Jill Douglas introduces coverage of the men's road race at the Road World Championships in Qatar. Commentary is by Simon Brotherton and David Millar.
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From Slovakia, one of the sport toss great showman has landed the title!
Its gold from Great Britain. Lizzie Armitstead sprints her way to
victory. It's five years since we last had a
World Championship course that favoured the sprinters, when Mark
Cavendish stormed to victory in Copenhagen. He is back and in great
form. Can he repeat that success here in Doha? This is the biggest
fixture you can get. Cavendish now, we're going to see
whether he can get through. It's all about timing your effort. Here we
go, full commitment. Can Cavendish find a way through? The line is
getting nearer and nearer. Where is the Manx express. Here he goes. Look
at him go. Mark Cavendish has won the world title for Great Britain.
The riders will face a very different landscape in Doha, Qatar,
to Copenhagen, but it is flat, a sprinter's course. Before we look at
the course in more detail, let's hear from the man leading the
British charge, Mark Cavendish. He comes, the Manx express. He is the
world champion. Mark Cavendish wins the world title for Great Britain.
Copenhagen was surreal. It was incredible. Not just the fact that
I'd won the world title but how we did it. To be go -- to be able to go
in and dominate, having not won the title since the 60s, and to be able
to pull a group of guys together to represent a country's comeback with
the world title, to think back on gives me goose bumps. Mark Cavendish
is the world champion. What are your thoughts? We have got a chance,
that's about it. We have got the strongest team in the race. That
gave me more confidence than anything. I was going in on my own
with just the few guys with a chance we could win, I wouldn't be as
confident as I am now. With the guys I'm with, it puts me in the best
position. With a sprint, I've always got a good shot. You don't know how
it's going to pan out. I think it's going to be a sprint at everything
will come back together. It's just how well you look after yourself
when it splits up. That will determine how you are going to
sprint at the end of it. You know what it takes to win the
championship. You tried to repeat that at the 2012 Olympics on the
road, so you also know how difficult it is to win a long one-day race. I
won the Olympics with 14 weight so you are relying on other teams to
kind of join in. -- with four team-mates. I think we can control
it from beginning to end. Do your set yourself big goals? You wore the
yellow jersey in the Tour de France, silver medal in the Olympics, your
first Olympic medal, and potentially another rainbow jersey. Last year I
won a rainbow jersey on the track. I haven't won as many races as I do
normally in the season but the calibre of the races, the world
champion on the track... That medal at the Olympics... It's pretty nice
to do, you know? It was a big ask but I'm not one for taking on small
tasks. I'd kind of like another rainbow jersey. I don't think
anybody has ever won the track and road championships in the same year
so that would be special. Saying that, it's not a given. There are
incredible strong riders and strong teams and we'll have to get
everything right. You've got to do that to be in with a shot of aim
medal. -- a shot of a medal. Mark Cavendish saying he has one of the
strongest teams but everything will have to go right for him to win that
rainbow jersey. Yes, but the reason he has a strong team, it lessens the
variables. There are a lot of variables on the road. Anything can
happen. 190 riders, you don't know what the conditions, they didn't
know what was going to be like today, they had to wait to see how
strong the wind was. But Cavendish is a master of it. He built the
right team and he knows how to manage them. Mark Cavendish leads
everything. He wore the yellow jersey this year and he won the
Madison World Championship on the track in London at the start of the
year. A multiple stage winner at the Tour de France. How would you sum
him up? I think he has everything a leader requires to pull the team
together. I think he has ticked a lot of boxes going into this
championship. He achieved everything that he wanted. He won a medal at
the Olympics. He has ticked if you boxes before even arriving here. He
has a strong team and he really wants it. You were team captain on
the road at the Olympics and in Copenhagen. How is he to ride with?
I've never met a rider like him. He is like the Pied Piper, so
charismatic. He makes everybody better. He has hollowed -- positive
energy. He makes people laugh. If you let him down, you know it will
have consequences, but similarly, if you succeed, he will share that with
you. He's a great leader. You have put him up there with some of the
greatest sprinters of all time? Definitely. There has been a
question over whether this course would present itself as a pure
sprinter's course or a hard man's finish. Mark Cavendish has a strong
team, he has faith in them, so he'll let them do the job and hopefully it
comes down to that. It was a bunch sprint for the women's race
yesterday. A strong Great Britain team. Let's hear from some of the
key players. Copenhagen was really special. It was something, as a
British rider, you didn't even dream of. It was special and it would be
great to emulate that. I was watching clips the other day. It's
amazing to have been there. One of my best days. A really special day
for everyone involved. Watching that on TV, remember being inspired. Nine
British lads. You never thought you'd have a team that strong to
dominate World Championships. Thinking about it now, it's spine
tingling. Conditions and things are different this time. The wind and
the heat will be key factors. Hopefully we can deal with that.
It's pretty unpredictable. We are not sure how the wind will be and
how strong it will be and that will be the decider. There are no hills,
that's the main thing! Its pan flat. The wind is decisive. You've got to
be a powerful rider. It's about getting stuck in embracing. If the
wind blows, it's savage. It might be every man for himself. Then we
assess the situation from there. We know each other really well. When we
come together as Team GB, would get on like a house on fire. We have a
good laugh and get on well. As a team, we are strong with a lot of
guys who are good in these conditions. I like riding my bike.
When you know you have done a good job, stick it in and really hurt
people. When you find that it's a flat course and you got Mark
Cavendish in your team, you can only be motivated. I always wanted to
come here and do my best. It brings a lot of pressure to have Mark
riding with you but it's nice to pay them back. We are up for supporting
him. Hopefully we can do it again. Is a superb leader. He brings the
whole team up. Having him around brings the team together. Hopefully
we can get the gold. I'm 26, in Scott Thwaites from Leeds in
Yorkshire. Dan McLay, 24. This is my first elite World Championships.
Swift, 28, I'm from Team Sky and from Yorkshire. Adam Blythe, 27,
from Sheffield. I'm the current national champion. Interesting to
hear from those riders who extended their season purely because it is
Mark Cavendish. It is. Three years ago when we found out that Qatar, he
sent me a message saying, hold onto your retirement, we are doing Qatar.
That is what he is like. He probably message the whole team then and
said, guys, we're doing this. He has the long game. They all have roles
to play but, on a day like today, there is no more important man in
the team then Ian Stannard. He's got a big job. He has the backing and
confidence of Mark Cavendish. That means a lock. To have that pressure
for a man like Ian Stannard, he drives on it -- thrives on it. He
wanted to be a hard race, he wants to be a part of that victory of Mark
Cavendish, to be the man that makes a difference. He will be at the
front driving it, especially in the desert. Luke Rowe, Dan McLay, but
single-handedly, Toby Martin for the Germans, you can contrive a race on
his own. Many of these riders ride for Team Sky, a team under close
scrutiny after it emerged Bradley Wiggins had received three
therapeutic use exemption is for the use of a banned steroid for
treatment of asthma in the past and the fact that British cycling is the
subject of a UK anti-doping investigation. Here is what Rhode
Island with, the team captain, had to say. How much of a distraction
has this been? I think anything like that is there in the media, it's
where things are focused. I am quite fortunate, seven months a year on
the road these last ten days, I've hardly seen anything. I've just been
head down, focusing on this event. We stand a good chance of winning.
That's my focus and what I've been trying for the lads to do. But
you've been embedded in the British team and Team Sky for a number of
years. If there was something untoward, is there something that
made you uncomfortable, you would know about it, wouldn't you? At the
moment there are a lot of stories going around and lots of people's
opinion, and journalists are throwing wild accusations out there
about us and British cycling and Team Sky. Very few facts have been
established. Until all of the facts are down on the table, I think it's
out of order, people can talk about it when they don't have all the true
facts. Hopefully this investigation will... That's what it's about. I'm
in for this to try and do the right thing. I always was from day one,
since I finished cycling. It's always been about encouraging young
guys to work hard and be the best they can be. I think we've done a
good job so far. It's a real shame that there are wild stories out
there make it look really bad. Rod Ellingworth, with a long career at
Team Sky and British cycling, but it is a very difficult time both for
the governing body and the team. It is. Cycling as a whole, the
slightest discrepancy or confusion, because it's also very complicated
demands a lot of scrutiny, the way the sport has been for 15 years. He
is talking about wild accusations, but some of the facts are there for
all to see. What was your impression when you realised that these TUEs
had been given to Bradley Wiggins ahead of free big races? No
suggestion he broken rules. GB having clear that they will push the
limits and not break rules. Some athletes really suffer from TUEs and
allergies cost of -- from asthma and allergies. It can ruin your day. My
opinion is that Bradley Wiggins did push the limits and he wanted to be
sure that the big events he wouldn't be affected by the allergies or
asthma. Yeah, you know, everybody is trying to take in all of the facts.
David, you know these riders well, you have ridden alongside them many
times, you've been embedded in British cycling and you served a ban
after admitting doping offences in the past. Do you think there is a
problem in Team Sky? I don't think so. I trust all of those riders and
the staff. Perhaps this is a bigger problem. A TUE is a big problem and
there are some products on the list you shouldn't be allowed to use
because they have performance enhancing properties. But Team GB is
such a leader in the anti-doping movement and these young guys coming
through don't deserve to have this scrutiny on them. I trust them.
Let's concentrate on today's race. The reigning world champion, Peter
Sagan from Slovakia, is one of the most popular guys you will find in
the professional pellet on. Peter Sagan, one of life 's great showman.
Come the World Championships in Richmond, it was likely have point
to prove. The world title is almost within his grasp. He consulted, one
hand on the rainbow jersey. This will be a very popular victory.
Peter Sagan from Slovakia is world champion. It was evident he was a
popular winner but what is about him that makes so loved? He rides with
real character, great fun to watch. He takes risks. He is the most
popular cyclist in the world, let off the bike. Is engaging,
mischievous, and people get value from him on the bike. Peter Sagan,
climbing over the biggest mountain is, he descends well, he can sprint,
he is the Swiss Army knife of modern bike riders. All sports in need of
characters, so how good for cycling is Peter Sagan? I just go to in
part. All of the great sports stories are built on characters,
drama and emotion. You don't get a bigger in cycling then Peter Sagan.
