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52nd World Championship Road Race 1985

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I Won Without Doing It Deliberately”

Giavera del Montello, Italy presented the 1985 World Road Championships with great passion for their beloved sport.  The 14.75 km (9 mile) Montello race course included a deceptively tough hill and a substantial number of narrow and technical turns.  The course, originally thought to be designed for sprinters, would prove to be very difficult.

The powerful Italian team controlled affairs into the tenth lap when the race became very aggressive.  Attack after attack split the field with strong sprinters dropping back and abandoning under the increase pace of the race. 

A serious breakaway group, led by Dutchman Johan Van der Velde, was brought back only two laps to go.  The speed remained high on the Montello hill for the final time with the final selection of 14 riders forming off the front.  Greg LeMond (USA) and Stephen Roche (Ire) attacked and chased each other as the kilometer clicked down. 

The 14 escapees swung hard right inside the final two kilometers and onto the long finishing straight.  Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk jumped away on the left side of the road pushing a huge gear and quickly gainng 50 meters.  The other contenders hesitated watching each other and the Dutch veteran continued to pull away. 

The 38-year-old Joop Zoetemelk crossed the finish line three second ahead of LeMond and Italian Moreno Argentin.  Zoetemelk became the oldest winner of the World Road Race Championship. 

After the race a modest Zoetemelk said, “I won without doing it deliberately, I was only here to support our sprinters.”

WCRR September 1, 1985
265.5 Km [ Giavera del Montello, Italy ]

1. Joop Zoetemelk (Hol) 6h26’38”

2. Greg LeMond (USA) +3”

3. Moreno Argentin (Ita)

Starters: 149
Finishers: 66
Average Speed: 41.201 km/h

 

 

 

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