Cycling News

Tabor 2024: Stefano Viezzi claims first rainbow jersey for Italy in 19 years

Tabor 2024: Stefano Viezzi claims first rainbow jersey for Italy in 19 years

Stefano Viezzi gave Italy its first cross rainbow jersey since 2005 in Sunday’s Junior men’s race at the 2024 UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Tabor, South Bohemia, Czechia. The last Italian to win gold was another Junior, Davide Malacarne. Jayden McMullen was the top Canadian in 23rd.

The favourites were Frenchman Aubin Sparfel, Italian Junior World Cup champion Stefano Viezzi, Belgian Arthur Van der Boer and Dutchmen Senna Remijn–last year’s runner-up–and Keije Solen.

The Canadian contingent among the 74 contestants was Jayden McMullen, the Canadian Junior champion who was part of Canada’s team relay squad; Tristan Taillefer; Felix Antoine Leclair; Alix Brunelle and Luca Goertz.

Sparfel nabbed the hole shot on Lap 1 with Viezzi in Position 4. Goertz immediately got delayed at the back of the pack and then crashed around the 4:00 mark. Viezzi and Czech Krystof Bažant became Sparfel’s closest pursuers before joining the Frenchman. Again, there was no bunnyhopping of the planks. The trio’s lap time was 10:21. McMullen was top Canadian in 28th at the end of the first circuit.

McMullen leads a group over the line at the end of Lap 1.

Bažant started to lag at the beginning of Lap 2 of 4, and he found Solen challenging for the final podium spot. The two pitted. Ahead, Viezzi and Sparfel finished the second circuit 12 seconds ahead of their Czech and Dutch chasers. McMullen was up to 25th.

Viezzi and Sparfell lead on Lap 2.

On the penultimate lap Sparfel snatched a clean bike. The gap back to Bažant and Solen increased and those two carried on their skirmish 20 seconds ahead of a solo Dane. Sparfel was working from the front but Viezzi attacked over the line when he heard the bell. McMullen crossed in 23rd.

The Italian pried open a nine-second gap at the beginning of the bell lap. Sparfel raced on a flat rear tire, and found Soren and Bažant passing. Soren then shook Bažant, who was overjoyed with giving the home crowd a medal. Viezzi had plenty of time to celebrate.

Viezzi solo with Solen in pursuit on the bell lap.

2024 UCI Cyclocross World Championships, Junior Men
Gold) Stefano Viezzi (Italy) 42:01
Silver) Keije Solen (The Netherlands) +0:09
Bronze) Krystof Bažant (Czechia) +0:31
23) Jayden McMullen (Canada) +4:00
47) Felix Antoine Leclair (Canada) +6:40
51) Tristan Taillefer (Canada) +6:56
67) Alix Brunelle (Canada)
68) Luca Goertz (Canada)

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