I am happy you support me. Thank you very much. This victory is because
also view. No matter how long he's been struggling to get up the
mountain in the Tour de France he will still pull a wheelie as he the
line. Characters like Peter Sagan are more than just crossing the line
first, they are entertainers, fun to watch and they are surprising. The
sport would be poorer without him. Cross your fingers for me. Peter
Sagan suits the rainbow jersey. He has had an outstanding season and,
luckily for us, he's not going anywhere soon. Surely one of the
quotes of the day from Chris Morgan, Peter Sagan, the Swiss Army knife of
cycling. Yes, he has a full Arsenal on weaponry. He can win sprints,
breakaways, you can climb well, he does everything. He is the best
rider we have seen in decades. West he loves to animate a race. He is
exciting to watch. He puts it all on the line. Very exciting. So many
other top names here. The championships have attracted the
best. Who are the other main contenders? Michael Matthews, Andre
Greipel, Elia Viviani, Tom Bowland. It is a great World Championships.
When you look at the German team, we already saw Tony Martin looking in
fine form and winning the time trial World Championship. The Germans that
they few sprinters but they might be lacking support. But he is a few men
out there. When the German team come to the finish, if they have some
sprinters there they will be difficult to beat. Whoever deals
with this course best, it starts in the desert. We send these guys out
to see what the course likes. I was on the windy side protecting
you. I was in the gutter. They are going to ride 150 kilometres in the
desert. There is a road running parallel, they will go up that, then
do a U-turn. You can feel the wind coming from the side. If they have
this type of wind, they will have it all the way out, crosswinds, all the
way back. It is so technical to be able to ride in the gutter. You have
to be technically good. It doesn't matter how good a sprinter you are,
you need an incredible team around you. In crosswinds, you rely on your
team to protect you. It will be 150 kilometres potentially of hell.
Fingers crossed for them it isn't too windy but, for us, fingers
crossed it is that it will make for a great race. Let's get out of the
desert. I prefer to be in the buildings without all this wind.
Traditionally all World Championships take part in a
circuit. This year is no different and this is the pearl. That will be
the entrance to the circuit. A gorgeous man-made island, quite
flat. They will raise seven laps of 15.2 kilometres around the circuit.
Plenty of technical hairpins and corners. That wasn't what we
expected. On the map, this looks like a hairpin and it's actually a
fast, sweeping bend. The boys have been thinking for months. It's not
as technical as it looked. Nowhere near. For the sprinters, they will
barely touch the pedals. Very much a sprinter's course. That is why I was
never a sprinter. I think Rochelle could beat me every time. But this
is a sprinter's course. They won't see the finish line until 200 metres
to go but, at the same time, they have several laps to check it out.
At the finish, if have more men left, it could make a big
difference. The road is so wide. Very rarely do sprinters get an
opportunity like this, three lanes coming into the final kilometre.
There is no reason why it shouldn't be a clean sprint. You think care
might be a favourite? -- Mark Cavendish? It has his name all over
it. The riders face a long, hot day in the saddle, starting at the
Aspire zone in Doha before heading north past the education city, by
the Qatar foundation, north, away from the city. All the way up to the
sports complex and an into the desert. Where the race heads north,
all the way to Abu Yazoul, where they turn around and come back.
Heading south back towards the city of Doha. They will travel past the
sports complex for a second time, where the World Cup final will take
place, and eventually onto the Pearl for seven 15.2 kilometres long laps
of the circuit. It's the same circuit used in all of the races
this week and eventually, when they reach the finish line, at the end of
257.3 kilometres, we will know who is going to -- to wear a coveted
rainbow jersey for the next 12 months. So that's the route for
today's race. I'm Simon Brotherton. Rochelle Gilmore and David Miller
are alongside me. Peter Sagan is here to defend his title, just one
of any number of riders who will fancy their chances. Great Britain
are well represented. A rare opportunity, David, once more for
Mark Cavendish, whose name will appear on the screen now, to become
world champion for what would be the second time in his career. Sprinters
rarely have a -- and opportunity in the World Championships. It is rare.
In the last 15 years, only three opportunities. The first sprinter to
have two valid opportunities where they are at the peak for those
chances. Mark Cavendish is a rider capable of doing it. It's a big day
for him in the British team. Rochelle Gilmore one of the big
things, just looking at the commentary box, it is quite windy.
You have raced in Qatar with some success, but a flat course makes the
difference. Absolutely. That will make today challenging. The first
150 kilometres out into the desert, they know it can be challenging. You
have to stay so mentally focused. The fact that it's windy out there,
I think the winner is going to come from one of the strongest teams, and
a sprinter like Mark Cavendish will have to rely on his team-mates to
protect him. The riders in the Zone of Doha roll
away from the start for the neutralised section of the race,
about ten kilometres long. And here we go, the road race is now
officially underway. Immediately you can see the acceleration of the
peleton once the flag has dropped in the league car as moved away. -- and
the lead car. 257.3 kilometres to cover. Ian Stannard already on the
front of the main field. There are a few committed riders here, really
wanting to get this away. Ukrainian, we saw him in good form in Spain
recently. A strong rider, perfect for these scenarios.
Adam Blythe, a slight mechanical problem. His computer melt is loose.
-- mount. So, six minutes, the gap already for
the leading riders, the leading group of seven. Ramirez of Columbia,
MacDougall of South Africa, the Mexican, Ukrainian. And Eritrea.
Followed by a Moroccan and Ryan Ross of Canada. These riders going almost
from when the flag dropped. A small flurry of attacks for five, ten
minutes. It didn't take long for it to go. None of the favourites' teams
are here, apart from the Colombian team-mate. All of the other
favourite teams were happy to see a move like this go in order that they
can save their weaponry for later in the race when it's really required.
Over eight minutes now for the leading group seven. As you can see,
they are heading out into the wide open spaces of the Kalahari desert.
They will be shortly. -- the Qatari desert. They will have to
communicate with each other and keep each other awake and motivated to
keep pushing on, now they have committed to being in this
breakaway. You can see a bit of communication between the riders,
they will want to motivate each other. Everybody doing their equal
share of turns out in the desert. Dan McLay has a slight mechanical
problem. Not allowed to pull over on the left-hand side of the road. He
just remembered that at the last minute.
You will see Great Britain gathering towards the front. Stannard, Luke
Rowe, Mark Cavendish, Adam Blythe. A rider for Team Sky. He is with
Dimension Data now. Steve Cummings on the front at the moment. With the
white helmet. We had our first crash of the day.
Chad Hagar of the United States caught up in that, unfortunately. I
think that was Bernie Eissel riding a wave, one of the Canadian riders.
-- riding away. I think it's Adam De Voss back on his bike. Fortunately
it looks as if there is no major damage as a result of that little
spill. Sandstorms out there. Looking out of our window on the Pearl,
there is quite a lot of wind. It's going to be very interesting. The
peloton looks so controlled that it looks like it's still out there, but
certainly not. There are some more sandstorms. Going to whack into the
peloton by the looks of it. It's a tornado. That's extraordinary. Well,
it's windy. The peloton just dodged one. Buried those come on the right
side the road. Straight in front -- there it goes, on the right side of
the road. Straight in front of them. 720 now the gap. Sitcoming down all
the time. You can see the strain on some of
the riders' faces. Those Belgian riders loitering near the back of
the pelly on the a short while ago are showing their faces at the
front. They know that now is the time they need to do it.
Look at the battle for the front and for the prime spots on the road.
Nobody wants to miss out here. Once the echelons start to form, you want
to be in the right form. They make the right-hand turn. Up at the top
end of the course now. The British team well placed at the front of the
peloton. We saw the Mexican ride frer the break away group having a
little bit of difficulty. That rocky landscape must feel like
running across the moon as Luke Rowe and Mark Cavendish up at the front
here and look at the speed. That's Adam Blyth Blyth at the front
there, in second place at the moment.
GB with a really strong line up here. Backing Mark Cavendish with
Blyth, Cummings, Thomas and Thwaites, as well in there for Team
GB. Great Britain and Belgium are
asserting some authority at the front of the pelly on the at the
moment. -- peloton at the moment. And you
can see the potential for splits to start to appear. One of the German
riders is having to work hard to close the gap now already.
And Great Britain are making life really difficult for everybody else.
Look how quickly the gap is whittling down. Look at the
difference in the speed between the two groups of riders.
Oh, it is really kicking off here, with 176 K to go. The Belgians are
making sure they are well placed. Australia have got a rider or two up
there. The Italians as well. And this peloton is going to split to
pieces here on this stretch of road now and the next one as well.
As the peloton turn right and they are beginning to journey south, back
down towards Doha. From Mark Cavendish's point of view
I think so far, so good. Right up at the front end.
Cavendish tucked in there on the second row of riders.
Just out the back of the peloton there, one of the Dutch, not sure
who that was actually. Dumoulin requiring medical
assistance for a flat. He is out the back.
Great Britain are working really hard there to make sure they were in
the right place at the right time when the race really kicked off and
it did and Luke Rowe, as I said a few moments ago, made sure he was at
the front of the peloton and they have certainly put the pressure on
here. That was the advantage of them being
in the front position. It was a little bit of a gamble, sort of a
wasting energy so early in the race. There's Doumouulin. You are forced
into the gut e the race is in pieces, which is exactly what we
wanted. Cavendish is right up there. Everybody has to contribute. I mean
looking at Viviani there as well. You have got... Look at it. Really
strung out it is only going to get worse for a lot of those riders.
Matthews couldn't handle it. He can handle Ewan, he's out of his depth
in these conditions, which is what we expected would be the case. They
had to risk it because it is an early race. This is what we expected
to see in Qatar and we're lucky that the wind is like that today to force
it to happen. But I am very surprised that Stanard either kouth
out or something happened to him. He will be massively disappointed. Adam
Blythe. I am not sure if there are any more riders in there.
Mark Cavendish looks relaxed, given he's not had as many team-mates
around him as in the early stages of the race. That can be a little bit
of a problem. That is Demoulin at the back. A wrong time to get a
puncture for him. Ireland represented in the front group as
well. Somebody's gone down in a crash. This is what happens. People
start to see cross eyed they are going so hard. That is not Sagan, is
it? That is a nasty-looking crash. Look at that. It is an American
rider. Looks like a collarbone for Marctt.
Three riders at least brought down in that one. Belgians, they are
there. They are present. They knew exactly a moment ago. Five Belgians.
They were super relaxed at the start of the race, weren't they, when GB
were taking control and the Australians were up there as well.
Now Belgium come to the front, full force. They are really taking
control now in the tougher part of the race.
The slight issue at the moment is the race radio seems to have
disappeared too. Any further involvement in -- information on
those involved in crashes we are not receiving any background information
at the moment. That looks like Durbridge up at the front.
This is one of the things about riding in this, it took me a long
time in my career as a sprinter that understanding that rolling through
and doing your turn on the front is easier than just trying to hold that
position on the edge of the road. So you see the sprinteders, like Mark
Cavendish, have rolled over for a turf.
