Czech team leader Pavel Bittner fell on a wet track 108 kilometers from the finish. On the delicate Glasgow street circuit, the loss after the carom was very significant, but the Czech competitor from the DSM team returned to the peloton with the remaining 81 kilometers thanks to the help of his compatriots.
At that point, eight cyclists were leading the race, including this year’s Peace Race winner Antoine Huby, but he also encountered the road a few kilometers later. Most of the time, the refugees were about a minute ahead of the pack.
With 45 kilometers to go, local Jack Rootkin-Gray took the lead, while half a minute further in the peloton, Slovakian Martin Svrček tested the attention of the others. The Soudal-Quick Step team rider managed to leave the peloton, in which Bittner was still riding, and gradually made his way to the front.
Axel Laurance attacked 26 kilometers from the finish line. The 22-year-old Frenchman built a 20-second lead over the group with Svrček and was able to hold on to the lead and win. From next season, Laurance will defend the colors of Alpecin-Deceuninck, for which the senior world champion Mathieu van der Poel also rides. He spent this season in the development squad.
He won gold for France in the under-23 category after six years, the last time Benoit Cosnefroy did so in 2017. Portugal’s António Morgado won the silver medal in the 168 race kilometers at the end of a sprint of four competitors, just behind the winner, the Slovakian Svrček celebrates the bronze medal.
Bittner arrived at the finish line as the best Czech in 23rd place in the group, losing more than three minutes to the winner. Jakub Ťoupalík 34th and Pavel Novák 38th also finished the race.
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