Catlin notches second top-10 of the week at Road Worlds

  
  


Toscana, Italy (Sept. 27, 2013) -- Kelly Catlin (Arden Hills, Minn./Gopher Wheelmen) turned in her second top-10 performance of the week with a ninth-place finish in Friday's juniors women's road race at the 2013 UCI Road World Championships. On Monday, Catlin was seventh in the individual time trial.

 
American riders Kelly Catlin (center) and Hannah Swan (left) round a corner during the juniors women's road race at the 2013 UCI Road World Championships
American riders Kelly Catlin (center) and Hannah Swan (left) round a corner during the juniors women's road race at the 2013 UCI Road World Championships. (Photo by Casey B. Gibson)
In today's event, Catlin kept pace with the peloton for the entire 82.85-kilometer race that consisted of five 16.57-kilometer circuits around the city of Florence. Each circuit included the 4.37-kilometer Fiesole climb that topped out at a nine percent gradient, followed by a short but demanding 0.6-kilometer climb up Via Salviati that reached a 16-percent pitch.

"It feels good," said Catlin of her top-10 finish in the road race. "It's exhausting but I did better than I expected. The course was harder than I expected. Doing that hill five times was very, very difficult."

A breakaway of five riders produced a lead of 2:12 on the peloton at the end of the third circuit, but Catlin and the field had whittled the advantage down to 1:10 at the end of the next lap and continued to narrow the gap. But the breakaway, now down to three riders, managed to stay out in front through the finish with Denmark's Amalie Dideriksen taking the rainbow jersey in a sprint ahead of Russia's Anastasiia Iakovenko and Ukraine's Olena Demydova.

Catlin came across the line with the hard-charging main field in ninth place, 34 seconds behind the winner.

"A lot of the riders were much better climbers than I expected," Catlin added. "They looked like they weren't built for it but they did very, very well. I think it was a good thing that the race was so difficult because that really selected the strongest people rather than the most skilled at moving through the pack. That was nice because I'm not skilled at moving through the pack. I would have liked to have been in the front more on the first lap and to have actually seen the breakaway, but I think in terms of staying up front on the later laps I did that pretty well."

Hannah Swan (Alpine, Calif./Strive Racing), who was with Catlin in the main group through the first two laps, slowly faded back thereafter and finished in 47th place, 8:54 behind Didiriksen. The third American rider on the team, Sara Youmans (Ketchum, Idaho/Stranamanti Cycling - Keller Rohrback Cycling), had to abandon the race on the third lap.

In the afternoon, the men's U23 race provided excitement from the start. With the fast pace and grueling 173.19-kilometer course, only 84 of the 173 entrants finished the race.

 
Nathan Brown (l) is overtaken by the field in the sprint for the bronze medal in the U23 road race
Nathan Brown (l) is overtaken by the field in the sprint for the bronze medal in the U23 road race. (Photo by Casey B. Gibson)
Attacks were launched soon after the race began, with a five-man break managing to stay away until the third of seven 16.57-kilometer circuits in downtown Florence. With three circuits remaining, American Nathan Brown (Covington, Tenn./Bontrager Cycling Team) attacked and joined the lead group of three, but that break was quickly consumed by the peloton.

"I was just testing my legs and seeing if a little break would work but they brought it back pretty fast," said Brown. "My legs felt good so I thought I'd save it until the last lap. The race was on for the whole race. There were no dull moments. That's what made it so hard. After four laps we were down to like 70 guys already, so it was a hard race."

On the final lap, 2012 junior world champion Matej Mohoric attacked and took the lead with a daring descent into the city, and pulled away to win the U23 title at just 18 years of age. South African Louis Meintjes crossed the line alone for the silver medal, three seconds behind Mohoric. Meanwhile, Brown launched a valiant attempt for the bronze medal in the final 100 meters but his move was countered by the field and Brown faded to 13th. Norway's Sondre H. Enger took the sprint for the bronze medal.

"I attacked with about a kilometer and a half to go," Brown said. "I'm not really a sprinter so I knew I had to go from long. I just put my head down and went but they caught me with like 75 meters to go. You're not going to win if you don't try. I'm happy I tried. It didn't work out this time but maybe next time."

The race was Brown's last as a U23 competitor as he will be turning pro and racing for the Garmin-Sharp team next year.

"I'm happy with the way it ended and I'm really excited for Garmin next year," he added.

Tanner Putt (Park City, Utah/Bontrager Cycling Team) was the only other American to finish the race, crossing the line 1:39 back of the winner in 33rd place. Lawson Craddock (Austin, Texas/Bontrager Cycling Team), Nathan Wilson (Elk Grove, Calif./Bontrager Cycling Team) and Gavin Mannion (Dedham, Mass/Bontrager Cycling Team) also contested the race for the U.S.

The UCI Road World Championships continue on Saturday with the road races for the juniors men and elite women, and conclude on Sunday with the elite men's road race.

2013 UCI Road World Championships
Toscana, Italy
Sept. 22-29
 
FULL RESULTS | PHOTO GALLERY

Juniors Women's Road Race (82.85 km)
1. Amalie Dideriksen (DEN) 2:32:23
2. Anastasiia Iakovenko (RUS) same time
3. Olena Demydova (UKR) +0:03
9. Kelly Catlin (Arden Hills, Minn./Gopher Wheelmen) +0:34
47. Hannah Swan (Alpine, Calif./Strive Racing) +8:54
Sara Youmans (Ketchum, Idaho/Stranamanti Cycling - Keller Rohrback Cycling) DNF

Men's U23 Road Race (173.19 km)
1. Matej Mohoric (SLO) 4:20:18
2. Louis Meintjes (RSA) +0:03
3. Sondre H. Enger (NOR) +0:13
13. Nathan Brown (Covington, Tenn./Bontrager Cycling Team) +0:13
33. Tanner Putt (Park City, Utah/Bontrager Cycling Team) +1:39
Lawson Craddock (Austin, Texas/Bontrager Cycling Team) DNF

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