One of the riders from Switzerland with the green jersey to his body.
Australia still present there. Cannot see much from Germany. No,
Germany seems to have been caught out as well. Even if they had a dark
red alert, it is Sagan sitting there, pretty. He's fine. GB, I
think there are only three riders from GB in there, are there? The
Belgians sat at the back. They when they didn't knee need to be at the
front. The moment they knew they were needed they attacked it.
One of the Dutch riders. It is a wilted struggle at the back for
these riders who moments ago were sitting in the peloton comfortably,
now they are under pressure. 170kms still to go there.
A lot of big riders. In the distance, you can see, there is
nothing you can do. This is Darwinism in that the front are in
the front. If you cannot get to the second or first group, they are
stronger than you. When the race pans out like this, once that group
has gone, that is it. You will not see them again, usually. Definitely.
A lot of the times, and they will turn into the tail winds soon. Look
at the strain on the face there. He knows is the moment he'll have to
dig deep. He has to fight for these wheels. And keep rolling over.
That is Thomas in trouble as wesmt this is what I feared. That tactic
of riding the front in the first section has backfired. They almost
needed to mark the Belgians. The Belgians have done what they were,
what you expect them to do, which is attack at the key moment. It is not
verien If you blow up. If you get yourself,
because you can be one of the strongest riders and if you find
yourself in the gutter, you are in the wind. You go so deep into the
red, so over your threshold that you explode. To recover from that takes
a good two or three minutes depending on your fitness. In the
mean time you are caught by another group. You cannot launch on to them.
By the time you have recovered from that effort from, that explosion you
are back three groups. That is what is happening to riders all over the
place here. A well-oiled machine the Belgian
team looks at this moment in time. In the mean time this is the karnage
behind. The rider with his arm in the air, from Italy.
The Belgians are very much in control of this at the front.
Another motorbike coming up or it is Luke Rowe. The fact is on the radio,
it would imply he's had a mechanical. You get yourself caught
out and in the wind, you explode and there is nothing you can do about
it. These are enormous gaps in such a short space of time. Because it is
tail wind all the way to The Pearl, no-one is coming back on. If you are
dropped now, it is over. These two groups ahead and up ahead there are
more groups. This is pure... There's Tony Martin. That is the first of
the Germans on the road, from what we know. It is chaos for us to see
what is going on as wesmt this is group one. It is split in two. It
has more than likely been dropped from it. They are. They are being
distanced. They are being blown off the first group. If it is the first
group. No, it isn't. There is another group in front. Look at
this. This is probably the fourth group on the road. Ignore that
graphic. This is one, two, three, this is the third group on the road
right here. Xa an extraordinary turn of events. There's another German
rider. There is at least one Belgian rider there in this group. They
certainly do have a lot in the front. Got that timing right. Took
some nations by surprise. When we look at the front group, be able to
see how the Team GB are doing with Mark Cavendish, if he's still in
that front group. A hard task for him. So far to go left in the race
and having lost so many team-mates in this moment of panic.
He's the rider in that small group that everybody will want to drop.
He's got a hard task ahead of him. Look at the gap to get up to the
next group. Wow! Just to think a few moments ago we were watching a dull
race. It is the thing about racing in the desert and with these
cross-winds, there is such a very small period of time that you can't
afford to lose the wheel and it is all over. It is not like you can
take a chance that you just releaks and maybe it will come back together
in the desert here in the cross winds, you cannot lose the will. You
lose a few centimetres and it is all over. The Belgian team are ripping
this up at the front. Belgium in control here. Having a
look, Germany with a rider newspaper this riding group.
That is the major built up area. They will continue down towards Doha
and the party. -- and The Pearl. We saw the Mexican
rider drop out of the lead group a little bit earlier on. As soon as
they turned right into the wind at the top of the course and he's being
swept up by the lead chase group now.
I am sure that is Thwaites towards the back.
It is the slow veenian rider. -- Slovenia rider. This is the
second group... A little swerve. Oh!
Got a bash there, but managed to stay upright. It is Durbridge. He
stopped. He had a mechanical. I don't know if it was from further
forward and they rode into the back of him. That is the thing when you
are concentrating on the white line. He took pressure off the pedals and
he went straight into him. It was the second group on the road. It
looked as if he stopped at the side of the road. There was a collision.
He was the guy hit from behind. It wasn't so his fault.
Everybody has got their head down and it is so beyond their limit,
they have only got their little part they are concentrating on and they
cannot see... The British team has been destroyed by the Belgians. They
have destroyed them. It is not looking great for either of those
two. That was nasty.
This is the front of the race. Now we have the little confirmation.
There's another crash. Just behind there. Caught a glimpse of a crash
further back in this group. I don't think the director has seen it yet.
Michael Matthews, yes? He was the right choice for the Australians.
Kristoff... The Norwegians have four. All these teams have done a
good job. They have known the danger. They have seen where they
had to be present and they got up there.
Griepel is there as well Most of the people you expect to be there are
there. . No, wait, this is group two.
As you can see, this is what happens as well. Race over. He's got blood
coming out. He collided, but he was able to stay on his bike. He didn't
crash. Clearly there was a collision though. He seems to have caught
something, punctured himself. The Belgians will keep contributing,
even though there are six riders up there. What you see as well, they
tend to find their organic size. It is dictated by the width of the
road. Each group seems to be made up of about 20 riders. There are about
190 peloton is stripped into groups of 15/20 road riders. The strongest
at the front and the second strongest on the road... That was a
German in the front group who has been picked up, given a spare bike.
That might have been that crash we saw before. This is group two,
anyway. He didn't touch down. He might have
caught it and then he's hit his own stem. Looks like he twisted his body
so far around, he hit himself on his bike. It is on the inside... He
punctured through his skin. So Adam Blythe, Mark Cavendish, that
is all that's left up there now. The GB team only has two riders in this
group as far as we know. The Belgians have got...
So, yes, they have a pretty good team tlup still.
-- team up there still. This is Brian Ramirez from the
breakaway. He's obviously crashed. This is not good, and Columbia...
Shredded his shorts to pieces. Desert Storm. This is it. Oh, wow.
That was a strange crash. Ouch. An awkward fall. I don't think I've
ever seen... His front wheel got lifted off the ground. It almost
looked like he got blown off. He won't be sitting comfortably for a
week or two after that. Well, it's a constantly changing
scenario peer -- scenario here, as you can tell. The computer system
has given up it's giving us no at all! Which is a tad disappointing.
-- no information at all. It's just a blank screen, which is pretty much
what the riders at the front are looking at as they look at that
Desert Storm. This is the group we need to look at at the moment. As
you said, a few kilometres ago, we had no idea what this race was going
to turn out like, what it's going to be one of the most boring World
Championships ever, and now it's turned into... It was! And now we've
got a scenario we've never seen before. The field destroyed so far
from the finish. 158 kilometres to go and only 25, 30 riders in the
race. Only two British riders in that group. Six Belgians, four
Norwegians, three Australians, I think. That is Matt Heymann. Two
Australians, just Matt Heymann is Michael Matthews. So is Michael
Matthews is going to have one rider, Matt Damon is a good one to have.
Adam Blythe is a good driver -- rider for Mark Cavendish to have. He
understands the Belgian tactics. He would have known what was going on.
His first two years pro was spent racing with the Belgians on their
home to rain so he understands how they race. He has probably
anticipated what happened. -- on their home to rain. If anybody ought
to be able to ride in conditions like this, it is the Belgians. They
are giving a masterclass so far today. Had to be expected. We could
see the wind picking up and sandstorms, there was talk of that,
and the Belgians played it so cool at the start. We saw Tom relaxing
Amrabat. -- relaxing down the back. They have done a brilliant job to
get so many riders in the front group. A long way from the finish.
They'll have to take responsibility, getting riders in their luck Matt
Heymann. It's going to be a tactical game into the finish.
Their time at the front of the race will be up in the not too distant
future. Two and a half minutes and closing rapidly. They are in a rare
position now. When their group comes up to them, they'll be able to hang
on. The real damage has been done. There will have been 25 kilometres
of absolute max out destruction and now it settles into this very high
paced, high rhythm, if you like, and you don't have those explosive
moments again because it's not physically possible. The team that
there are quite happy. Andre Greipel coming through, he isn't where he
wanted to be. There are some remnants of the British team. There
is Scott Swift. Haven't seen anything of Marcel Kippel. That
doesn't really surprise me. We wouldn't really have anticipated...
So we are getting a make up of the first group.
Out on the course, I was having a chat with the Australian team
director, Brad McGee, who said that if any of them make it to the finish
of this race, they will be completely legless. It will be a
sprint they'll have to do pretty much on their knees. This is the
second group at the moment but, in the front group, Mark Cavendish is
well protected but still having to work so hard. It's evidence that, if
it continues like this for another 30, 40 kilometres, the sprinters are
really going to be exhausted by the time they get to the name -- by the
time they get to The Pearl. Magnus Corte Nielsen is in that
front group. He is a dark horse. Basically, people make up of that
front group is the specialists, you'd expect, for these conditions.
These are such specialised conditions. There are clear tactics
and the type of riders who revel in it. The Belgians being particularly
excellent at it, as they are proving. The most represented team
up there. Here is the front group. Look at
that. Only two team-mates, Peter Sagan, and he's got one of them up
there. Just getting confirmation of the make up of the group.
Norwegians, to riders as well. The Netherlands, two riders. So you've
got Sagan and Michael Cole from Slovakia, Adrian Petit from France
and from Belgium Tom Boonen, Jess Glynne colour, -- Jens Keukeleire
Lower, Italy well represented, Daniele Bennati. Elia Viviani. Tom
Leezer from the Netherlands. The two Norwegians. And then we have
Alexander Christoph. And Sam Bennett from Ireland and Magnus Corte from
Denmark. A lot of quality in that group. And what a turn of events in
a very short space of time. Marcel Kippel is two minutes behind
the leading group. He is two minutes behind the Belgians group, the group
of six. So Marcel Kittel is behind, I can't see him making him back into
the sharp end. And presumably Andre Greipel would be in that group. I
think he is further forward. We are looking at the leaders. Group one,
55. Group two is 48 seconds behind. Further back, group three will be
the Kittel group. And in fact that strip could go all the way along
back to group six, seven... 18. It's probably the case at the moment.
