Doha worlds: Denmark’s Egholm solos to men’s junior road race win

Jakob Egholm finishes 7 seconds ahead of a large group of riders to claim the gold medal in Doha.

Dane Jakob Egholm soloed to victory in the junior men’s road race at the UCI World Road Championships Friday in Doha, Qatar.

“I can’t believe it,” Egholm said. “I haven’t won a race since May. I went into the race with the expectation to help my teammates in the sprint. When we were in the breakaway I sat still in the back of the group to save energy.”

Egholm earned a seven-second win over a group of riders that included runner-up Niklas Markl (Germany) and third-place finisher Reto Muller (Switzerland).

The race was marked by aggressive tactics as Dutchman Jan Mobach was first to go off the front. Then, Eritrea’s Awet Habtom went on the attack, followed by Slovenian Tadej Pogacar and Dennis van der Horst of the Netherlands.

After bunch caught the escape, a group of 14 formed at the head of affairs. The newly crowned time trial champ, Brandon McNulty of the U.S., attacked with Julius Johansen (Denmark) and Alexys Brunel (France), about 50km from the finish. They were also caught, and in the race’s final lap, McNulty was forced to burn his matches covering moves.

Finally, the winning attack went clear as Egholm and teammate Johansen joined forces off the front with about 30 kilometers left in the 166km race around Doha, Qatar. Egholm eventually dropped his countryman in the closing kilometers and pressed on toward the finish line in solo fashion.

“Everyone thought it would be a sprint finish,” Egholm continued. “When Johansen was gone, no one was on my wheel and I told myself I could go get it. I continued the effort. It was like an individual time trial at the end.”

His victory comes 33 years after the only other Danish world champion in the junior men’s road race, Sören Lilholt.

Full report and results to follow.