Marc Hirschi became the first Swiss World Champion in the U23 Road Race in Innsbruck-Tirol as he soloed to victory in a downhill with 10km to go, showing great self-confidence despite his young age. The Swiss team outnumbered the other nations in the decisive breakaway of the day and the 20-year-old from Bern fended off Belgium’s Bjorg Lambrecht and Finland’s Jaakko Hänninen who sprinted home for silver and bronze medals 15 seconds later. Hirschi will join WorldTour Team Sunweb for the next three years.


MEN UNDER 23 ROAD RACE PODIUM

1 – Marc Hirschi - 179.5km in 4h24’05”, average speed 40.783km/h

2 – Bjorg Lambrecht at 15”

3 – Jaakko Hänninen s.t.


QUOTES

Winner Marc Hirschi said, in the press conference: “You have to be strong and smart to win the world title. Bjorg Lambrecht was the strongest but he was nervous. I was at the limit, I could have waited for the sprint but I saw the possibility to attack in the descent. We learned from previous experiences at the World Championships, so we wanted to make a very active race today. We rode together perfectly as a team although the way the race unfolded wasn’t what we planned. We had three leaders [with Gino Mäder and Patrick Müller]. I’m very happy with the outcome of course.”


Bjorg Lambrecht, second, said: “I’m a little bit disappointed, but I have to be happy that we take another medal. The Belgian team is happy with it. My team Lotto-Soudal is also happy that I made the podium. I felt that I was the strongest on the climb, but I knew since last year’s Tour de l’Avenir that Marc Hirschi was very good in riding downhill and I’m not the best descender myself.”


Jaakko Hänninen, third, said: “It’s nice to race against the best U23 riders in the world, although some of them are already professional cyclists when I’m an amateur. They were also riding in teams while I was the only one from Finland. But the course today was hard so it was more the legs to do the talking. I tried to save as much energy as possible in the first part of the race. The last part was more about having the legs.”


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Marc Hirschi has good reasons for being happy and proud

Keywords

2018 UCI Road World Championships

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