There probably 18 groups. The early breakaway group are now finally
caught, with 145 kilometres to go. Tom Boonen from Belgium leads the
Belgian train straight past them. The Olympian champion right on his
heels. The initial leading group, which was seven, now have company
and they will struggle to hang on to the coat-tails of this for more than
a couple of minutes. Ramirez Carranza: Columbia showing the scars
of his rather painful crash. -- Ramirez from Columbia. His front
wheel lifted up into the air. This is impressive stuff from the Belgian
team. Among the big names in this leading group in this race which has
gone absolutely mad in the last half an hour or so, the defending
champion, Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish with Adam Blythe, Tom
Boonen, Michael Matthews from Australia. The wind has changed and
they are in a tailwind because they are not spread across the road. That
will make it even more difficult. The group one is the group with
Andre Greipel and the leaders of the Belgians.
We saw images of Sam Bennett, who was in this front group, did a
fantastic group to get into the group. Looked like he was nursing an
injury. He may have touched down. We didn't get pictures of that. He's
not in that front group now, which is devastating for him. He did look
like he was going backwards there. We saw him briefly. It looked like
he had a hand injury. He may have had a crash or... It is great for
the breakaway riders. They got caught the moment it got into the
tail wind. They can sit on the back and get a free ride to The Pearl.
When I say a free ride... Not an armchair ride, is it, really? But we
know what you mean. And they are just, to prove the
point... Is that Kittel in the middle of the road. Griepel there,
second in line. An interesting one here is the fact
that it is the leaders who are riding. I cannot see them bringing
this group back. 53 seconds between the two groups.
When they say group one, they mean group two on the road in real terms.
Yes. Leaders get, leaders and then, yes...
Look at the way guys are dropping back.
It is not full on, it is, this chase? That goes to show how big
that gap is in real terms on the road. It has taken that long with
him essentially slowing down and for them to reel him in. When you've
got, and it seems only six riders in the front, seven riders, I see
Griepel slotted back in, he's only in eighth position. You can tell
with the weaving around on the road. This is not a concerted effort to
close this gap. It is not a very business-like... That is it. It is
over a kilometres, 52 seconds. It is a long way up the road. They will go
over 60 kilometres in these conditions. It is a dot on the
horizon. It is a long road. If you are riding at 60 kilometres per
hour, which these guys are, you cannot go much faster. Everyone is
at their terminal velocity. You need to go into a headwind, because then
the front group might start to play around and then you can drive into
it and make big differences of speed. A tail wind, a cross-tail is
the most dangerous F a gap opens, it is so difficult to close. We saw
Sagan taking on two bottles from the vehicle. He's got two bottles there.
Moving back through... So this has turned into a kind of, a genius
tactical move from the early break away. They are in a position now in
the race they would not have been before. They spent a lot of energy.
They will now be with the best riders in the world for the final of
the World Championships. So that second group, so in this
group, this is leaders, we have Mark Cavendish and Blythe for Great
Britain. There is Thwaites and Swift, two British riders. We don't
know where the rest of the British riders are. They are scattered in
groups behind. There we can see the two groups. The leaders on the left.
Group one on the right. If they do catch this group, they
will race: And they are shaking their heads, because no-one is
contributing. There is some confusion. It is not consistent.
There are not enough riders committed to bringing this back.
Even Griepel there swings over and takes a look. Not prepared to do all
the work. And the other riders not coming through to share. That will
be very frustrating for them. But working well at the front, in the
lead peloton. The Belgians doing the majority of the work. And Tom
Boonen, the protected rider of the day. He's pulled a lot of strong
turns out here in the front. This is not the front group we are looking
at now. This is group one by the graphic. Second group on the road.
So you can see, that is it, that I have cracked. That is not coming
back now. 55 seconds. So that group one now will wait for the group two,
the third group on the road, which is group two in the graphics, come
up to them. They have a long wait. They are one minute, 20, behind
them. This is going to be hugely disappointing. It is always very
disappointing when you get caught out in an echelon like that. After
the initial fur flurry, the break up, then you feel great again and
you are caught in a group which will not contribute and there is not much
you can do. It is as much mental attention as anything else. If you
are in the wrong gap or position, this is the third group we are
looking at now, called group number two, closing in on group number one,
which is second group on the road. They are working a little bit more,
better together. There are more riders there contributing. This
group is made mainly of domestics and team-mates trying to get to
their leaders. That is why the second group, you see them riding
themselves because they have to, nobody else is contributing. There
are riders in there which have riders in the leader's group who
don't want to help. It turns into a tactical and frustrating game.
The Spanish... Their leader today, there you go. They are trying to
keep this rolling through. What has happened to Adam Blythe? It is the
leader's group: Oh, I got confused there!
Mark Cavendish cannot afford to lose his one team-mate in that group. All
the groups, apart from, can they are finding their rhythm now. It is
stabilising everywhere. And think I that is because it is simply so
fast. Here we have the Griepel group. This is chasing the leader's
group. Have they found more momentum again? I think some riders have gone
back and shouted at others. Again Griepel comes through. Nobody is on
his wheels. His team-mate comes up. That is it. What you need is all,
well 20 of those riders rotating in one big rotation. At the moment it
is not happening. After every three riders come through, somebody else
doesn't go through. It breaks the rhythm. People are trust traited.
They don't work with each other and it slows the pace down. Riders peel
off into the middle of the road like Kittel. He's shaking has his head.
Even maybe he's saying, I don't think it will happen. You cannot
give up. That is the thing. So, it is one minute and two seconds
between the two first groups on the road. This is the first group.
Greg Van Avermaet. Belgians with six riders in this group. A significant
group with the tail wind back to The Pearl. These riders are working
welling to and they have all the incentive to keep the pressure on
the pedals. Like you said, they are the team leaders who have to do the
work for themselves and maybe there is a point soon when they say, OK,
let's sit up and wait for group number three to catch up and we will
see if we can take our chance. The only hope is if this team were to
sit up and play cat and mouse. Which I don't think will happen. The
Belgians, you see there are too many riders in this to keep the group up
the road. Why make it bigger? The Belgians obviously this is a great
opportunity for them. Six riders, I mean they can control this group.
They can launch offence. I imagine if this group is up behind... And
the world champion will come out of this group again, they can play
different tactical games. They can launch attacks on The Pearl. Even
Tom Boonen will not trust his ability to beat Cavendish in the
sprint. Boonen has come through for good turns too. When they get close
tore the finish he will question how fresh the legs are of Mark
Cavendish, who has been riding quite smart at the moment. He's well
protecte focussed. Not to miss that move. He was there and that was
probably the hardest task of the day. Now he's... ... Oil in his
chain. He's in the biggest gear and he's spinning like that. It must be
65 k an hour. Over 40 miles per hour. That is why everyone is giving
off that sort of impression of being slightly relaxed because everybody
is in their biggest gear. You cannot go much faster. They are at the
terminal velocity and the damage has been done. It will be difficult to
fix it. Well you hear us in the commentary
box talking about raises radio. What is it? We went with the voice of
radio in one of the earlier races this week to find out. So radio the
radio for all of the team cars but also the commentators. The idea is
to give out information on the race, throughout the race, to the finish
on what happens, who are the riders, concerned by the breakaway. The
gaps. If I see a rider suffering a puncture, I will call the car. The
idea is to give out short sentences on what goes on and call a car if
necessary. So this is the office of Radio Tour
H is how it works. I basically work with this headset. I work with a
pedal. So basically when I press on the pedal and I speak, everyone
hears me. I have to be careful with what I do with my foot, basically.
The challenge of every race is to stay focussed all the time. I cannot
stop being focussed because anything can happen at any moment.
A crash, a crash in the pack on the right-hand side. Be careful behind.
Several riders on the ground. Race radio helps commentators. If you
have a break away it established how many riders there are and who it is.
It clarifies that quickly I tells you thinks going on within the race.
You can hear everything that the team cars can hear.
USA, mechanical problem for one of your riders. These are the two
motorbikes, these are the two guys who give me information on what goes
on at the front. Most of the drivers and the guys on the motorbikes are
former riders. It is really important to know how a rider will
react and how to drive next to a pack. The guy driving this car rode
the Tour de France on several occasions and wore the yellow
jersey. I give out the information and it goes to this lady here, who
is the black board girl. All the information goes on the black board.
She shows this to the riders so they know the gap is one minute 30 or 30
seconds. I am always behind pack. That is where I see things in the
best possible way and because the pack becomes the leader's group. In
12 years of doing this I have never seen the finish of a race because we
are behind the pack. I tend not to see what goes on at the front. A
nice look behind the scenes there. Let's get back to the race now. At
last the leaders coming to The Pearl, heading on to the finishing
Sir it is. Seven laps of this circuit.
The way the circle is laid out they will catch glimpse. There are
roundabouts and all sorts. It will play mind tricks on both groups
because you will see, they will be able to see quite quickly because a
good bike racer can look at a group and get the feeling of how that
group is operating. If this group... What I would do now if I was the
Belgians is put all six on the front for this first lap, so each time the
chasing group came through they would see the Belgians leading and
think, we don't have a chance. That would start to blow the minds of the
chasing group and they would give up one by one. You want to create that
seed of doubt in that group. As soon as they have cracked, because that
is when you crack them, let that group go to two or three minutes and
then they can put more of an order. The last thing the Belgians would
want to do is allow Germany back in through the back door. Can't do
that. This is the perfect mission for the
moment from Belgium. Belgium they have got rid of Griepel and others.
So far they couldn't have wished for a better scenario. Germany have
three fantastic riders who would be desperate to get back into the
reckoning of this race and would be a major problem for all the riders
as a the front if they were to join that group. Look at this group. We
have four Belgians, two/three Norwegians up there.
Just so you can show that for the first lap or so and that will mess
with their heads and then we can sit back and play it tactically. Mark
Cavendish is very much in contention here in this men's road race, a
title which he won in Copenhagen in 2011. Very much so. This is almost a
perfect scenario for him. He would have preferred to have his team
there but, at the same time, he knows Belgium are going to control
it. Their leader will be Tom Boonen. They will play games. Norway are
well presented and the Italians, so he can play off their work. That's
what Peter Sagan is going to have to do. He's got one team-mate up there,
so he is in the same position as Cavendish. Peter Sagan started with
only two team-mates and Mark Cavendish started with eight but
they are both down to one now, so they will both have to play
tactically. Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish are both following
incredibly strong athletes, very tactically astute. They won't panic.
Mark will not be panicking and neither will be Peter Sagan. They
will have to figure out how they are going to play this.
The first chase group, that with Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel. The
Belgians are keeping the pace on. People hesitating because they don't
want to go through and contribute and it's causing splinters.
