30/09/18 - 08:51
Road race - Men
World Championships • Stage12

Road race - Men

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Confirmation of the top 10 today after what was a truly gripping final 20km.


At 38 years, 5 months and 5 days, Alejandro is not quite the oldest world champion: Joop Zoetemelk was 39 when he won in 1985.


Emotional scenes for Alejandro Valverde, who is ecstatic. He's finally got gold after two silver medals and four gold medals. He's in tears and celebrating with all his Spanish team-mates once they finish, and all his team soigneurs and mechanics...


Romain Bardet took silver, Michael Woods bronze and poor Tom Dumoulin - despite battling back - didn't have enough and was fourth.


Victory for Alejandro Valverde of Spain! Finally, at the seventh occasion, Valverde is world champion!


Valverde on the front now, looking over his shoulders constantly...


Dumoulin was about to put in a big attack from behind but checked his speed once Valverde noticed it.


And Alaphilippe is not much further behind either, so if they mess around it could prove fatal.


Three become four as they cross the river Ings...


Dumoulin has not caught them yet but the gap is closing. We have no idea what's going on behind him - perhaps we have more riders about to rejoin the party?


Dumoulin is within sight of the three leaders and they're on the flat now and this will play into the hands of the Dutchman.


Dumoulin is only 10 seconds back! They have completed the final bit of the main descent and this could play into the hands of the Dutchman...


Bardet and Woods are making Valverde do the pacing on this descent until the Spaniard drops back to force the Frenchman through.


Of these three riders you have to fancy Valverde for the sprint - given his kick and his experience.


The kilometre count has disappointed so apologies about that - I'm improvising. The TV images are very confused - we have no idea what's happening behind these three leaders.


They're onto the descent now and it's Valverde leading Bardet and Woods: these three could be our medallists today, but behind there is a whole host of riders chasing back - including Dumoulin, Moscon and Alaphilippe.


The road flattens out near the summit and Bardet drops back a little while fiddling with his shoes. But he then puts in a big dig and comes to the front. They're going back uphill now after a small drop. Dumoulin has caught and passed Moscon.


Moscon almost comes to a standstill! Woods, Valverde and Bardet ride clear. But the gaps are small and Dumoulin is still in it.


Dumoulin is snaking his way up with Alaphilippe behind, Valgren too. Moscon, amazingly, has held onto the leaders. This is incredible.


Meanwhile, Dumoulin has ridden onto the wheel of Valgren behind. He has Alaphilippe with him.


Alaphilippe has popped! Bardet looks back and decides he has to ride on rather than wait: just him, Valverde, Moscon and Woods now.


Valgren has been caught by Bardet, Woods, Moscon, Valverde...


Just six riders in pursuit: Pinot, Alaphilippe, Bardet, Valverde, Woods and Moscon! 10 seconds now for Valgren.


France have three riders on the front of this chasing pack, working for Julian Alaphilippe. Just seven riders in this chase group! Valgren has 20 seconds.


This is what they have to deal with - and a maximum gradient of 28%, not the 25% marked.

2018 World Championships in Innsbruck, Gramartboden climb

Rudy Molard and Thibaut Pinot are on the front of this main pack with Alessandro De Marchi, but Primoz Roglic appears to be in difficulty. The climb coming up...


Over the cobbles goes Valgren through Innsbruck city centre. He has that brutal 2.8km climb coming up but all the big guns behind chasing on.


Adam Yates is rooted to the back of the main pack, biding his time. Valgren, meanwhile, has 30 seconds now to play with. It's the French who lead the chase with Italy, and Spain tucked in further back.


Valgren has 15 seconds to play with now with the chasing group now pretty much caught by the main pack.


Primoz Roglic is in this small break too after bridging over on the descent. Costa, in fact, wasn't out ahead but chasing down Valgren, who had opened up a gap just over the summit.


Rui Costa has had a quiet season but he's zipped clear of the leaders now. The 21-year-old Portuguese was world champion in 2013 and has done very little since. Will that change toay?


There's a group of six out ahead now on this descent: Kennaugh, Pinot, Moscon, Izagirre, Lutsenko and Costa.


More attacks as they approach the summit - and it's Thibaut Pinot who is leading the chase with Russia's Alexey Lutsekno in his wheel, Gianni Moscon has also darted clear ahead of the descent.


Michael Valgran of Denmark is bridging over to Kennaugh. They have a small gap on the pack.


