Stetina sixth in U23 time trial to open 2008 UCI Road World's
Varese, Italy (September 23, 2008)—The 2008 UCI Road World Championships began with the U23 time trial on Tuesday as Peter Stetina (Boulder, Colo.) placed sixth to give the United States its best finish in the event since 2003.
Stetina recorded a time of 43:00.56 over the 33.5-kilometer course to finish 1:24.58 off the pace of winner Adriano Malori of Italy. His performance equaled the best by an American in five years, dating back to Michael Creed’s sixth-place performance in Canada in 2003. The last time an American placed higher than sixth was in 2001 when Danny Pate won the world title.
Completing the podium were silver medalist Patrick Gretsch (GER), who finished 49.57 seconds behind Malori, and bronze medalist Cameron Meyer (AUS), who was 1:04.36 back.
Starting 44th from a field of 64, Stetina crossed the finish line in third place before his mark was eclipsed by only three of the remaining 20 riders. Afterwards, his split times showed marked improvement over the final leg of the course as he narrowly missed a top-five finish by just 0.27 of a second. At the first intermediate time check, just 8.2 kilometers into the race, Stetina was on pace to finish ninth. After briefly running eighth at the 15.1-kilometer mark, Stetina remained consistent, crossing the 23.6-kilometer point, again in ninth. But over the course’s final 10 kilometers, he posted the day’s fourth-fastest split to improve three places and finish just a fraction of a second behind fifth-place finisher Stefano Borchi (ITA).
Despite not entering the race as one of the favorites to land on the podium, Stetina is one of the latest American U23 athletes to illustrate his potential at the world-class level. Just a couple of weeks prior, Stetina briefly wore the yellow leader’s jersey at the Tour de L’Avenir and finished in the top 10 overall as a member of USA Cycling’s National Development Team – an experience he credits with helping him achieve a significant result on Tuesday.
“L’Avenir was the perfect build up to World’s,” he said of the nine-day stage race. “I made a lot of gains during that race and it gave me the perfect amount of time to recover. Everyone’s been very supportive of me. My coach insisted that I could podium here, my pro team (Garmin-Chipotle) has supported me since I was 15 and USA Cycling has been supporting me since I was a junior. I didn’t come here with any specific expectations, I wasn’t nervous. I just wanted to come here and see what I could do.”
The United States’ other entry in the U23 time trial, Tejay Van Garderen (Fort Collins, Colo.) struggled to a 42nd-place finish just one week after winning the final stage of the Tour de L’Avenir with the National Development squad. Van Garderen finished 3:21.06 off the winner’s pace. After posting the 18th-fastest mark at the first time check, he quickly lost ground, running 42nd by the second time check.
“It was really a great ride from Stetina,” said Noel Dejonckheere, USA Cycling’s National Development Team Director who runs the Belgium-based program for U25 athletes. “To make a top-10 finish at the world championships is always hard. The course was much harder than we expected and there are always some unknown riders that usually perform well at World’s.”
The 2008 UCI Road World Championships continue on Wednesday with the elite women's time trial. Olympic gold medalist and 2006 world champion Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho) will look to win her fourth consecutive medal in the event. Complementing Armstrong on a deep U.S. team will be Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.) and 2006 bronze medalist Christine Thorburn (Sunnyvale, Calif.).
2008 UCI Road World Championships
U23 Men’s Time Trial
1. Adriano Malori (ITA) 41:35.98
2. Patrick Gretsch (GER) +49.67
3. Cameron Meyer (AUS) +1:04.36
6. Peter Stetina (Boulder, Colo.) +1:24.58
42. Tejay Van Garderen (Fort Collins, Colo.) +3:21.06
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This Article Published September 23, 2008 For more information contact: