Artem Shmidt and Viggo Moore ignited the Junior Men’s Road Race.
WOLLONGONG, Australia (September 23, 2022) — It was a rainy day in New South Wales for the Junior and U23 Men’s Road Races on the fifth day of the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong, Australia. Artem Shmidt (Cumming, Ga.; Hot Tubes Development Cycling) was the standout rider of the day for Team USA, finishing his World Championship campaign in the Junior ranks with a fifth in today’s Road Race and a sixth in the Time Trial.
Shmidt, Viggo Moore (Feldberg, Ger., LUX Cycling Development Team), and Alex Gustin (San Diego; LUX Cycling Development Team) started the day racing 139 kilometers over eight laps through the Wollongong city circuit.
Shmidt was one of the primary animators of the race from the very beginning. He rode the front and stayed with all the moves, especially up the first climb and avoiding crashes on the first lap. He attacked at 18km with Luxembourg’s Mil Morangonly holding the break for about five km.
When the peloton came back together, another break got away with Romet Pajur (EST) and Pavel Novak (CZE). However, the Americans were not going to let the duo get far. At 37 km into the race, a group of riders, including Moore and Shmidt, attacked off the peloton, trying to make it across.
Over seven km, the group of Moore, Shmidt, Zachary Walker (GBR), and Benjamin Eckerstorfer (AUT) connected with Pajur and Novak growing the gap by over a minute.
Shmidt and Moore helped keep the pace high in the front group of six, but there was a chase coming from behind. Through the last two laps, the race came back together then António Morgado (POR) went solo off the front. The group blew up from there, with the two Americans falling off the pace. Emil Herzog (GER) countered the attack and made his way back to Morgado.
After the race, Shmidt told VeloNews about the race. “Position, position, position, that was the main thing today. It was a very nervous race in the beginning with rain, corners, white lines, so I pretty much tried to stay in the front, get in a couple of early moves, and not overwork in those early moves is what my goal was. I kind of knew since our gap in the breakaway wasn’t increasing to over a minute, I knew we were going to get caught back on the climb. I was reserving as much energy as I could. Once they caught us, I continued to be in the front, but, unfortunately, I ran out of energy.”
It came down to a sprint finish for the title, with Hertzog edging our Morgado. Moore and Shmidt made their way back into the mix at three km to go and were there for the bronze medal sprint.
Shmidt continued, “When we caught them, they were kind of going slow, and me and Viggo moved to the front. Viggo went a little early, and he gave me a bit of a lead out. I started my sprint early, and a couple of guys came around me. And I didn’t get the bike throw, so a couple of guys got around me at the end. I got fifth, which is perfect. A top five at worlds is really good.”
Out of 108 riders, only 57 would complete the road race in its entirety, with Gustin still finishing on the lead lap.
- Emil Herzog (GER) – 3:11:07
- Antonio Morgado (POR) – +0
- Vlad van Mechelen (BEL) – +55
- Artem Shmidt (USA) – +55
- Viggo Moore (USA) – +55
- Alex Gustin (USA) – +11:55
Conditions worsened with more rain coming down for the U23 race. The American squad of Colby Simmons (Durango, Colo.; Jumbo-Visma Development Team), Matthew Riccitello (Tucson, Ariz.; Israel Premier-Tech), Luke Lamperti (Sebastopol, Calif.; Trinity Racing), Patrick Welch (Northfield, Minn.; Kelly Benefits Strategies), and Finn Gullickson (Colorado Springs, Colo.; CR4C Roanne) raced ten laps through the city circuit covering a total of 170 kilometers.
The group of Fabio Van Den Bossche (BEL), Hannes Wilksch (GER), Petr Kelemen (CZE), Mathias Le Berre (FRA), Fabian Weiss (SUI), and Fran Miholjevic (CRO) worked hard to establish a break early on, which they held for over 100 km. However, the peloton was controlled and did not attempt to chase down the group, with their gap growing as large as three minutes.
With a group effort from the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany, the peloton slowly started reeling the breakaway back, closing the gap to around 30 seconds as they went out on their eighth lap. At that point, Simmons, Lamperti, and Riccitello were all still in the mix.
At 43 km to go, the lead group exploded with Van Den Bossche, Wilksch, and Le Berre as the only ones left attacking up the Mount Pleasant climb.
As the riders saw two to go, the peloton was single file catching the chase, and the chase caught the leaders. Le Berre still looked strong and made another attack. At that point, the Americans had missed the move and dropped back from the main group of 30+ riders.
- 1. Yevgeniy Federov (KAS) – 3:57:08
- 2. Mathias Vacek (CZE) – +1
- 3. Soren Wærenskjøld (NOR) – +3
- Colby Simmons (USA) – +3:37
- Luke Lamperti (USA) – +8:43
- Matthew Riccitello (USA) – +9:39
- Patrick Welch (USA)
- Finn Gullickson (USA)