Tempers are starting to fray here. People are starting to get
frustrated and angry with each other. Daniele Bennati in fourth.
They all looked across, having a look at what the other group is
doing, and they will have done the same. That little glance is trying
to read what's going on. They will have seen the gap at the front, with
Andre Greipel chasing. With the Belgians. The Belgians will think
they've got it under control. He is coming around the Belgian rider to
shut down the American. You can imagine the psychological warfare.
When they see Belgian controlling the front, and then Belgium shutting
down the front of their group... It's a mess, isn't it, that second
group. Totally. That's thanks to the tactics of Belgium being up there
and controlling it. It's not because they're two team-mates missed that
move and will be feeling bad they are not up there with their
team-mates, they realise it is better that they are there and can
get in the way of the chase. Neither of them are going to ride through.
Second wheel... Andre Greipel looks under his arm and sees another
Belgian rider. Very angry. I don't see Marcel Kittel coming to the
front now. The Belgian swings back in again. You see? It's too easy for
the Belgians. They are getting angry. The Austrian rider is going
to have a go. It's going to be even more frustrating for the riders of
the German team when they see that and they just keep shaking their
heads. Nothing they can do can fall into place or pick up momentum. It's
a bad state of play, when Andre Greipel is the man doing the work in
that group, with over 100 kilometres still to go, and this is a guy who
could win the World Championships. At the start, he could. Yes, that
whole group is now being controlled by the Belgians, two riders
controlling 25. They are just wearing them down psychologically,
and that's why it's important for the Belgians to have their riders in
the brunt of this circuit, for the first lap at least, so the other
guys, their heads will drop. -- in the front of this circuit. They are
controlling it on all fronts. Psychological warfare out there. We
are going into the final 100 kilometres in this race. It is in
pieces. That's what we wanted, a bit of wind today out in the desert to
shake things up a bit, and the Belgian team certainly did shake it
up. It was a phenomenal macro the group behind is in a mess still.
They are all over the place, attacking each other. He's banging
his head against a brick wall. He loves it. He won't get much love
from the others when they rejoin him. He will be Mr popular.
On the back of that group from Ireland, Sam Bennett. He'll be
gutted. He'd made it into that from split, that leaders group, and he
couldn't hang on for whatever reason. -- he made it that front
split. A Swiss rider. Michael Schar, I think. It's going
up a bit, that gap. That is the riders in the second group on the
road in group one. Coming to the realisation they are just not
getting it together, so they are splitting, the riders who have
something left in their legs, taking their chance at jumping across. It
is a very big task with the calibre of riders out there in front.
Seemingly impossible. These are the final death throes of this group.
When the little attacks start going, that's just before it completely
dies, because it shows the momentum has gone, people are not working
well together, people are taking these desperate moves. I mean, look
is all closing down. This is the group, Michael Schar attacking,
grouping up like that. It's done. Australia still represented further
up the road in the front group. We are just looking at Mitch Docker.
If this second group on the road, which they call group one on the
screen, if they give up and they sit up, like David said, there will only
be a small number of people finishing this race at the World
Championships, and probably not what we predicted at the start of the day
on get flat course in Doha. Especially after watching yesterday.
Up to the finish, where not many riders will drop throughout the
race. A slightly different course, given they didn't go out into the
desert, just on the circuit. Being dead flat, we assume is going to be
a bunch sprint, like everybody said, but this is a smaller group than
many predicted. What crazy about this, and this is bike racing
completely, there are 257 kilometres racing today and the race happened
in five kilometres, the initial part. If they didn't have
crosswinds, we would have been arriving here with 190 riders. It is
such a tactical game, bike racing. You look at the map and you see
where that's going to happen and that's the only point to focus on.
The two kilometres before that corner and then be ready for a one
kilometre effort after that. So you had three kilometres where you had
to be game on, and so many people missed it. It looks like these
riders are being pulled off the course. That is the Dan Stannard
group. That is the fourth group in a row.
The day has ended early for a sizeable proportion of the number of
riders in the field here. Some big names in there, some talented
riders. Hopefully a quick change so they can
get straight back into the race. Not so quick at the moment,
unfortunately. There you go. A good convoy. Because of the nature of
this circuit with all of the turns and roundabouts, it means the cars
are often slowed down. It's also possible you carry debris from the
desert on your tyres. Andre Greipel on the attack on the second group.
They got out to one minute 50 seconds before he decided to have a
go, and guess who is on his tail. The Belgians. Tony Martin, his work
done for the day. Two gold medals from his week's work. It looks like
he's getting supplies to ride back to the hotel. The Belgian riders are
quick to come to the front to join in and then break it up. In a way,
it's almost been better, when we saw the race falling to pieces during
the crosswinds, we saw one of the Belgian riders cause a split and
pull off Harper Lee. He must have seemed that he had so many
team-mates ahead in the group that he pulled the left. It's ingenious.
He goes, I could force a split and not move it. That's quite advanced
racing to do that in those conditions. If they had the full
team up there, they'd have no team-mates behind the block was the
so they've got a bunch of strong riders in the front group. Was there
a crash? Scott Thwaites. That is in the second group. It looks like he's
OK. That's exactly the corner we saw
before where Daniele Bennati came ripping round and Jens Keukeleire
came round behind and said, don't go that fast. The Belgian riders just
policing it so well. It's almost like they are in a track race,
looking their shoulders. That in itself, like I said, if those
Belgian riders haven't been there and they've had their full team up
the front, this group would have had more momentum, but they have served
an equally important role for the team of the riders up the front with
Tom Boonen, causing these guys to ride defensively behind. Scott
Thwaites safely back. It goes John Degenkolb again. And the Belgians,
and Mitch Docker behind them. Two minutes, the gap, starting to make
that move. Well, at least they are not giving up. That shows the
calibre of the riders. It's a hell of a time trial to close a
two-minute gap if nobody is going to help pupils the it will be a
struggle. You can't fully commit ever because you have got a Belgian
rider on your wheel. They will not help because they will be annoyed by
riders from other groups. What the point of doing a two-minute time
trial to close a gap if it is going to drop you immediately? The
selection was made a long way out in this race. 184 kilometres from the
finish. Almost exactly 100 kilometres ago. So that is how long
the race has been on for. All these splits happened in the space of two,
three kilometres. Adam Blythe making it back on. There you go, that is
John Degenkolb being angry with the Belgian riders for doing their job.
Yeah, the Belgian riders in the chase group have done a fabulous job
of frustrating the momentum. Chasing down John Degenkolb again. He's not
going to throw his bottle at them, is he? He squirted it. That's
fantastic. Oh, come on, John! . -- what does he expect the Belgian
rider to do? The job of the Belgian riders, only doing what they are
supposed to do. They are in control. I like John Degenkolb, he's a great
guy, but you can see how you lose your mind. Such unexpected behaviour
from John Degenkolb. You wouldn't expect it from anybody. I thought it
was just fun and jokes between two mates but then you could see he
raised his hands in frustration. It's still going on. Turning round,
shaking his at him. John Degenkolb has lost the plot. Now the Belgians
are going to rub it in. He's going to stick to his wheel. It's perfect.
It's exactly what I'd do. Look, he's just not stopping. Let's see if we
can hear it. No, we can't hear it. Very strange behaviour from John
Degenkolb. That is just the role of the Belgian team. That's what they
have the right to do. You lose your mind after a while. But, second up,
he will probably get fined for that. -- the commerce there coming up. He
is doing his job and doing it exceptionally well, to the point
where he has closed that group down Jens Debusschere getting an earful
and I fall from John Degenkolb. With most of the Belgian team at the
front of the race, I've no idea what John Degenkolb expects Jens
Debusschere to do. We haven't had any information. One assumes they
did just all miss that breakaway at the vital moment and there wasn't a
mechanical issue at an important juncture. It's interesting that all
three of them would there, which implies they couldn't make it. There
was no clear attack from any team. It was the perfect crosswind. They
were there. They were in the first 40, the right place, but you needed
to be in the first 20 and that was the problem. Such a perfect
crosswind that, even when they did the final right-hander, they still
looked reasonably safe in the tail would section. Then they just
started to drop. -- the tailwind section. One minute you think you
are safe but then riders start popping out everywhere. That's
what's happened. Mark Cavendish was right at the front, Tom Boonen, all
these guys. The 20 riders who made it.
He did ride himself into the ground. When he needed people to join in and
help the chase there was virtually nobody there. There's Kittel. One of
those who would have travelled out to Qatar with hopes of claiming the
Rainbow jersey. There is a rider suffer from the effects of the heat
and the effort and the disappointment. He's upset. He's
genuinely gutted. 35.6kms to go. One of these riders in the picture now
will become the 2016 world road race champion. Blythe and Cavendish are
in this group. The notable absentees, all of the German riders.
No Kittel, no Griepel. Sagan is in this group, of Slovakia.
France have got a couple of riders in the group, they have Bonnet.
There's Bonnet there we are looking at.
I am sure Bonnet didn't expect himself to be this the World
Championship with the weight of the nation on his shoulders. Neither of
the designated ones have made they way into it.
A big shift from some of these Belgian riders.
Of all the stars in the lead group, in your opinion which would be the
most confident with the way the race has played out, and their position
at the moment? Mark Cavendish would have to be pretty confident with how
things have gone until this point. Obviously Sagan as well. It is
difficult to say. Boonen, obviously because he's controlling the race.
He decides if they ride, he could decide right now, stop riding guys
and the whole thing would stop moving. He's in control of
everything and his confidence and abilities. I think for Cavendish he
will be happy to have Blythe there. He's been in the wheels, which has
been exceptionally hard. He's not had to exert himself yet apart from
the perfect moment, which he did. Couldn't have executed better. Hence
why he's here in this group. It is the same for Peter Sagan, Michael
Matthews, Kristoff. Think I they are all in a bit of a stalemate at the
moment. At the moment it is as if, as it stands, you get the impression
Belgium, Italy and Norway want to take it to the line for a sprint, in
which case you are like, OK, it will be a real proper sprint and we will
see who is the best and best today. And that will be quite the match
with Michael Matthews, Peter Sagan, Viviani, Cavendish. You cannot
predict that. I mean you could, you could say Mark
Cavendish. But at the same time it is a long race. Some others will
fancy their races. If Kristoff has got his team up there, if Boonen is
continuing to let Belgium ride like this, he's obviously confident.
Kristoff might not have the speed of Cavendish. He's a good spread
sprinter. This has been a long, hard day, it is often where Boonen excels
and we have seen Mark Cavendish do the same. The current form from Tom
Boonen would dictate he's the man of the moment. He's beaten Mark
Cavendish. He's beaten Kristoff. He's beaten others.