Pinot, Moscon, Valverde and Alaphilippe are all there and all look very strong. And then, from nowhere, comes an attack from Peter Kennaugh of Britain. Paving the way for Adam Yates or going it alone?


It's all over for Laengen and Asgreen, our remaining two escapees, who are caught and passed following a quick fist pump.


With De Marchi on the front there's another attack from the Netherlands - this time it's Sam Oomen. Kreuziger latches on and it's closed down - but more are off the back.


Vincenzo Nibali has been dropped! But we're seeing the likes of Bardet and Costa for the first time. Dumoulin is still here, as is Krueziger and Fuglsang. No sign of any Brits yet but we think Adam Yates is still around.


That attack from Kruijswijk has forced a reply from the likes of Hermans, Moscon, Pinot and Nibali. Others bridge over but a selection has been made. Just 30 seconds now for our two leaders.


ATTACK: Steven Kruijswijk puts in a big attack for the Netherlands.


Michael Woods (Canada) and Jack Haig (Australia) don't have any team-mates but they're still in the mix.


Pieter Weening and Tim Wellens have popped for the Dutch and Belgians. Dario Cataldo has been distanced after putting in a huge shift for Italy, who also have Gianni Moscon.


Franco Pellizotti setting tempo for Italy going onto this climb. Meanwhile, Dan Martin, Bob Jungels and Wout Poels have all called it a day after completing the penultimate lap.


Six riders now working hard on the front of the pack for Italy, who have Vincenzo Nibali primed. Meanwhile, the two leaders are onto the Igls climb with 2:20 to play with.


The gap is down to two minutes for the two leaders as Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski, the last man to win the worlds before Peter Sagan, crosses the finish line. It will be no surprise to see him call it a day rather than go round the final circuit.


It's Italian duo Damiano Caruso and Gianluca Brambilla who lead the peloton over the finish as the bell sounds, with Frenchman Tony Gallopin just behind. All the big guns are still in this group except Kwaitkowski, Simon Yates, Sagan, Martin...


With 225km in the legs, the riders now tackle the decisive long lap, which, with an extra 7.1km on the cards, features a seventh ascent of the climb to Igls followed by the coup de theatre: the punchy 2.8km climb of the Gramartboden, otherwise known as the Höll, which averages at 11.5% and rises to a maximum gradient of 25%.


The bell sounds as our two Scandinavian leaders zip through the finish ahead of the final lap. The gap is 2:30.


Spain have two riders on the front ahead of two Belgians. Italy have three riders near the front while the Dutch, British and French are really sitting back. The big favourites - Alejandro Valverde and Julian Alaphilippe - have really kept themselves hidden.


Our two leaders - Vegard Stake Laengen (Norway) and Kasper Asgreen (Denmark) - climb into the town centre of Innsbruck ahead of the final lap. They have 2:45 over the main pack but will find it hard to stay out after so long off the front of the race.


This is now hard today's course is...


The peloton is all strung out now on the descent and there are only about 50 riders left in it.


As it comes back together it's De Marchi who accelerates clear with Kennaugh on his wheel.


Chaotic racing as the riders reach the summit. We have a group of about nine riders with a small gap over the rest of the pack. Meanwhile, our two leaders from the early break still have 2:40. Van Rensberg has been caught by Brambilla group.


George Bennett leads the chase for New Zealand. He has Emanuel Buchmann with him for Germany and one of the Frenchmen, perhaps Molard. Further behind, Jack Haig has attacked for Australia. He's joined by Peter Kennaugh.


Rob Britton has been caught now - and Michal Kwiatkowski has been dropped.


It's all Italy now with Brambilla, Caruso, Pellizotti and De Marchi all on the front. Brambilla then rides clear, provoking a response from David de la Cruz of Spain and one of the Dutchmen. It's Antwan Tolhoek.


It's back together now with the Dutch and Italians looking strong. But Wout Poels and Simon Yates have been dropped...


It's Simon Geschke who bridges over for Germany on the climb, and the bearded rider is joined by a cluster of others. The break has really been whittled down. And now Alessandro De Marchi comes to the front for Italy. Dan Martin, meanwhile, has been dropped for Ireland.


Just two riders in the lead now: Scandinavians Laengen and Asgreen. They have 3:15 over the Van Avermaet trio, who are close to being swept up now following all those moves behind.


Going out the back now is Tao Geoghegan Hart of Great Britain, who's put in a solid shift today. Meanwhile, we have five riders zipping clear of the pack on the climb with a few briding over.


