By Owen Morgan
Welsh cyclist Ethan Vernon said losing power on the climbs cost him vital seconds on a rain-lashed UCI World Championships under-23 time trial course on Tuesday.
Vernon finished in 21st place out of the 52 riders who completed the 30.3km course from Ripon to Harrogate.
The 19-year old’s time was 2:12.76 minutes off the gold medal winning standard of 40.20.42 set by Denmark’s Mikkel Bjerg.
Vernon, who was making his debut in the under-23 category at this level, said: “I just lost time on the climbs.
“I’m pretty sure I was going pretty well on the flats. I was above where I needed to be but I was struggling to hold the power on the climbs.
“There are three big climbs, so it’s quite easy to lose 45 seconds on each one and that all adds up.”
Despite the torrential rain, huge crowds once again turned out to support the riders as they tackled the challenging conditions.
Vernon said he was taken aback by the support, especially at the beginning of his ride.
“I’m really pleased I got the opportunity, coming off the start ramp and loads of people cheering’” he said.
“I don’t know if you saw, but down at the start I was laughing to myself because it was incredible.”
Vernon’s Great Britain team mate Charlie Quarterman finished 14th, 1:52.62 behind the winner.
The next Welsh riders to take to the roads of Yorkshire this week will be Elynor Backstedt, who has already won a bronze medal in the junior women’s time trial and Swansea’s Eluned King.
The duo will form part of the Great Britain team in the junior women’s road race on Friday.
The final event of the week long championships on Sunday will see fellow Cardiff riders and Ineos team-mates Geraint Thomas and Owain Doull join forces for the Great Britain team in the elite men’s road race.