This day would be different for the Australians.
14 hills were on the docket with three climbs being climbed twice including the Steenbeekdries, the Taaienberg and the Eikenberg. A breakaway of two including Matthew Zenovich (New Zealand) and Lucas Gaday (Argentina) got away in the opening kilometers but shortly after, Gaday was dropped and Zenovich was out front alone in the lashing wind and rain. Even with many riders attempting to bridge, the Kiwi who rides for the NZ/Japanese amalgam CCT p/b Champion System
Kiwi = More Vit. D this time of year. Can Matthew Zenovich stay away for next 100k? (photo:'15 NZ Track Natz) #RVVU23 pic.twitter.com/pDwE5uu1NVIt took over 100 kilometers before Zenovich was brought back with 75 kilometers to go and the real race started. At 65 kilometers to go, a group of 9 got away and defined the rain-soaked race. The breakaway consisted of Nils Pollitt (Germany), Martijn Tusveld (Netherlands), Francesco Rosa (Italy), Markus Faglum (Sweden), Dylan Page (Switzerland), David Per (Slovenia), Kenepajs (Latvia), Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Norway) and 1st year Stepan Kurianov (Russia).
— T H E ● G R O B E R (@GroberTheo) April 11, 2015
The gap grew to nearly a minute before Great Britain got on the front for their man Owain Doull. The breakaway began to splinter on the first time up the Steenbeekdries and Taaienberg with Kurianov, Per, Faglum and Rosa falling off the pace. The front group was splintered with riders such as Nans Peters (France) and Krists Neilands (Latvia) moving up to the break before even more riders such as Alexander Edmondson (Australia), Nathan Van Hooydonck (Belgium) and Franck Bonnamour (France) came up to join the fun.
Nearing the base of the Koppenberg with 25 kilometers to go, the breakaway was neutralized and a peloton of 40 riders were flying into the base of the climb. With the cobbles being slick with rain and an unforgiving 22% maximum gradient, the Koppenberg was at it fiercest today. On the steepest part, Edmondson accelerated away from the rest of the riders and was trailed shortly by the likes of Jan Dieteren (Germany) and Gianni Moscon (Italy). Really, it was the riders that were able to stay up right that had some sort of chance at making the finale group.
Kudos to @alexedmo to cross the line as first @CyclingAus @CyclingCentral @SBSRadioSport #AussieCycling #RVVU23 pic.twitter.com/Ix5Zq7gz3u
— Joyce Jason Ghijs (@JoyceGhijs) April 11, 2015
the smartest rider @alexedmo won the RVV U23 #koppenberg pic.twitter.com/6eGr6S4xUWOthers such as Nathan Van Hooydonck, Löic Vliegen and Daniel Eaton were able to make it over the Koppenberg but it was going to get sketchy for them very quickly.
— Mario Stiehl (@MarioStiehl) April 11, 2015
I crashed at 20k to go in the downhill of the Koppenberg. Still in the hospital now. Normally nothing broken. My legs were good.
— Nathan Van Hooydonck (@NVHooydonck) April 11, 2015
#RVVu23 was in the hunt after the koppenburg run up to go sailing into a field on the way down the other side w/20km to go. #wayshegoes
— Benjamin Perry (@benjefperry) April 11, 2015
How to lose Tour of Flanders ? Was in the good front group (5 riders) for the win in 20 keys to go and crashed in the descent of KoppenbergThe trio of Edmondson, Moscon and Dieteren were away with a select chasing group after them but soon after, Dieteren was lost and it was just the Australian and Italian riding for the win out front.
— Vliegen Loic (@LoicVliegen) April 11, 2015
Fuck! Was in the breakaway with 4 guys after koppenberg and then my legs explode and i found myself back in 2cnd group. #disappointedThe other that was supposedly in this group was Truls Korsaeth (Norway) but it was definitely Edmonson and Moscon out front with the Norwegian being the first chaser. Behind him was the French duo of Nans Peters and Franck Bonnamour, who were both ahead of the chasing peloton.
