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Pedersen crowned road world champion

More than half of the field abandoned on a day of torrential rain that forced organisers to shorten the race on safety grounds

Mads Pedersen was crowned world champion in rain-sodden Harrogate as the UCI Road World Championships concluded with a brutal day of racing on Sunday.

The 23-year-old Dane beat Matteo Trentin and Stefan Kung, as the men’s elite road race, 261 kilometres of arduous toil in the cold and wet Yorkshire Dales, came down to a much-reduced sprint on Parliament Street.

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Trentin was first to open up as they came past Betty’s Tea Rooms, but the Italian soon realised he had gone too soon as Pedersen swept past him to win by a comfortable margin.

“It’s every rider’s dream to wear the rainbow jersey. For me to do it now is unbelievable,” Pedersen said.

“It was just survive and hope for the best in the sprint. I just hoped that when I saw the finish line all the pain would be gone and I could do a good sprint.”

Gianni Moscon came in fourth ahead of three-time former world champion Peter Sagan, a further 26 seconds back.

Tao Geoghegan Hart was the highest-placed British rider, crossing the line 26th as part of a group a little over two minutes down, after team leader Ben Swift was dropped on the final lap.

The decisive moves were made with around 35km remaining, as pre-race favourite Mathieu van der Poel and Trentin bridged over to Kung, Pedersen, and Moscon.

The five-man group had a lead of 47 seconds as they began the final lap, but Van der Poel soon cracked.

Moscon was next to go as Kung drove on the pace, leaving the trio to contest the medals.

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