Michael Matthews will be less, he's younger. At the moment they are
playing the same tactic. The Belgian team must have high morale after
their success at the Olympic Games. They knew they had the ability to
win that gold medal, but to walk away with it, obviously a lot of
celebrations and great morale amongst the Belgian team. That was
not necessarily the train where you would have expected Belgium to win.
It was a physically demanding race. I wonder what Peter Sagan was
thinking that night, whether he, once he saw the result of that race,
whether he thought, maybe I could have done that after all, maybe that
course was doable? That is a decision you have to make.
There was a gamble on that one taken by Greg Van Avermaet.
Peter had ridden the test road. He essentially trained and worked for a
year for that one race, which is, it takes a lot of courage and
confidence to do that. Yes, it paid off. He's a pretty quick finisher,
isn't he, Avermaet. I saw him outsprinteding Sagan for the stage
win, just the two of them. He did it resentment in Quebec and Montreal.
Sagan won the first one and it was Greg Van Avermaet who beat Sagan in
the second one. It was only a month ago. We know Avermaet and Sagan, it
is not the first time they have got one-twos. Greg Van Avermaet is a
great all rounder. So, in that way you could describe
Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet as best all-rounders.
What a job he has done for Belgium today. That was a very impressive
shift. Looks like he is relaxed. No facial
expressions. It is clear he's emptied the tank if he just shuts it
down like that. That makes it interesting because Oliver Nasen is
looking tired address well. -- Naesen is looking tired as well.
Meanwhile Avermaet it ises near the back. Sagan just behind him.
I can see everybody now getting a bit of the jitters, getting close to
the finish. Two laps to go. We would probably have expected a few attacks
to have gone before this point. The Belgian team keeping the pace high.
A lot of pace put into Tom Boonen for today.
We are inside the final two laps here on The Pearl. We have a sizable
leading group. Any of these could become the world champion. We still
have remnants from the early break away among these elite riders here.
Hanging in at the front end of the race. That has been as dumb -- has
been a bizarre day for them. Roth, from Canada. Two riders at the back,
they were in that early break away. Dougall is there also from South
Africa. The shadows are growing longer with
every passing minute now. The fierce heat of the day just
eases in Doha. It is now just hot rather thanes by
teringly so. -- rather than blisteringly so.
Belgian TV is hovering before he's had a chance to have a drink. The
second group on the road here, still chugging along.
And very shortly they'll have two laps to go over the line this time.
Griepel in the group, Thwaites of Great Britain and Ben Swift as well.
A big, big gap between this group and those at the front of the race.
So very much minor placings will be up for grabs for these riders.
Sitting on the back of that group is the younger brother of Peter Sagan.
Slovakia have a full compliment in the race. All three riders.
Inside the last couple of laps now, this road racing championship. Can
Mark Cavendish land the title for the second time in his career? Will
it be his day? Britain with two cards to play here in this leading
group. A long, long day in the saddle.
257.3kms the distance. It was out in the desert where the damage was
really done. Looks like Viviani going back to the
team car for instructions, or is he looking for fluids. He seemed
nervous to be. Repeatedly going back, hovering up and down the
group. It can work both ways. It can mean he's feeling good and is
nervous because of that, or he's just confused.
He's gone back to get some more... Get some more direction from the
team director in the car. Calm down! It is interesting because some
athletes don't want communication in the final 30-40 minutes of the race,
but he's just taken on some food as well. That is not a great sign, is
it? It is a motivational chat there. He's looking good, Viviani. He's
looking smooth and in control on the bike.
At the moment, all the leaders, they have got the same workload under the
belt. Since the initial split, where they were all contributing and Tom
Boonen, 160 K ago, they have all sat on the wheels as Belgium and Italy
have done the work. They have not had a chance, normally if it is a
heavy course, you see who is feeling good on the climb, you can tell by
their pedalling action, their body language. At the moment none of the
leaders will know how well each is going, unless somebody has cracked
and you can see that, which co you can.
But because dumb of the nature of the surface, it is difficult to see
if somebody is suffering or not. A good ride from the Moroccan as
well to hang in this group. Number 156 who has been in the lead
group all the way through the race. The closer they come to the finish
now, 23.5 kilometres to go. Mark Cavendish's confidence must be
building without those attacks that we are predicting to come at some
point, the further they get, close tore the finish, the more confident
Mark Cavendish will be. He's been well positioned and well focussed.
Having a look around now. Mark Cavendish is almost always in
the drops, that lower position. He keeps himself smaller. Over a
shortish race, that wouldn't make much difference but, when you have
been in the wheels for that long, that micro-difference it will make,
making you more aerodynamic, that adds up. Those of the details Mark
Cavendish thinks about. It isn't that comfortable but, holding that
for hours on end, it a lot of training and work and discipline. He
has a very small frontal area when he gets down into that sprinting
position, Cavendish. No sign of any liveliness from the
front of the leading group at the moment. Not yet. Some very
disciplined, controlled. It's still a high pace, the way wit around
these roundabouts and corners. That goes to show. -- the way it
whiplashs. One of the benefits of them having
had six riders in the group when it split, it means they can save their
good riders. They put their three leaders in that group, Jurgen
Roelandts, Tom Boonen and the other one. If the Belgians and have those
riders, they would have all had to be riding. The Belgians sacrificed
those three riders for the other three.
Daniele Bennati has been up near the front for a long time. It's been the
Belgians leading the way, though. There you go, Elia Viviani dropping
back, sitting on Peter Sagan's wheel. His team-mates are up there,
doing the work. He is down there, monitoring things, getting technical
-- tactical insight from the Italian team boss in the car. There is Mark
Cavendish. Looking very skinny actually. That could be the heat as
well. It's sort of dehydrates you as the race goes on. Mat Hayman,
checking that Michael Matthews, his team-mate, is still OK and up with
him. Mat Hayman physically be bigger of the two Australians. It will be a
huge benefit for Michael Matthews to have had somebody so big and strong
in front of him, being protected from the wind. A bit more than the
other riders, because of the size of Mat Hayman. He's had a great wheel
to sit on for the whole day. The third group in a row pulled out, so
only the first two groups out there now, a grand total of probably 50
odd riders. They will roll towards the pits.
And here we are, back at the front of the race. It's been a phenomenal
display of teamwork and strength in numbers from the Belgian team. We
predicted they would be quite strong, but did we predicted they'd
be this strong? They have really dominated today. I think we expected
the other teams to expect it as well. But crosswind racing is so
particular that you can be incredibly strong and just in the
wrong place, about five metres behind where the action is happening
and, all of a sudden, it explodes and you have no hope. That's what
happened to a lot of riders. They had the legs to be in here today but
they were just a bit too far back when it all happened. You can see
three teams at the front, Belgium, Italy and Norway. They are the three
teams that have the highest representation in the front group.
Belgium, six, Italy, four, Norway, four. Those teams are controlling
it. That's where, with three leaders, Michael Matthews Australia,
with Mat Hayman, Mark Cavendish, he only has Adam Blythe and then for
Peter Sagan, he's only got Michael Kolar. They are going to have to
watch those three teams. If it starts attacking, they've got to be
very careful with what they follow and don't. They can't follow
everything, they don't have the energy. They have to make sure they
don't let a move though that has a Belgian, an Italian and a Norwegian
rider. If that happens, they need to chase it. But if an Italian and a
Belgian get up the road and there is no Norwegian, they know that the
Norwegians will chase it down. So that's all they've got to worry
about. You've got to watch those moves happening at the moment those
three teams are represented, you go. If not, you chill out and expect
them to chase it down. Nice and simple! A nice phrase at this stage
of the race, just chill out! We get the sentiment. You have to be very
instinctive on it, where the whole time, watching what's going on and
not hesitating the moment something goes. -- I wear the whole time.
Normally you'd expect it to need it to his team-mate, Peter Sagan. Some
shaking of the legs in this front group. Cavendish, he won't be phased
by not having a really strong lead. He is very good at surfing the
wheels. When he started to win his first Tour de France victories, he
was a master at that, staying calm and surfing the wheels. 20
kilometres to go. Very exciting, coming into the finish.
Italy and Norway contributing mouth at the pointy end of the race. --
contributing now. Ryan Roth taking a go at the Canadian. -- taking an
edge on Canadian. A good day for him, hanging in at the front of the
race. It's very unusual that the leading group is caught. It was and
they are still there with the leading riders. It doesn't happen
normally. It's nigh on unprecedented, I think. Good on him.
That also goes to show the make-up of the race, the fact there was only
one very hard section that also in the middle and caused all this
damage. After that, it hasn't been so demanding, the fact that the
riders left in the initial break are still there. On a daily course,
they'd probably only have lasted two laps. Since they come onto The Pearl
and nothing has actually happened. A steady, consistent pace. For the
riders sitting on the wheel, it hasn't been too demanding. Even
though it looks technical with tight corners, it isn't like you really
have to get out of the seat and stamp on the pedals. It's been very
flowing for those riders not on the front, pulling the case. It's that
little spell where they have two keep the chase group at arms length
and make it obvious that, no matter what they try and do, they are not
going to gain ground on them and come back into attention. --
contention. Other than that, certainly no activity off the front
of this group. No sign of it splitting up attacks or counter
attacks. The sheer looming presence of those blue jerseys has helped
ensure that. We were saying the Belgian team would probably want to
do some attacking to drop the likes of Mark Cavendish but, it looks like
the closer they get to the finish, Tom Boonen is putting a lot of faith
in his legs for this sprint against the likes of Cavendish and Peter
Sagan, because the Belgian team are holding the pace high. There is no
bunch at all. It would leaders go to show how confident Tom Boonen must
be. He's got a great leader. He's got to riders left, Jurgen Roelandts
is one of them. He will be at his disposal. It is a courageous, very
courageous move. I suppose you have to be bold to win the World
Championships. Oliver Naesen's tag must be almost
empty, the amount of time he has been at the front of the race.
Jasper Stuyven as well. Is a great rider in his own right. He is tipped
as being the next Tom Boonen. He has won some good races. You can wind
sprints. He is broadly somebody we going to see off the front in years
to come. -- he can wind sprints. That is the reason he can do a big
stint like this. The winner in Brussels this year. A couple of six
places in the Tour de France, including in Paris. Anti-won a stage
last year. Yes, he did. -- and he won a stage. One of the early
breakaway riders cramping. Goes to riders in the middle of the picture
actually are both in their day job team-mates with Mark Cavendish.