— Jan Dieteren (@DieterenJan) April 11, 2015
#RVVU23 @alexedmo & @GianniMoscon ride on the Holleweg @RondeVlaanderen. Small gallery here http://t.co/ND0vMgslnI ;) pic.twitter.com/WO0ZW6MHYsComing into the final kilometers, the duo were obviously fighting it out for the win. Moscon was the surprise to be in this position as his strengths lie more in the Italian hills but he proved his all-around strength by making it to this selection. Edmondson was capitalizing on his GP Rancillo win and riding like a man possessed. It would come down to a two-up bunch sprint...
— KillouGhost (@vinzkilleye) April 11, 2015
De Australiër Alexander Edmondson @alexedmo wint de #RVVU23. Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/95uN8RJ1A5Incredible win by Edmondson and while it is no indicator for classics success in the future, it is nice to see Australia branch out and taking a big Northern classics win in the U23 ranks. Moscon can't be faulted as Edmondson has a wicked sprint on him. Korsaeth came across the line for 3rd just 7 seconds back for his biggest result ever while Peters and Bonnamour came around at 54 seconds for 4th and 5th. Mihkel Räim (Estonia) had a fantastic race for 6th while it was Mads Pedersen who came across the line in 9th to win the small chasing peloton sprint ahead of Owain Doull and Davide Martinelli.
— Karl De Rycke (@KarlDeRycke) April 11, 2015
Alexander Edmondson wint Ronde van Vlaanderen voor beloften. Foto's aan de aankomst http://t.co/C64QS27Bva #RVVU23 pic.twitter.com/aOzvkmF39G
— Wim De Bleeker (@WimVermeerSport) April 11, 2015
.@Danielpeaton93 and @justinoien, who spent time w/ the front of #RVVU23 late, took top US finishes near top 20. pic.twitter.com/UHXoTCnzLH
— USA Cycling (@usacycling) April 11, 2015
- Alexander Edmondson (Australia)
- Gianni Moscon (Italy)
- Truls Korsaeth (Norway) +7"
- Nans Peters (France) +54"
- Franck Bonnamour (France) s.t.
- Mihkel Räim (Estonia) +1'23"
- Anders Skaarseth (Norway) s.t.
- Fabien Grelier (France) +1'37"
- Mads Pedersen (Norway) +1'39"
- Owain Doull (Great Britain) s.t.
- Davide Martinelli (Italy) s.t.
- Daniel Hoelgaard (Norway) s.t.
- Twan Brusselman (Netherlands) s.t.
- Jan Dieteren (Germany) s.t.
- Daan Myngheer (Belgium) s.t.
- Krists Neilands (Latvia) s.t.
- Michal Paluta (Poland) s.t.
- Daniel Biedermann (Austria) s.t.
- Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Norway) +1'42"
- Daniel Eaton (USA) +2'44"
-Belgium only had one in the top 20. Some mind find it disappointing but they had bad luck with crashes and I'm sure they will be back in La Côte Picarde and the ZLM Tour.
-France put in 3 in the top 8. Les Bleus are red hot so far this year and Peters, Bonnamour and Grelier are all continuing impressive seasons.
-Norway put 5 riders in the top 19. These races aren't a perfect look to the future but on such a shitty day with the rain and wind, having nearly your whole team in the front peloton is quite a feat.
-Raim's finish is the highest ever by an Estonian and the highest by a rider from the Baltics since Toms Skujins in 2011. Raim rides for Immo Pro Nicolas Roux in France while not on the National Team.
-The Netherlands, Swiss and Danes were fairly anonymous through the day. The Dutch got into the break with Tusveld but nothing other than Brusselman in 14th. The Swiss? A couple in the breakaways but best finished was 28th in Thery Schur. The Danes? They just didn't do much of not. Yeah, Pedersen was 9th but they were anonymous in the group through the day.