Nils Eekhoff (Netherlands) won the sprint in the U23 road race at the Road World Championships in Harrogate from an elite seven-man group in a rain-soaked Harrogate. But almost an hour after the finish, the jury relegated the Dutchman for drafting off the national team car following a mid-race crash 140km’s before the finish. Every ex pro and cycling fan understands that this decision is not right.
Samuele Battistella (Italy) was crowned the new World Champion, with Stefan Bissegger (Switzerland) and Tom Pidcock (Great Britain) elevated one spot to silver and bronze, respectively.

The decision marred a thrilling finale which saw two small groups – who had escaped at 20km and 10km from the finish - merge heading into the final kilometre.

Eekhoff had been part of a three-man chase group along with Higuita and Andreas Kron (Denmark), which slipped away from the peloton 10km out. The trio set out in pursuit of Pidcock, Battistella, Bissegger and Tour de l'Avenir winner Tobias Foss, hanging around 20 seconds back for much of the run-in. So, Eekhoff also was the main influenceer of the current podium composition.

With single riders from each nation in the lead group, there was no teamwork to think about, and the run to the line was a mix of wit and power. Higuita went up the barriers on the right, and Pidcock on the left, but it was the brute force of Eekhoff that prevailed, while Battistella and Bissegger jumped out into the wind to take second and third.

Eekhoff, the jury's review of the race proceedings one hour after!!! the race with the newly introduced video referree led to his disqualification.

UCI should revise the disqualification of Nils Eekhoff before lawyers will prove that he is the rightful U23 world champion. The decision of the jury was too late and not in line with the natural run of cycling races. Application of the rules was wrong.

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The Challenge UCI - Nils is U23 world champion petition to Diversified was written by Arnoud Walrecht and is in the category Sports at GoPetition.