flandrien Circuit for the first time during these championships. A tough Smeysberg was followed by an even tougher Moskesstraat, which tore the trio apart. Currie went off alone, but at 55 kilometres from the finish also his story was over and we had a complete regrouping.

With 42 kilometres to go, nine riders joined forces, including big names such as New Zealander Fisher-Black and Swiss Schmid. Frenchman Vauquelin and Kazakhstan man Fedorov made a pact from the chasing group, clicked their shoes a bit tighter into their click pedals and went in search of the guys in front. When the breakaway reached the local circuit in Leuven, Vauquelin and Fedorov were able to join the front. 11 leaders from 11 different countries rode about 30 seconds ahead of the chasing group.

At 20 kilometres from the finish the Belgians and Dutchmen increased the pace behind the front group. The lead of the leaders diminished to 15 seconds after the chasers accelerated up the Wijnpers. In the meantime Fisher-Black had to drop out of the front group, leaving Schmid as the only one left. At the last wine press, his story was also over. It was Italian Filipo Baroncini who took over the race.

Baroncini dived into the final kilometres with a limited lead. The Italian held off the bunch and sprinted solo to the rainbow jersey. A sprint from the chasing group decided on the second and third places. Baroncini shone on the podium in the company of the Eritrean Ghirmay, who was just a tad faster than the Dutchman Kooij.