• Luke Plapp enjoyed some time in the hot seat during the men's junior ITT at the UCI Road World Championships on September 25, 2018 in Tyrol, Austria. (Getty)Source: Getty
Australian youngster Luke Plapp almost had his hands on a tarmac rainbow, setting the fastest time in the men's junior ITT until Belgian Remco Evenepoel came home at warp speed.
Cycling Central

26 Sep 2018 - 8:08 AM  UPDATED 26 Sep 2018 - 9:11 AM

Evenepoel beat Plapp to the gold medal by one minute and 24 seconds, covering the 27.8km course in 33 minutes and 15 seconds. Italian Andrea Piccolo took the last step on the podium. 

The Belgian is already not liking the comparisons or the criticism he's drawing - especially as the Belgian press said if he didn't win the ITT, it would be a disaster. 

"Being the new Eddy Merckx is not something I want to hear. I want to be somebody new. I’m the new me.”

"In Belgium, people say that I win ‘with two fingers in the nose’ but it all comes from hard work. I came here to Innsbruck three weeks ago on a recce.

"I’ve worked very hard to become the World Champion. I had in mind a good power output level that I was able to keep up with. In the last 500 metres, I was told that I could raise my hands up. It’s very nice to celebrate a Time Trial victory before crossing the line… it’s also exceptional for me.

"The climbs are short but pretty steep; that’s what I like. This was one of the nicest courses I have done in my cycling career."

Dual junior track world champion Luke Plapp - and 15th last down the ITT start ramp - wasn't discouraged by finishing second to such a competitor. 

WATCH: Luke Plapp's silver medal ITT run

“In Australia, we don’t know how good the Europeans are because we don’t race them," Plapp said.

"But we knew that Remco [Evenepoel] has already signed for Quick Step. He’s exceptional. I had a good preparation for these Worlds after I won two gold medals at the Track Worlds one month ago – but I didn’t have the power to match Remco."

How to watch the worlds with us
The hills are alive with the sound of...road bikes and cheering! The 2018 UCI Road World Championships kick off in Innsbruck, Austria this weekend with our coverage starting Monday 24 September including the main events - the women's (Sat 29 Sep 2000 AEST, on Viceland from 2255) and men's (Sun 30 Sep 1730 AEST, on Viceland from 2305) road races.