Road World Championships
Road Race - Men - Stage Details

Simon Clarke (Australia) found himself in an unexpected position in the elite men’s road race at the Road World Championships on Sunday. He anticipated spending the last few laps of the circuit race around Florence looking after Cadel Evans (Australia). Instead, Clarke was thrust into the spotlight in pursuit of his own result after his team leaders crashed out of the race. In the end, Clarke managed his first top ten finish on the world's stage, slotting into seventh place. Only 34" ahead Rui Costa (Portugal) outkicked Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain) for the world title. Alejandro Valverde (Spain) bested Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) in a two-up sprint for bronze. 

Pieter Weening (Netherlands) was the only other ORICA-GreenEDGE rider to finish the brutal race. He managed to maintain contact with the front group until the final lap before ultimately finishing in 25th place at 1'59.  

"Generally speaking, it was a bad day for Australia. We were so unfortunate with all the crashes. I think a lot of teams were. Cadel Evans, Dave Tanner and Michael Matthews were all on my wheel when they went down in a rather nasty pile-up. The difference between me being a part of that crash and not was only a couple of millimetres. I’m extremely lucky not to have been involved. When I heard the noise from behind, knowing where our guys were positioned, I was pretty sure that we had gone down. Soon after I got the message that those three were out. I knew it was my turn to step up and try to deliver a result for Australia. I did everything I could.

"In any race, anything can happen but on a day like today, really anything can happen (I can’t emphasize that enough) – and anything did. My job today was to look after Cadel in the closing laps, so I knew I would be semi-protected for a good part of the race. I came out of the Vuelta well, and I had good form today. The idea was that I would use that form to support Cadel, but in the end, it allowed me to have a go myself. I felt awful for the guys that crashed out, and I really wanted to do a good result to make up for their misfortunate." - Simon Clarke

Results

Place Rider/Team Time
1 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) - Movistar 7:25:44
2 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Esp) - Katusha ST
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Esp) - Movistar 0:00:17
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) - Astana ST
5 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) - Astana 0:00:31
6 Peter Sagan (Slo) - Cannondale 0:00:34
7 Simon Clarke (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
8 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) - Astana ST
9 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) - BMC ST
10 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) - RadioShack Nissan St
Place Mitchelton-SCOTT Riders Time
7 Simon Clarke (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
25 Pieter Weening (Ned) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:01:59