* Gianni Moscon, Dan Martin, Greg Van Avermaet, Bob Jungels


** Simon Yates, Tom Dumoulin, Romain Bardet, Rigoberto Uran, Enric Mas


*** Alejandro Valverde, Michal Kwiatkowski, Adam Yates, Thibaut Pinot


**** Primoz Roglic, Vincenzo Nibali


***** Julian Alaphilippe


Roglic is now back with the peloton after his crash. Game on for the Slovenian, who is one of the favourites today. How about some rider start ratings? These are mine...


Van Avermaet still leads this move with Caruso and Fraile - they're bickering a lot but have dropped Hnik and some other breakaway stragglers. They trail the leaders by 3:45 and have 30 seconds on the pack.


The UCI official feed are trolling the French, who seem to have disappeared...


Primoz Roglic, meanwhile, is about 50 seconds off the pace after that crash. His jersey is bloodied as he chases back on with some Slovenian team-mates.


The gap is 15 seconds for the Van Avermaet group back to the pack as they zip though the finish zone. Two more laps to go for the remaining 92 riders. The break, meanwhile, has 4:25.


Van Avermaet is with Omar Fraile and Damiano Caruso. They have caught one of the flagging escapees - it's Hnik - and have about 10 seconds on the pack. GVA knows that he needs a good gap before the climbs on the final lap if he wants a chance of winning - and he's not happy with the limited work that Fraile and Caruso are doing.


The reduced pack passes by the gold-gilt roof in Innsbruck once again. Spain have Herrada and Castroviejo on the front while Britain have Geoghegan Hart and Peter Kennaugh. And then there's an attack by Belgium's Greg Van Avermaet! The Olympic champion opens up a small gap with a couple of riders.


Ryan Mullen, who was in the break, has now withdrawn.


That Nibali move came to nothing and it's back together with Spain and Britain on the front, and Nairo Quintana showing himself right up there too. The French are still keeping themselves quite far back.


If you're just joining, Peter Sagan, the triple world champion, has called it a day after being dropped with 90-odd kilometres remaining.


Roglic isn't panicking but he's still waiting for a new bike and he's all bloody through a torn jersey on his left shoulder. The race is really on now.


CRASH: Three riders go down on the same bend that took out Warren Barguil - and one of them is Primoz Roglic of Slovenia!


There's a big split in the pack and we have an elite group forming with Italians Vincenzo Nibali and Alessandro De Marchi as well as Poland's Kwiatkowski. The Dutch are all there but won't react but Great Britain seem to have disappeared, and the French are nowhere to be seen.


ATTACK: Italy roll the dice with an attack from Dari Cataldo. The Spanish have it covered through Jesus Herrada, who wore the red jersey for two days during the Vuelta.


We're down to four riders out ahead: Robert Britton (Canada), Kasper Asgreen (Denmark), Vegard Stake Laengen (Norway) and Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa). They have six minutes as they crest the summit of this Igls climb for the third-last time.


Britain's Tao Geoghegan Hart now drives the pace on the front of the pack, which has dropped more riders including Edvald Boasson Hagen and Winner Anacona.


Castroviejo is back on the front for Spain alongside Knox for GB. Marcus Burghard, after his mechanical issues, is back in the mix. And Conor Dunne has now been caught by the pack after his time out ahead in the break, the remnants of which still has 6:15 to play with.


Seven teams have four riders: Belarus, Canada, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Portugal, New Zealand and the USA. Canada's Michael Woods is a dark horse today after his successful Vuelta; Ireland, as we've discussed, have both Dan Martin and Nico Roche; Portugal have Rui Costa - remember him? - and New Zealand have George Bennett.


We're onto the climb again and Britain have sent James Knox onto the front to set tempo. They want to reduce the field as much as possible and Knox is being helped by Tony Gallopin of France.


Russia have kept their powder dry. Their main man is Ilnur Zakarin, who is supported by Ildar Arslanov, Sergei Chernetckii, Pavel Kochetkov, Ivan Rovny, Pavel Sivakov and Dmitri Strakhov.


Fominykh is the latest escapee to feel the pinch, the Kazakh dropped near the start of the climb.


It's now Spain, led by Jonathan Castroviejo, who lead the pack across the finish line area with a deficit of 7:41. They catch Ireland's Ryan Mullen, who was in the break earlier on, just before the line. Meawwhile, Adam Yates is back on the back riding with GB team-mates Stannard and Swift. Tom Dumoulin is also off the back - perhaps after a mechanical or natural break.


