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UCI Road World Championships: Søren Wærenskjold wins U23 men’s time trial

The 22-year-old takes Norway's second rainbow jersey in two days in Wollongong, with Segaert and Hayter filling out podium.

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WOLLONGONG, Australia (VN) — Søren Wærenskjold secured Norway’s second gold medal in as many days at the UCI Road World Championships with a convincing victory in the U23 time trial.

After finishing fourth in the same competition last year, the 22-year-old beat Belgian rider Alec Segaert by 16 seconds on the 28.8km course in Wollongong, with Leo Hayter (Great Britain) taking the bronze medal.

Wærenskjold went off in the fourth batch of five riders and set a time of 34:13.40 to comfortably put himself into the lead ahead of the previous fastest rider with Hayter.

He would have a tense wait as the final riders went through after Segaert set the quickest time at the opening check. The young Belgian, who finished third in the junior time trial in Flanders last year, began to fade over the latter part of the course, and with a few meters to go it became clear that the win would go to Wærenskjold.

The Norwegian paced on the stage where he had been sat in the hotseat as he contemplated the reality of his victory. His win comes after Tobias Foss’ surprise victory in the elite men’s competition Sunday.

How it happened

With the reshaping of the schedule, the U23 men had Monday all to themselves with the first riders rolling down the start ramp early afternoon in Wollongong. It was windy once again, but mercifully dry.

Denmark’s Carl-Frederik Bevort set the early benchmark with a time of 34:52.79. He would enjoy nearly an hour in the hotseat before he was finally ousted by Leo Hayter (Great Britain), who beat Bevort by 15 seconds.

Hayter started his run strongly but faded over the second lap, something that would prove key as later riders came through. When Wærenskjold came out, he was some six seconds slower than Hayter at the first check but he began clawing that back over the second part of the course.

The deficit was less than three seconds by the second checkpoint but that had flipped to a 24-second advantage by the finish line. There were still 15 riders to finish and Wærenskjold would have to wait for nearly all of them to cross the line before he could be comfortable in his top spot.

Sagaert was the first rider to really threaten Wærenskjold lead, going quickest at the opening time check. However, he had already lost ground on the Norwegian by the second check. He would hold on to take the silver medal.

Results will be available once stage has completed.

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