Matej Mohoric won the under-23 world road title on Friday at the UCI Elite Road World Championships in Florence, Italy. Mohoric (Slovenia) attacked late in the 173-kilometer race to take an emphatic solo victory.
Louis Meintjes (South Africa) was second and Sondre Holst Enger (Norway) was third.
Nathan Brown finished behind Enger in the first chase group and was the top American in 13th.
“I knew I had good legs, but the result [in Monday’s time trial] was not so good … I didn’t know what to expect,” said Mohoric. “I knew the competition from Tour de l’Avenir three weeks ago, and I knew I was one of the best climbers there, and I gained two or three kilos since then, so I’m stronger. I just can’t believe what happened.”
The race blew apart on the final ascent of the 4.3km Fiesole climb. Mohoric, who had attacked earlier in the race, was solo high up on the climb when Meintjes set out in pursuit. The Slovenian led down the descent to the base of the 10-percent, 600-meter Via Salviati ramp.
Mohoric led onto the climb, flying through the final, right-hand corner onto the ramp, but Mientjes stood on the pedals and began closing the gap.
Behind them, a group of roughly 12 riders, including Tour of Britain stage winner Simon Yates (Great Britain), Caleb Ewan (Australia), and Nathan Brown (United States) pursued.
But the Slovenian held off the South African on the climb and took every risk on the technical, rolling approach to Florence, even pedaling while sitting across the top tube in a tuck. With 2km to go, the gap to Meintjes was above 20 seconds. The chase was a further eight seconds back.
Mohoric had enough time to celebrate down the finish straight, coasting across the line with his arms raised.