Across the finish line for the seven leaders, who have three laps to go - that's two regular laps and one longer lap with that gruelling Höll climb.


Marcus Burghardt opened up a small gap off the front of the pack on the descent but then had a mechanical issue - a broken chain or a puncture - and he needs to drop back for a bike change. This takes a stricken age as he needs to be passed by the entire pack before awaiting his German team car.


The Poles have Michal Kwiatkowski as their main man. He took gold in Ponferrada four years ago over a course that included 4,284 vertical metres – not far from what's on the menu this Sunday. But the Pole faded in the Vuelta and crashed on numerous occasions; this could be too much of an ask. Kwiatko has Maciej Bodnar, Michal Golas, Rafal Majka, Lukasz Owsian and Maciej Paterski in support.


Thibaut Pinot is now on the front for France as they approach the summit of the climb. Georg Priedler has been dropped - he was one of Austria's bets but that won't work. Seven minutes for the leaders now.


Tiesj Benoot is the latest Belgian to be dropped... Robert Britton has also been dropped from the leading group following Mullen and Dunne's disappearance, so we're down to seven out ahead: Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden), Kasper Asgreen (Denmark), Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan), Vegard Stake Laengen (Norway), Karel Hnik (Czech Republic), Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa) and Ilia Koshevoy (Belarus).


Loads of riders being dropped now, amongst them Serge Pauwels of Belgium. Spain have some riders on the front now, including Omar Fraile. Nibali is posed, as is Valverde.


Sagan, who is sweating buckets and looks like a man in deep trouble, is pedalling squares off the back. He's been urged on by fans but it looks like his race is over. Meanwhile, Connor Swift, the British national champion, puts in a big shift on the front alongside the Austrian team. The gap for the leaders is down to 7:15.


Peter Sagan seems to be struggling... the defending champion is off the back of the pack and battling to rejoin the main bunch. He failed to win a stage in the Vuelta and hasn't been in his best form since the Tour, to be fair.


Double Irish blow: first Ryan Mullen and then Conor Dunne is dropped from this break.


Norway have Edvald Boasson Hagen, Sven Erik Bystrøm, Odd Christian Eiking, Carl Fredrik Hagen, Markus Hoelgaard and Vegard Stake Laengen, none of whom you'd expect to come anywhere near to a medal of any description today. Switzerand, meanwhile, have Mathias Frank, Kilian Frankiny, Steve Morabito, Sébastien Reichenbach, Michael Schär and Patrick Schelling.


That's it for Australia's Rohan Dennis, who has been dropped on the climb. He won the TT gold on Wednesday but is clearly feeling the pinch out there.


Warren Barguil is the latest rider to withdraw following his crash earlier on. A terrible end to a troubled season for the Frenchman - although he will hope for a better showing in Il Lombardia, the final monument of the year, in two weeks.


It's still Britain, Slovenia, France and Austria leading the chase on the front of the pack, which trails the break by 8:30.


Moving onto the teams with six riders... we've looked at Austria and Luxembourg, so lets move onto Czech Republic and Germany. The former have Zdenek Stybar, Roman Kreuziger, Jozef Černý, Jan Hirt, Karel Hník and Michael Kukrle, while the latter have Emanuel Buchmann, Marcus Burghardt, Nico Denz, Simon Geschke, Paul Martens and Maximilian Schachmann.


Poor Warren Barguil, who had a point to prove in these worlds and was genuinely happy (relieved and honoured) to be selected at the 11th hour, is riding on his own well off the back of the peloton following his crash. It remains to be seen if he can continue this race.


It's the flame-haired Canadian Robert Britton who sets tempo for the break as they approach that climb once again. The gap is down to 10 minutes now as the Slovenians come to the front with the Austrians, British and French.


Didier goes through the finish zone three minutes down on his former breakaway companions.


So, the defending champion is gunning for a record-breaking fourth successive title but he will need to get over that final 28% ramp if he wants a chance to make history. When he won his first two world titles he only had two Slovakian team-mates but now he has six in his brother Juraj Sagan and Patrik Tybor, Erik Baska, Marek Canecky, Martin Haring and Martin Mahdar.


Through the finish zone go the 10 escapees. A reminder that they are: Robert Britton (Canada), Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden), Kasper Asgreen (Denmark), Ryan Mullen (Ireland), Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan), Vegard Stake Laengen (Norway), Conor Dunne (Ireland), Karel Hnik (Czech Republic), Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa) and Ilia Koshevoy (Belarus). Laurent Didier (Luxembourg) was there but he was dropped on the last climb.


