An emotional Johan Price-Pejtersen of Denmark is the new men’s under-23 Time Trial world champion after riding to victory in Flanders.
The 22-year-old took the rainbow jersey with a time of 34:29 – ten seconds faster than Australian Luke Plapp who had set the pace early on.
Price-Pejtersen was the last starter and smashed Plapp’s time to add the world title to the European title he won in Trentino earlier this month.
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Florian Vermeersch of Belgium finished third with a time of 34:41.
For Denmark, it was day of mixed feelings, with the win coming just days after former professional cyclist Chris Anker Sorensen was killed after being involved in a collision with a vehicle during a ride.
Price-Pejtersen was in tears both on the finish line and the podium after securing the victory.
“For me, the team, for everybody it has been difficult” he said afterwards.
“It’s very important for me to honour Chris and what he stood for.
“He was a true fighter and inspired a lot of people, he was one of the people who showed the younger people the path to the pro classes.”
“He’s just a legend and that is what I wanted to honour today”
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Price-Pejtersen also discussed his strategy in the race and the key to securing victory.
“In the Europeans I exploded a bit and I thought it would be better to do a controlled negative split in the first split time.
“I had the advantage of starting last so I could see where my effort put me in terms of split times so at the first split time I was told I was about third fastest, not far from the fastest time so I knew I had to put up the pace.
“Then there was a bit of hard road up until the second split. I gave it everything from there all the way through to the end.”
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