I don't think they'll be able to help him much though. It's
interesting, looking back down the line, Elia Viviani is this from the
back of that line. Sitting on the wheel of another rider. Tom Boonen
isn't going to attack but if anybody does it will be Greg. A bit of an
indication that Elia Viviani doesn't back himself against the likes of
Tom Boonen and Cavendish or else he would be playing that game and
marking their wheels. He's looking for his best opportunity to win and
he sees that if there is a late attack from elsewhere he will be
there and he's obviously very fast at the finish. Elia Viviani having
that gold medal in the Omnium this year. All the pressure is off. His
road form hasn't been the same this year because he has been
concentrating on the track. He did win a stage in the Dubai Tour
earlier in the year. He had a great year last year, four stage wins in
the Tour of Britain. A stage won elsewhere and a gold medal in Rio
this summer in the Omnium. Mark Cavendish at halfway, back the
groove. -- back in the group. Adam Blythe. Clearing up what is going
on. Adam Blythe will be asking Mark what he wants him to do. Just
sitting on his wheel now. That is often what you do in this situation,
Adam Blythe sitting behind Mark Cavendish because then, if anything
happens, you can see it happening. At this point in the race, you are
so concentrated, tired, and they are still talking, figuring out what to
do. It looks like he has set to Adam Blythe, I want the wheel of Peter
Sagan. He is holding that very tight. Adam Blythe needs to be there
in case a get opened up. This is where it is going to happen in the
next few minutes and we will find out who will become the new world
champion for the next 12 months, as they cross the line, one lap to go
in the World Championship road race. Great Britain with two cards to
play. Mark Cavendish and Adam Blythe in this leading group. If a star
studded leading group of riders many of whom will feel they can become
the world champion. So many riders in this group could legitimately
win. All of these riders you would
definitely call is being potential winners. In all honesty, I wouldn't
dare call any of them at the moment. But I will call Mark Cavendish. He's
got the experience. Tom Boonen and mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan I guess
they be a bit less confidence against those two, but he has looked
very comfortable through this race. Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen in
Qatar have that history. They have got through today's race, the
hardest part of the race, very well. Tom Boonen has the confidence of
having the team worked so hard for him. These printers will be trying
to take every positive that they can at the moment to try and get revved
up for the finish. -- the sprinters. With a rider of Tom Boonen's
stature, if he has the confidence to call a spread like this, you got
enough team-mates to play different tactics but he is choosing not to do
that. Very little chance in launching attacks now. Unless they
want to cause chaos in the last few kilometres, which is possible. You
might try and launch one from Van Avermaet. It's possible they might
try and wreak some havoc in the final and then let Tom Boonen
six-pack. He will anticipate that everybody else is unsure what's
going to happen. -- let Tom Boonen sit back.
Or you could do it all for one, clinical, traditional lead out. But
do you want to lead Mark out that way? Let's face it, he won four
stages of the Tour de France this year. The all-time greatest ever
sprinter, perhaps. You want to make it a bit more difficult for him.
So far it stays together. . 13.3kms to go. Tom Boonen is so confident in
his condition here at the World Championships that he wants a
head-to-head sprint. It looks more like it will be that way. The
question eis whether Belgium will throw out attacks. Tom Boonen is
showing confidence in himself for a sprint today. Adam Blythe has a
massive weight on shoulders. He will have to take Cavendish to the line.
Either shuts things down. When Cavendish asks you to do something,
normally if you can do it for him he will fulfil the contract. That is
how he operates. It is a lot of responsibility to have. We saw the
discussion between them, cross the line before. Some decisions being
made by Mark Cavendish. It looks as if he allowed him to have the wheel
of Sagan. Cavendish has been glued to the wheel of Sagan for the last
few kilometres. Here comes the second group.
Over the line. One lap for them. Disappointment for Andre Griepel.
This was no not the group he wanted to be in at all. One of the big
pre-race favourites. Here we are with the leaders.
Still all together. Only 12kms remaining now in this World
Championship race. Adam Blythe is glued to Mark
Cavendish's wheel. Mark Cavendish is stuck to Peter Sagan. What will
happen is Blythe will sweep around the back and make sure no-one gets
on Cavendish's wheel. That will be his first job. After that it will be
a case of protecting him if anything happens, moving past him and
positioning him if he loses a wheel. That is what Adam Blythe will have
to do. He'll have to do an exceptional performance at some
point, when the heat is on, to make sure Cavendish is delivered. He's
the delivery man for Mark Cavendish. The tension goes up as the
kilometres slowly click by and the finish comes on to the horizon. The
last lap here on The Pearl, in Doha. The Belgians are dominating this
leading group. A superb ride from them as a team. Not only did they
get most of their team in the lead group, they had two in the front
group disruptding the chase. Dis-- disrupting the chase. Disrupting,
frustrating, but what a display of strength in numbers from the Belgian
team today. They have not been under pressure since they made their move.
They have been so in control. We saw in the women's race that the
Netherlands took control, but didn't finish it off. They are speaking
again at the back. There is Blythe and Cavendish. The four behind are
left over from that initial break. It is a good place to be because you
can see everything that is going on and it forces everybody else to
question where you are and what you are doing. They are almost in the
driving seat. It is like the back seat of the bus - they can see what
is going on and nobody can see them. The reason he's doing that, he knows
Sagan and his team-mates will move up at some point. If that doesn't
happen, he has got Adam Blythe to come by and pull him up. At the
moment they are counting on the two Slovaks to pull them up and they
will use them as a sort of team. Boonen will get ready. He's sat in
there, with his team-mates having done so much throughout the day.
Will it work out for Belgium? Will they end up in the same boat as the
Dutch, 24 hours ago, when they too were dominant in numbers in the
women's road race and got into the perfect condition, a perfect leadout
in the sprint, but ultimately the leader couldn't get over the line in
first place. It is a difficult sprint to judge. You cannot see the
finish line until the last 250 metres. There is the potential to
accidentally go a little bit too early. That is the big fear of a lot
of riders here, so the timing has to be right. It is an ever such slight
little rise. How late do you have to leave it on this run-in? For
different riders it is a different timing, obviously. Mark Cavendish
can leave it quite late to pop out of the wheels and obviously these
riders have had a demanding race. There are a lot of tired legs.
Taking a look at the wind here, it has dropped off a little bit. It
looks like it could be a little bit of a head-wind address well. -- as
well. Definitely a slight head-wind. Who
has got the coolest head because crow come around in the last 50
metre, so you have to ride the right wheel and if you ride out early it
is unlikely you will make it to the line. After hard racing it would be
hard to have a sprint last 200 metres in these conditions. Whereas
normally you would expect a sprint, a big rider could launch at 200 and
hold it to the line, I think it will be more difficult in these
conditions. That is the type of sprint where Cavendish excels. He
can ride out in the final 75 metres and come by.
And finally, the job is done of Naesen, I think. He pulls off the
front. Just over eight kilometres remaining
in Doha. The second Belgian ride tore go out of the job. What a job
he's done as well. Not giving up yet. Maybe he's decided he's got a
second wind, just in case he's needed again. He will hang in there.
It is amazing how athletes can do that. They can squeeze every last
little bit out of themselves. When they get to the back there, they
find that extra motivation to get back in. We saw it yesterday with
Danni King. A big turn, she was able to get back in. Look at the effort
there in the front. His final pool I image fwin. Empty now. -- imagine.
Empty now and peel off. Stuyven forcing the pace and drawing
some of the sting from one or two other riders here who may fancy
their chances. You can see the speed at the back. There is Mark Cavendish
peeling out. Stuyven doing the big turn. It is levelling the playing
field a little bit. Now Boonen only has two team-mates left. The same as
Matthews and Sagan, Mark Cavendish - they only have one team-mate left.
He's used up the majority of his team controlling the race now. At
the moment it will look like a chaotic sprint. Norway and Italy
still have three team-mates left for their respective leaders. You would
count on them doing a slightly bigger leadout. There is a strong
chance they would have burnt them out before the final K. It will be
one leader with one man. So many riders who have genuine hopes of
winning. Realistic hopes of winning. Stuyven has pulled off as well.
Two team-mates left. So, this is going to make it even more chaotic.
The three nor Norwegians... Each rider at the
front for a while has to do one big turn. That is all they have left in
them. To the final leadout now. It will all stall a little bit because
there is a long way to go. Norway with six K to go. It is unusual
taking bottles on with six kilometres to go. Some relaxed
riders with six kilometres to go. Terpstra in there. Michael Matthews
has been determined. Confident to have Heyman there to
put him into a position. I think the only chance for Tom Leezer is quick,
with the Dutch rider. He has used a leadout man in his professional
team. Whether he would be convinced to do the sprint, I don't think so.
That It is a slim chance on an occasion
such as this. 1.3kms to go. You can see Blythe and
Cavendish positioned. They have to be alert. Terpstra makes his move.
He has a little go. Doesn't last for long.
Avermaet with him. We knew Greg Van Avermaet... The moment Terpstra saw
he had Avermaet on his wheel, he a's not going to work with him because
he has Tom Boonen behind. Hayman was with that move as well.
The Slovaks are taking control. They are quite enjoying... This is what
they need to do a little bit now. I don't know where Peter Sagan has
decided... Oh, that was Adam Blythe keeping Mark Cavendish's wheel clean
there. Blythe knows what he has to do. His job is called the sweeper
role, to sweep Mark Cavendish's wheel.
I think he will be willing to do it. He has to fight to make space for
Mark Cavendish as well. He's got to be the man that moves and makes room
for Mark Cavendish. Four kilometres to go.
It is Corella leading this group, around the round about. Mark
Cavendish is further back from halfway. Watch Adam Blythe. He
sweeps either side of Mark's wheel, making sure it keeps people away
from him. Adam Blythe is in for that one, it
is not a fun yob to have. It gets physical -- fun to have. It gets
physical. He'll have to start to use his head
and his shoulders. Hayman moving on. Not sure what we
are seeing there. So Corella leads the way. Tom Boonen
must feel the pressure now after such a superb job. He's in a good
position. He looks relaxed. That is Leezer of the Netherlands in second
place. Viviani in third. And Norway have got the one with the jersey
unzipped. He's not the big card. He's trying to power away at the
front for now. It is an interesting choice of Peter
Sagan. You can see how the leaders are using their team-mates in
different ways. Mark Cavendish has decided to use Adam Blythe as his
sweeper. Peter Sagan has sent his team-mate up there to control the
race. Peter Sagan will run this solo, which is classic Peter Sagan
style. Mark Cavendish is using a slightly more refined tactic.