Barguil is still not back with the peloton - and to make matters worse, he missed out on a bidon going over the summit of the climb. Oh, and that's terrible - he's crashed on a corner after over-cooking the bend. Down he slams on his right side - and that could be the end of his race.


Warren Barguil, who was a last-minute addition to the French squad following the withdrawal of Pierre Rolland, has dropped back to change bikes. Oddly, he also changes front wheels - keeping his old front wheel and putting it on his new steed. The French whippet has had a testing season after hitting the heights last year, with those two Tour stage wins and the polka dot jersey. Could he turn things round today?


Here's the profile of this climb that the riders are tackling each lap.


British twins Simon and Adam Yates are now near the front after spending the first 100km very much near the back of the peloton. Ian Stannard, however, has gone the opposite way: he's now off the back. We're hearing that the gap is back up to 16 minutes, which is odd. Perhaps some GPS issues there - either that or the leaders have just completed a downhill while the pack are on the ascent, which is indeed the case.


Another strong team with a full compliment of eight riders are the Spanish, who have multiple candidates for the gold medal. Alejandro Valverde is the most decorated rider in world championships history in that he has six medals - although never a gold. Such is the course today, he may never get a better chance. The Spanish veteran, however, tailed off during the Vuelta so perhaps the Spanish will play the card marked Enric Mas instead: he did the opposite, rising to 2nd place in Spain after winning the penultimate stage. Other riders are Jonathan Castroviejo, David de la Cruz, Jesús Herrada, Ion Izagirre, Omar Fraile and Mikel Nieve.


The break crest the top of the climb and they have shed one of their number: it looks like Laurent Didier of Luxembourg has been tailed off. He's there to pave the way for compatriot Bob Jungels, who also has Jean-Pierre Drucker, Ben Gastauer, Alex Kirsch and Tom Wirtgen.


For Slovenia it's all about Primoz Roglic, who finished fourth in the Tour de France in July and showed his class all season. He has Grega Bole, Matej Mohoric, Domen Novak, Luka Pibernik, Jan Polanc, Simon Spilak and Jan Tratnik to help guide him to the rainbow stripes.


The pace is starting to increase now as the riders in the pack realise that they need to start to turn the screw. The gap is 13:20.


The Dutch also have a super-strong team with many possible leaders depending on who's got the legs: Tom Dumoulin will want to make up for missing out on the TT gold (not to mention the Giro and Tour, in which he finished runner-up on both occasions). He has the likes of Bauke Mollema, Steven Kruijswijk, Wilco Kelderman, Sam Oomen, Wout Poels, Antwan Tolhoek and Pieter Weening in support.


Yesterday, Dutch star Anna van der Breggen won the women's road race by a country mile - this is how she did it...


Ian Stannard is back on the front of the pack as he drives the peloton over the finish line ahead of the final five laps. The gap is down to 13:55 now.


For Italy it's all about Vincenzo Nibali, who rode the Vuelta very conservatively in a bid to return to form following his crash in the Tour. If he struggles then the in-form Gianni Moscon could feature. Support comes from Gianluca Brambilla, Dario Cataldo, Damiano Caruso, Alessandro De Marchi, Franco Pellizotti and Domenico Pozzovivo. It's an extremely strong team - like the French.


France are the big favourites today with their man Julian Alaphilippe both in form and seemingly tailor-made for this course - or is it vice-versa. But should he falter there's Thibaut Pinot - who won two stages on the Vuelta - and Romain Bardet waiting in the wings, plus Tony Gallopin, Anthony Roux, Rudy Molard, Warren Barguil and Alexandre Geniez.


Amazing pictures there of the break starting the climb just as the peloton - 15 minutes back - completed the climb and came down the hill ahead of the loop around central Innsbruck. The two roads pretty much meet at the foot of the hill and so they would have caught a glimpse of one another...


For Denmark, it's all about Jakob Fuglsang, who has Kasper Asgreen, Matti Breschel, Niklas Eg, Jesper Hansen, Mads Würtz Schmidt, Michael Valgren Andersen and Emil Vinjebo in support.


On paper, Colombia have a great team - but there are question marks over the form of their main man Nairo Quintana. As such, Rigoberto Uran and Miguel Angel Lopez may be better bets. Support comes from Sebastian Henao, Sergio Henao, Winner Anacona, Rodrigo Contreras and Daniel Felipe Martínez.


The break has come through the finish zone again so they have four regular laps and one larger lap remaining of this race. The gap is down to below 15 minutes now.


