Marc Hirschi, a 20-year-old Swiss rider from the Team Sunweb development squad, won the Under-23 men’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships Friday in Austria. Representing his Swiss national team, Hirschi made all the right moves on his TCR Advanced Pro Disc team bike win the gold medal and bring home the coveted rainbow-striped jersey.
Hirschi, who will make the move up to the Team Sunweb WorldTour squad next year, is a rising star who already won a U23 European title earlier this year. In Friday’s race, which covered 180km of hilly terrain from the town of Kufstein to Innsbruck, he joined a decisive move on the final climb. The Swiss rider responded to an attack by Belgian Bjorg Lambrecht and then made a split decision to change his original gameplan and attack on the descent with 10km to go.
“We were really strong throughout the race as a team,” said Hirschi, who also wore the new Giant Surge Pro shoe and Giant Rev helmet. “We knew the descent well, but thought it would be too easy to attack and make the difference there. I knew I could win from a sprint in a small group, but I decided to attack because of the tailwind and corners in the final kilometers.”
The move paid off, as Hirschi rode alone at the front and took the solo victory in Innsbruck. “Throughout the race I was always in the perfect groups and had enough energy left for the final lap,” he said. “I can’t believe it, it’s amazing.”
Team Sunweb coach Sebastian Deckert said it was a great final race for Hirschi as a U23 rider.
“We are all really happy and super proud of Marc and what he did today,” Deckert said. “He has been on a high level throughout the season and he has consistently shown how strong he is. His attack was timed brilliantly and he showed that he knows exactly what to do. This is a great finish to his time as a U23 as he moves up to the WorldTour with us next year.”