The Movistar Team featured again on the podium of the 2015 UCI World Championships, yet with a sourer taste than after its bronze medal in last Sunday's team time trial. Adriano Malori took silver in an extremely long (53.5km), demanding Worlds ITT, as Jonathan Castroviejo (4th) offered yet another proof of the individual talent behind superb collective quality from Eusebio Unzué's squad on their Canyon tri-bars.
Malori fought until the very final slope next to the finish to make up his initial margin, 27” after 16km in, to Vasil Kiryienka (BLR), a gap the Traversetolo-based rider reduced to 24” through the second intermediate (26.5km) and only 11” at the third (42.6km). Eventually, only nine seconds avoided the U23 rainbow jersey in 2008 repeating such a fear within the pros, a truly regular progression from his 10th place in 2012 (Valkenburg) to today's silver following Firenze's 8th (2013) and Ponferrada's 6th twelve months ago.
Before the Italian and after Alex Dowsett -17th today, 2’06” behidn the winner- crossed the line Jonathan Castroviejo to complete his best Worlds ever. The Basque rouleur's performance was consistent all the way, close to the podium places through all checks -5” off third place after 26km, 14” away at 42km in- and finishing just 2.74 seconds behind the bronze medal, a result which doesn't blur another magnificent year's work by the twice Spanish ITT champion.
Adriano Malori (via TuttoBici): "I really got on my top speed well from very early into the race, and was able to increase it bit by bit through the route until the end. I gave really everything I got, but it wasn't enough to beat Kiryienka. Probably the final slope was more suited to the Belarusian than me, since he was even trailing on the GPS reference into the flat section before. Still, it has no use to complain after this - I remain really happy with this second place, which gives me a lot of confidence for big races coming in the next years. It's even more important to end a drought like this for italy, 21 years without a rider on the ITT Worlds podium.”
Jonathan Castroviejo (via Spanish Fed): “It was a surprise, to be honest - I could hardly imagine I'd be up for the podium fight. It was a really demanding TT. I felt myself pretty well, and the tailwinds on the opening 8km made it even better; it was the perfect terrain for me, and I tried to keep that speed, yet saving some energy for the steep finale. Ending up two, three seconds off the podium is awful of course, as it was quite a good opportunity, but it gives me much confidence for the near future."
Alex Dowsett (via British Cycling): "It was alright all things considered. I did what I could, made a good job of it but I wasn't seeing the numbers I'd like to. I guess I'm not overly surprised. I've taken on a lot this season and I think it's just caught up with me a bit."