It has been a perfect season for the Slovak Peter Sagan, who yesterday added the title of World Olympic Cross-country Juniors Champion to his list of achievements. Already winner of two international races this season, the regining European champion took the World title afterÂ out-riding his closest rival Arnaud Jouffroy (France).Â Switzerland's Matthias RuppÂ finished third.
Yesterday's race was like a revenge of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Treviso in January. On that occasion Arnaud Jouffroy took the title in front of Peter Sagan. Six months later, back to Italy, and the roles were reversed.
It must be said that Sagan, a technical rider,Â has dominated the wholeÂ mountain bikeÂ season: Houffalize, Offenburg and the European Championships in St. Wendel. This talented all-roundÂ cyclist (he also finished second in Paris-Roubaix Juniors) was the favorite forÂ his first world title. However Jouffroy had nothing to lose. He lined up at the start yesterday with a world mountain bike title already under his belt - that of the teams competition which he won with his French compatriots on Tuesday.
Sagan and JouffroyÂ took the lead soon after the start. In the beginning they were followed by Rupp, but the Swiss soon dropped back to leave the two leaders in a duel up front.Â Gradually Sagan managed to drop Jouffroy.Â End of story.Â The Slovak Â finally finished one minute and thirty-three seconds ahead of the French rider.
In the downhill competition, Gee and Rachel Atherton (Elite) and Pajot and Thirion (Juniors) signed the best times in the seeding run.