Belgium have a strong team with Tiesj Benoot, Laurens De Plus, Ben Hermans, Xandro Meurisse, Serge Pauwels, Dylan Teuns, Greg Van Avermaet and Tim Wellens. Benoot and Wellens are good in the climbs, as are Teuns and Hermans. GVA could hold on, too, as he did in the Olympics...


Australia don't have their talisman Richie Porte, whose abject ride in the Vuelta showed that he's just not up to this kind of race right now. Despite being well in-form, the selectors have also passed over Michael Matthews, who they deem not strong enough in the climbs. So, the team features Simon Clarke, Rohan Dennis (the new world TT champion), Jack Haig, Chris Hamilton, Damien Howson, Robert Power, Rory Sutherland and Nick Schultz.


There are 10 countries with eight riders in their teams today: Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain. Let's run through some of the teams...


The gaps in World Championships races often get far bigger than in Grand Tours or classic one-day races because there's such a huge gulf in class. Also, on a demanding course like this, once the hammer goes down you expect it to come back together. Breaks like this are to work out who has to work and who doesn't when it comes down to the chase: in this case, the Irish riders Martin and Roche have a free ride because of the presence of the two other Irish riders in the break, neither of whom - to be fair to Dunne and Mullen - you would expect to be in the frame come the business end of this race.


As for the British team - there's no Geraint Thomas or Chris Froome, but we do have the third British Grand Tour winner of the year, Simon Yates, plus his twin brother Adam. Supporting the two Yateses we have Connor Swift, Hugh Carthy, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Peter Kennaugh, James Knox and Ian Stannard.


Let's look at that Irish team, which have Messrs Mullen and Dunne in the break. Well, they have just two more riders back in the pack, but they're great cards to have: Nicolas Roche to pave the way for Dan Martin, who the Irish will hope will finish things off and take the gold medal. The gap is below 16 minutes now.


It's now the Austrian team who set the tempo on the front of the pack as they cross the finish line area 16:35 down on the leaders and start their second lap. It's Lukas Postlberger who is riding on the front for the home nation but is he working for one of his own, or to pave the way for his trade team-mate Peter Sagan, who is gunning for a fourth consecutive world titles. The Austrian team have six riders: Michael Gogl, Felix Großschartner, Patrick Konrad, Gregor Mühlberger, Lukas Pöstlberger, Georg Preidler.


The leaders are onto the Igls climb for the second time - and the fans are out in their droves. Ryan Mullen, Dunne's team-mate from Ireland, is setting the tempo. The gap is down to 16:50. Meanwhile, Belgium's Tiesj Benoot is currently off the back of the pack talking to his team car and picking up a fresh bidon. The pack is still riding through Innsbruck after completing the first lap.


Here's a nice snap of the break from Sky News presenter Orla Chennaoui, who is clearly excited by the two Irish riders in that move. Conor Dunne, who is still looking for a team after the Aqua Blue Sport debacle, always promised to be in the break so it's good to see him keep good to his promise.


The break have completed the first lap and are almost 4km ahead of the pack, which is being led by Ian Stannard - the powerhouse team-mate of British duo Adam and Simon Yates, who are among the favourites today.


Today's race started in Kufstein and headed up the valley towards Innsbruck via a few rolling hills before the first major test at 57km. Although only 2.6km long, the Gnadenwald had an average gradient of 10.5%. The first of six circuits in and around Innsbruck got going after 85km. Each lap is 23.9km long and features the 7.9km climb to Igls, which has an average gradient of 5.7% and a steepest section that hits double digits. On its own, this climb may only receive Cat.3 status in a Grand Tour. But the accumulative nature of its (re)appearance will whittle the peloton down, separating the world champion wheat from the also-ran chaff.


The escapees are: Robert Britton (Canada), Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden), Kasper Asgreen (Denmark), Ryan Mullen (Ireland), Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan), Vegard Stake Laengen (Norway), Conor Dunne (Ireland), Karel Hnik (Czech Republic), Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa), Ilia Koshevoy (Belarus) and Laurent Didier (Luxembourg).


We pick things up with 155km remaining and there's a break of 11 riders with a stonking gap of over 17 minutes on the peloton!


Here's what's in store for the riders in what is the hilliest worlds in years: almost 5,000 vertical metres over less than 260km.

World Championships men's road race profile, Innsbruck 2018

Hello and welcome to live coverage of the men's road race from Innsbruck, Austria - the blue riband race of these 2018 world championships.