Victory for Mads Pedersen at Road World Championships
It was a World Championships fans won’t soon forget. The rain had been falling for 16 hours by the time Mads Petersen crossed the line in the Elite Men’s Road Race in Harrogate, UK. On a soggy and technical circuit, the 23 year-old Danish rider for Trek-Segafredo had a key hand in creating the decisive break, held on as others faltered, and outsprinted Matteo Trentin and Stefan Kung at the end of the 261km race to become the first Danish Men’s Elite Road World Champion in history.
It was a tense, fluid finale. When Pedersen bridged to the break with 47km to go, the gap to the peloton was only 20 seconds. Riders cracked in the cold and wet and slipped back, and others came up to replace them. Pedersen kept driving the break, and as the finish line approached, the gap was healthy, and the break had been whittled down to three. Favorite Matteo Trentin opened the sprint with 200m to go, but Pedersen powered past to become the first Danish man to win an Elite Road World Championship (fellow Dane and SRAM athlete Amalie Dideriksen won the Women’s road title in 2016).
Pedersen rode a Trek Madone SLR 9 Disc equipped with SRAM RED eTap AXS. Featuring wireless shift communication and HydroHC disc brake technology, AXS is the most advanced road shifting and braking experience available. Pedersen's victory on disc brakes represents the first such win in the men's elite road race. Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands rode eTap HRD to her victory in the women's race in 2018.