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U23 Worlds: Ledanois Escapes for Title

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Incredible finish to breathtaking final lap

Chris Fontecchio

France earned its first gold medal and rainbow jersey of the 2015 World Championships when Kevin Ledanois attacked on the cobblestones of 23rd Street in Richmond and made it stick.... barely... to win the U23 Men's World Championship. Ledanois held a five second gap going up the final climb of Governor Street and turned the final corner looking over his shoulder at a hard-charging gruppetto that seemed too far back, then began closing as Ledanois emptied his soul on the false flat to the line. As Italy's Simone Consonni gradually closed the distance, Ledanois hung on for the victory and the Rainbow Jersey, with his teammate Anthony Turgis in third for the bronze.

The U23 race gave fans an exciting blueprint for the Elite races to come, with perhaps a race that doesn't break up early but definitely calls upon hard, tactical racing in the finale. Denmark's Soren Kragh Andersen got away on the penultimate climb of 23rd street -- where riders had been seen walking, Koppenberg-style, earlier in the day -- but after building a 14" lead he was reeled in as Italy and others chased him down. A crash before Libby Hill scattered the peloton a bit and Ledanois made his move and Consonni and others tried to respond.

Provisional Results

  1. Kevin Ledanois, France
  2. Simone Consonne, Italy
  3. Anthony Turgis, France

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Kragh Andersen attack

Kragh Andersen tries

Ledanois goes

Chasers

Austrian chaser

Consonni chases