Preview: OBRA riders at Worlds

Sep 19, 2011 by

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Three past or present OBRA riders will represent the United States against the world’s best in the U23 and Junior categories this week at the 2011 UCI Road World Championships in Denmark.

Seventeen-year-old Colby Wait-Molyneux of Vancouver will start things off Tuesday with the Junior Time Trial event in the heart of downtown Copenhagen. The Junior competitors will make two loops of the13.9 km course that takes them from City Hall to Østerbro and back. The Hammer/CMG racer coached by Butch Martin has shown a natural ability for the time trial, counting the TT stage of the Tour l’Abitibi Nations Cup race earlier this year among his international results.

Martin said he started working with Wait-Moluneux last season and has watched the young rider progress quickly.

“He was good last year as a 16-year-old, but this year he just keeps going and going,” Martin said. “Plus he’s got another year with the 17- and 18-year-olds, so his future is looking bright, and next year is going to be even brighter. Then it will be placing him with the right development team and letting him fly.”

Portland’s Jacob Rathe (Chipotle Development Team) and Bend’s Ian Boswell (Trek-Livestrong) will represent Oregon along with the United States three days later in the U23 Road Race on a circuit around the Copenhagen suburb of Rudersdal.

The U23 riders will cover 12 laps of the mostly flat 14 km loop, which finishes with a long straightaway up a slight rise on Geels Hill. The riders will climb 105 meters on each lap of the circuit, which, along with the final climb, contains the Slotsbakken at 3.9 km, closely followed by a climb on Attermosevej. Slotsbakken is the highest point on the Circuit at 59 meters above sea level, while the lowest point at 17 meters is after 7.7 kilometers.

“We have designed an interesting and demanding route for the road race going up Geels Bakke,” said Danish Cycling Federation Director Jesper Worre. “We are convinced that it will be a very tough and varied World Championship in Denmark.”

The finishing straight on Geels Hill is long and slightly uphill.

U23 Criterium National Champion Rob Bush (Chipotle Development Team), who recently crashed out of a prep race in Europe, was scheduled to join Rathe and Boswell in the race, along with Joe Dombroski (Trek-Livestrong) and Gavin Mannion (Trek-Livestrong). Boswell and Mannion raced for Team USA in support of Tyler Farrar earlier this summer on another relatively flat course at the Olympics test race in London. Team USA closed down a dangerous breakaway in that race before getting caught behind a crash near the finish. Despite his disappointing result, Farrar praised the young riders’ efforts, singling out Boswell for special notice.

Bush probably has the sqaud’s fastest finish if the race comes down to a sprint. Team USA’s next best hope may be to try and get a rider in a strong breakaway. Martin, who has coached Rathe for several years, said that winning from a breakaway is one of the Portland rider’s specialties.

“He’s got a good finish, but he’s not a burner,” Martin said of Rathe. “He’s really strong and can get over all the sprinters’ hills, and he can go on the flats and rolling terrain like a locomotive. So he can put himself in a good break, and the percentages can look more favorable because he has a decent turn of speed at the end of a race.”

The 168 km U23 Road Race begins Friday, Sept. 23, at 1 p.m. Denmark time (4 a.m. Pacific).

Luke Durbridge of Australia celebrates his win in the U23 Time Trial Monday. Photo used with permission of UCI

Wait-Molyneux will be back in the red-white-and-blue USA Junior National Team kit Saturday morning for the 126 km Junior Men’s Road Race. The Junior men will take on nine laps of the same 14 km circuit as the U23 men. The Elite women will follow the Junior men’s road race Saturday afternoon, and the Elite men will face their 266 km test on a slightly modified course Sunday starting at 10 a.m. in Copengahen.

The 2011 UCI Road Worlds began today with time trials for the Junior women and U23 men. Carter Jones and Lawson Craddock of Trek-Livestrong finished 34th and 50th, respectively, in the U23 race. Addyson Albershardt grabbed 14th in the Junior women’s race. Grace Alexander finished 17th.

Be sure to check back for updates and results.

(All events listed in Copenhagen time, which is 9 hours ahead of Pacific)

Monday, 9/19
10 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. — Time trial Junior Women, 13.9 km
1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. — Time trial Under 23 Men, 35.2 km (2×17.6 km)

Tuesday, 9/20
9:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. — Time trial Junior Men, 27.8 km (2×13.9 km) *Wait-Molyneux
2 p.m. – 5:10 p.m. — Time trial Elite Women, 27.8 km (2×13.9 km)

Wednesday, 9/21
12:30 – 5:05 p.m. — Time trial Elite Men, 46.4 km (2×23.2 km)

— — — — — — — —

Friday, 9/23
9:30 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. — Road race Junior Women, 70 km (5 x 14km)
1 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. — Road race Under 23 Men, 168 km (12 x 14km) *Boswell, Rathe

Saturday, 9/24
9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Road race Junior Men, 126 km (9 x 14km) *Wait-Molyneux
1:30 – 5:15 p.m. — Road race Elite Women, 140 km (10 x 14km)

Sunday, 9/25
10 a.m. – 5:05 p.m. — Road race Elite Men, 266 km (17 x 14km + 28 km, from start in Copenhagen town center)