Dutch youngster disqualified after finishing first in world road race

Nils Eekhoff was led away by a member of the Dutch team after the men's under-23 road race at the World Championships. He was disqualified for unauthorized assistance from his team car (AFP Photo/Ben STANSALL)
Nils Eekhoff was led away by a member of the Dutch team after the men's under-23 road race at the World Championships. He was disqualified for unauthorized assistance from his team car (AFP Photo/Ben STANSALL)

Harrogate (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Dutch rider Nils Eekhoff was disqualified after finishing first in the men's elite under-23s road race in Harrogate on Friday.

Following an investigation, the UCI tweeted that: "After a review of the race footage by the UCI commissaires, @nilseekhoff has been disqualified."

The officials had been looking at an incident early in the race when Eekhoff, who had come off his bike in the rain, was paced or towed by the team car.

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Italian broadcaster RAI reported that the race jury examined Eekhoff's GPS data which showed he reached speeds greater than should have been possible under his own power as he chased back to the peloton after his crash.

Samuele Battistella of Italy was promoted from second and Swiss rider Stefan Bissegger took silver. Local rider Tom Pidcock from Leeds moved from fourth into the bronze medal position.

Eekhoff finished a crash-laden 173km run in 3hrs 53mins raced mainly in rain.

"I crashed earlier and felt dreadful," he said immediately after crossing the line. "I never thought we'd catch the leaders, so it's amazing."

Earlier, America's Megan Jastrab won the women's junior title after a cat-and-mouse finale on a crash-marred 86km (53.4 mile) run.

The 17-year-old US national road race champion adds her world title to those of Quinn Simmons, who won the men's junior title, and Chloe Dygert whose powerful run in the women's elite time-trial, giving the US three golds.

"I can't believe it," said Jastrab.

"I'm just smiling ear to ear. I'm so grateful for my team-mates, it wouldn't be possible without them."

Belgium's Julie de Wilde was second and Holland's Lieke Nooijen third.

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