Germany’s Jonas Bokeloh wins the junior men's road race in a sprint as a shrinking peloton overhauls a two-man break

PONFERRADA, Spain (VN) — Germany’s Jonas Bokeloh won the junior world road race on Saturday at the UCI World Road Championships here.

The 18-year-old sprinter, a native of Hanover, won the 127.4km race from a shrinking peloton ahead of Russian Alexandr Kulikovskiy, with Peter Lenderink of the Netherlands third.

All three finished in the same time.

A late breakaway by Gino Maeder of Switzerland and Stepan Kurianov of Russia was overhauled by the lead group just before the line.

“I think it was pretty clear it would be a sprint, because the gap to the two attackers was very short in the final kilometer,” said Bokeloh. “It was a very hard race, and I felt pretty good during the race, but the final climb, it was harder to follow.

“I hope this medal will help me to find a new team for next season. I was focused on a top 10, because I never expected to become world champion today. The feeling is quite amazing.”

Kulikovskiy said he too was in some difficulty on the hills.

“The climbs were too hard for me to attack. I was getting dropped on the climbs, but I could use the downhills to stay with the favorites,” he said. “The race itself was under control. I am very tired now.”

Lenderink likewise found himself off the back on the final ascent, but fought back on in time to contest the sprint.

“I thought it would be a sprint. The group got smaller, but it stayed together,” he said. “I was a bit on the back on the last climb, and I used the downhill to get back at the front. I could sprint for third place.”

It was the second gold medal for Germany’s junior men at this year’s worlds. Last Tuesday Lennard Kamna won the junior men’s individual time trial.