Jean-Pierre Monsere, the 21-year old Belgian, stole a shock victory in the Professional Road Race on the final day of the World Cycling Championships at Leicester on Sunday (August 16).
Jean-Pierre Monsere, the 21-year old Belgian, stole a shock victory in the Professional Road Race on the final day of the World Cycling Championships at Leicester on Sunday (August 16). Monsere is in only his first year as a professional cyclist.
A 10,000 crowd the Mallory Park Motor circuit to see the Belgian reverse last year's amateur Gold and Silver medal placing by beating Denmark's Lief Mortensen by three lengths after a sprint finish. Felice Gimondi, of Italy, was third.
Nearly 100 of the world's best road race cyclists battled for almost seven hours against a gale force wind over the 270 kilometre (175 miles) course. The event, decided over 18 laps of the 15-kilometre circuit (10 miles), was the final race in the 10-day 1970 World Cycling Championships.
Five former champions were in the line-up, including Belgian's undisputed king of cycling, Eddy Merckx, who earlier this year completed the coveted double of the Tour de France and the Tour of Italy.
The other former title-holders were: defending champion Harm Ottenbrok (Holland), Vittorio Adorni (Italy); Rudi Altig (West Germany) and Jan Janssen (Holland).
It was halfway through the race before a major break developed. Seven riders, four of them Italians, managed to put 1 minute 45 seconds between them and the pack, after nine laps. The front men increased their lead over the chasing pack to 2 minutes 44 seconds after 10 laps. But they then began to fall back and with three laps remaining only 28 seconds separated them from the main bunch. When the bell signalled the final lap, six riders were still clear of the pack which was only 54 seconds behind them. But the time difference was steadily being whittled down.
Monsere sprinted away in the final straight to win in 6 hours 33 minutes 58.5 seconds, an average speed of 41.061 KPH (25.5 MPH).