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Vasil Kiryienka wins men's world time-trial title with late surge

Vasil Kiryienka, UCI Road World Championships, Richmond, men's time trial
Image: Vasil Kiryienka claimed the biggest win of his career, aged 34

Belarus’ Vasil Kiryienka produced a searing late surge to win the elite men’s time-trial title at the UCI Road World Championships in the United States.

Kiryienka stopped the clock on a 53km course in Richmond in 1hr 2min 29sec, which was nine seconds faster than runner-up Adriano Malori, of Italy, and 26 seconds in front of third-placed Jerome Coppel, of France.

The leading pair had been dead level when they turned on to a 300m final climb with 1km to go, but while Malori struggled on the incline, Kiryienka tore into the ascent and pulled out a decisive gap.

Adriano Malori (Italy),  Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) and Jerome Coppel (France), UCI Road World Championships, men's time trial, Richmond
Image: From left, Adriano Malori, Kiryienka and Jerome Coppel on the podium

It was the biggest win of the 34-year-old Team Sky rider's career, having finished in the top four in the world time trial in each of the past four years.

Steve Cummings was Britain's best finisher, 1min 58sec down in 14th, while Alex Dowsett finished 2min 6sec adrift in 17th.

All of the three pre-race favourites suffered difficult days, with the Netherlands' Tom Dumoulin finishing 1min 1sec down in fifth, Australia's Rohan Dennis 1min 7sec back in sixth and three-time champion Tony Martin 1min 16sec off the pace in seventh.

Vasil Kiryienka, UCI Road World Championships, Richmond, men's time trial
Image: Kiryienka gained decisive ground on Malori on the final climb

Kiryienka said: "It's not incredible. I planned this. It's great to see some of the riders I have beaten here. I just want to spare a thought for my team, Sky, and what they have done for me. I couldn't have done it without their staff and their support.

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"There is so many things to consider - the aerodynamics, your physical state - and then it all comes down to delivering."

Kiryienka was the fastest man at all three intermediate checkpoints on the course, but at one stage it looked like he had started too fast and would blow up.

Adriano Malori, UCI Road World Championships, Richmond, men's time trial
Image: Malori finished nine seconds down on Kiryienka in second place

Having led Malori by 27 seconds at the first split and then 24 seconds at the second split, he began to slow down and was only 11 seconds ahead with 13km to go.

Malori had drawn level by the time they entered the final kilometre, but while he then blew up, Kiryienka found a second wind for the climb and rode into his first rainbow jersey.

Behind them on the road, Martin and Dumoulin both started badly and never recovered, while Dennis began well but saw his chances all but ended by a puncture midway along the course.

Elite men's world time-trial result

1 Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus), 1:02:29

2 Adriano Malori (Italy), +9sec

3 Jerome Coppel (France), +26

4 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain), +29

5 Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands), +1:01

6 Rohan Dennis (Australia), +1:07

7 Tony Martin (Germany), +1:16

8 Maciej Bodnar (Poland), +1:17

9 Marcin Bialoblocki (Poland), +1:22

10 Moreno Moser (Italy), +1:31

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