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The VeloVeritas Years – 2019: The Elite Road World Championships

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We didn’t realise when we made our way to the Civic Hall in Leeds for the sign-on of the 2019 Elite World Road Championships just what an epic day we were in for; emergency purchasing of umbrellas in the local outdoor centre didn’t quite cut it as the deluge lasted almost the entire race.

But we didn’t mind; the biggest one day race of the season was in our country and no amount of rain ad wind was going to stop us having a ball. Ed stalked the buses and finish line area to grab riders as they called it quits early whilst Martin walked the entire circuit (it took five hours) protecting the cameras from the elements and capturing the action as he went. It took Martin a few days to get the blue shoe dye out of his feet – but it was great to be there, to witness Mads Pederson step up on such levelling conditions to take the rainbow bands. It was a day that will be talked about for years and is our 2019 memory for ‘The VeloVeritas Years’ collection.

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This article first ran on 29th September, 2019

Denmark’s Mads Pederson drops to the wet Yorkshire tarmac, a hundred metres past the finish line, he can’t take in what he’s just accomplished.

He has out-sprinted one of the foxiest and fastest men around, Matteo Trentin of Italy – the hot pre-race favourites for the title on this horror of a day.

Elite Road World Championships
Mads Pederson in the media scrum at the Elite Road World Championships. Photo©Ed Hood
Elite Road World Championships
Mads Pederson takes an unexpected win at the World Road championships. Photo©Martin Williamson
Elite Road World Championships
Silver medallist Matteo Trentin (r) concentrates on a tricky descent on the 2nd lap of the finishing circuit. Photo©Martin Williamson

In third spot was the tall, handsome young man who forced the break, former World Pursuit Champion and Swiss Time Trial Champion Stefan Küng.

Elite Road World Championships
Stefan Küng. Photo©Martin Williamson

In fourth spot was Trentin’s Italia team mate, Gianni Moscon who was in the Küng break but cracked.

Elite Road World Championships
Gianni Moscon leads the break on the 7th lap. Photo©Martin Williamson

But the man who cracked in most spectacular style was the man who many felt was world champion in waiting with a lap to go – even the Belgians in the bar I had to take shelter in – Mathieu Van Der Poel.

The young talent reckoned he’d eaten enough but hadn’t bargained on the cold which ate into everyone as they hammered around the sodden streets of Harrogate.