This is where it gets dangerous. You can easily get boxed in or caught
out. So again this is, we will see if Mark Cavendish is still glued to
Peter Sagan's wheel. Because Peter Sagan, one thing he's good at is
positioning. He's on Sagan's wheel. The blue jersey of Sagan, the centre
back of this group. Two hand a half to go.
And now this must be Terpstra having a go. It is Leezer.
Yes, it is Leezer. Tom Leezer going off the front for the Netherlands.
Gambling. He has to go for it here. He has no alternative. No chance
whatsoever if it is a sprint. This will be the one-two tactic. Norway
are forced to chase and bell gap. Greg Van Avermaet will -- Belgian.
Greg Van Avermaet will have to go. So Tom Leezer on the attack. He's
opened up a gap here now, with just two, less than two kilometres to go.
He's looking strong. This is where the Norwegian rider will not have
much in him because he's been doing the chase. Norway will have to use a
fresher ride tore bring this back. He's going for it on the front. He's
not got much left in the tank. He's losing ground to Leezer at the
moment. All the leaders are scared of using their leading man. For the
first time today the pressure is on the Belgian team.
Boonen on the wheel with 1.3 to go. Boonen, it is too far at the front
for Boonen at the moment. At some point Greg Van Avermaet will
have to come up and help. Maybe he will be the guy for this sprint and
Tom Boonen has been bluffing. That is an option. Two Belgian riders in
the front. You can see the other side, with a kilometre to go, that
is the worst position for Tom Boonen right now.
One kilometre to go now. Tom Leezer from the Netherlands, look at the
effort. He's getting everything he's got. Can he hang on? Still a long
way to go. The chase is being led by the Belgians and Jurgen Roelandts is
on the front. Jurgen Roelandts leading the chase. Beginning to
close the gap. He's now going to use Tom Leezer as his target man, his
slipstream. The guys in the break had been dropped. I can't see Mark
Cavendish. He is still an Peter Sagan's wheel. 500 metres to go.
They start to fan out across the road. Tom Leezer's output haven't
been successful. Adam Blythe is moving up he looks over his shoulder
to see if Mark Cavendish is there. In the finishing straight. Fanned
out across the road. Tom Boonen tries to lead them. It comes Michael
Matthews. Towards the line. Peter Sagan of Slovakia. Peter Sagan takes
the victory on the line. What a spread. Mark Cavendish pipped at the
last. He can't believe it. But you never bet against Peter Sagan in a
situation like that, and he best -- he saved the best for last. What a
sprint! What a finish! For the second year in a row, Peter Sagan is
the world champion. That hasn't happened since 1992. Mark Cavendish
get the silver medal. Tom Leezer of the Netherlands just forced out of
it in the end. Tom Boonen Belgian with bronze. Cavendish left banging
his handlebars in frustration. He knew that Peter Sagan's wheel was
what he wanted, that's what he's back with, but he had the legs to
get into the line. He did everything well but Peter Sagan is so strong.
Tom Boonen did a great sprint. All of the favourites. Michael Matthews
board, Nizzolo says,. -- Michael Matthews was fourth. Adam Blythe
finished 12th. You was trying to lead out Mark Cavendish. Peter Sagan
rode it perfectly. An unbelievable finish from Peter Sagan. He said his
team made up the three or four kilometres for the finish. Mark
Cavendish, a picture of frustration. So near and yet so far. Almost the
perfect race for him. There you go, he's just saying that he lost the
wheel. In that chaos and confusion. Adam Blythe came round. Jurgen
Roelandts, Tom Boonen. There is Adam Blythe on the left. Mark Cavendish
on the right. He tries to get onto Adam's wheel. He goes back to Peter
Sagan and destroys not to take -- decides not to take Adam. Two
Norwegian riders on the left. Peter Sagan jumps. Look at the speed of
his job. Mark Cavendish decided to go left. He got stuck behind Michael
Matthews. Peter Sagan chose the right direction. Mark Cavendish
didn't. He ultimately got slightly bulked inadvertently behind Michael
Matthews. They split. He did everything right. Peter Sagan chose
to go right for the sprint. Mark Cavendish chose to go left. It's a
lottery. You don't know which will be the right one. He got slightly
caught behind Michael Matthews and that's what stopped him being
closer. You can see his frustration when he crossed the line. For Peter
Sagan, with number one on his back, to win, as reigning world champion,
that is quite an accomplishment for anybody in any career. Just that one
moment for Cavendish. He couldn't quite get through. With Michael
Matthews in front of him. He had no choice. About 100 metres to go, they
launched their spread. He couldn't have gone with Peter Sagan because
he would have got locked in. They started their race against each
other. Equally, Peter Sagan could have got caught up and he didn't.
Mark Cavendish had the misfortune not to. Effectively a high five to
Peter Sagan. Really good. They are the three riders be expected on the
podium. It was just a matter of which order. Peter Sagan delivers at
the end. What is entertainment. For the second time in his career, Peter
Sagan is world champion. Mark Cavendish left disappointed with his
second silver medal of the year, to go with the one in the Omnium it
reopened it was so nearly gold today. -- the Omnium at Rio.
Tom Boonen, previous world champion, he won it in 2005. An excellent 12th
place for Adam Blythe. I can't believe it. It's amazing. I have
thank you for all my family and friends. They support me here. They
bring sort of energy from Slovakia here. They were cheering for me. I
am very happy. It's amazing. My brother, he risked for me is life,
because he went for the water upwards -- he went from the road, he
went out of the road. Michael Kolar was going the last five kilometres
in front to make that sprint. And you do the whole team. -- thank you
to the whole team. I wanted to be an Peter's wheel. I knew that he would
get the right wheel. I told Adam to come with a few hundred metres to
go. When he came, he was alongside and it spread everybody out. It was
the wrong side of the road. There was nowhere to go. Maybe I should
have been further forward. I don't know. I had nowhere to go for most
of it. Managed to come back and drown someone, Matthews, with less
than 100 go. I came past Tom but I couldn't race Peter Sagan. So much
power. I'm disappointed I messed up tactically. That decisive split in
the race, you and Adam managed to stay with the leading group, that
was the moment the race. There was a puncture. He was in the front. The
guy is incredible to get us there. Daniel McLay and Ian Stannard. --
Daniel McLay. So they were brilliant up to them. Just unfortunate to lose
Luke to a puncture. He would have been valuable at the final. Mark
felt he got boxed in. He didn't get a free run at it. By the looks of
it, he was pretty quick. He will be disappointed. People had a lot of
money on him. A group of 25 to win the sprint, you would put a lot of
money on him. At the end of the day, Peter Sagan is fast. We know that.
Just running out of road at the end. Maybe if the line was 20 metres
later and Peter Sagan launched 20 metres later, but that's how it is.
That is baked -- that is by Christine. I'll have to settle with
another second. -- that is bike racing. It will be a long time
before we see another sprinter's course. Do you think we have another
world champion with us? Definitely. People like Ian Stannard, Luke Rowe,
these guys moving on, Geraint Thomas would have won a medal at the
Olympics if he hadn't fallen. 100%. Let's see what the world will be
like in 2019. Maybe Mark will have another go there. Fantastic scenes.
Peter Sagan celebrating another World Championship victory. A 1-2-
three from former world champions. I think it tells you all you need to
know about the quality of this race. Bitter disappointment Mark
Cavendish. When you believe you could have won it, which I think
Mark did, rightfully so. There were a couple of mistakes but he did
everything right the whole race. Adam Blythe Webster left earlier to
try and lead out. -- Adam Blythe went left early. Peter Sagan chose
the right hand side and Mark Cavendish chose the left. That was
fine but I don't think he anticipated Michael Matthews slowing
as much as he did and he got caught up behind him. What are your
thoughts? The expression on Mark's face of the race goes to show he
believes he could have won it. Absolutely devastating to lose a
race when you haven't really given yourself every opportunity and he
made one split decision that might not have been right. Very difficult
to know. You can see the disappointment of his face. Given --
difficult not to feel is disappointment. It was absolutely
critical, the sprint. But there were other moments where this race was
decided. There was one moment, 184 kilometres from the finish and it
lasted about five kilometres. That is exactly what happens. Everybody
knew what was happening but it doesn't matter how prepared you are,
when it happens, you just need to be caught in the wrong position and
it's all over, or you have a puncture and there is no getting
back. Geraint Thomas bitterly disappointed getting a double
puncture just as he was getting across. But that is bike racing. You
saw when they climbed off the bike that they couldn't believe it. They
came in thinking that Team GB could be the strongest and dominating
force. In the end, it was a bit of bad luck for Geraint Thomas, getting
that puncture, and that critical moment. Very difficult for the team
to deal with. The Belgians drove this race as soon as that split
happened. They got a bronze medal for Tom Boonen. Could they have done
more? I'm amazed at the confidence he had to control the whole race for
a bunch sprint with Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan there. Mark
Cavendish in particular, and he had the legs to win. But he chose his
tactics. That's what a former world champion like Tom Boonen does. It
didn't quite work out. As a team, they rode incredibly. They could
have had different tactics but, on this circuit, I don't think they
could have made a difference. Almost done here in Doha, but more sport
coming up. The first round proper of the FA Cup is fast approaching.
As the sunsets here in Doha, in fact it's properly set now, and we have
got some cool air for the first time week, let's reflect on these World
Championships. The crowd sat been disappointing but we have seen some
great racing. They have. The women's race, I thought the British women's
team, I haven't seen a performance like that ever read British women's
team. It was fantastic, especially some of the young riders. Today, the
road race, the British team, Adam Blythe and Mark Cavendish. Limited
options when we expected a full government of riders and still they
managed to do nearly a perfect race. Your highlight was to I figured it
would have to be the way that Dani King rode for Lizzie Deignan. It was
a top-class effort from Dani King. Lots to enjoy in Doha over the last
week. Next year, we are off to Bergen, Innsbruck and finally
Yorkshire in 2019. From all of us here in Doha, bye-bye.
They are in the finishing straight. Fanned out across the road. It comes
Michael Matthews from the centre. Peter Sagan takes the victory on the
line! The second year in a row, Peter Sagan is the champion of the
Jill Douglas introduces coverage of the men's road race at the Road World Championships in Doha, Qatar, marking the first time the event has been held in the Middle East.
Britain's Mark Cavendish has had a memorable season, collecting four stage wins at the Tour de France, where he also wore the leader's yellow jersey for the first time. The Manx rider also won Olympic silver on the track in Rio. Can he round off 2016 in style by reclaiming the road race rainbow jersey that he won in 2011?
Commentary is by Simon Brotherton and David Millar.