Cycling: Kiwi cyclists fail to finish in rain-hampered race at road world championships

None of New Zealand's riders managed to finish the cycling world road championships in Yorkshire, as horrendous weather took its toll. 

Heavy rain saw only 46 of the 197 starters finished the race, while the course had to be shortened by 24kms to avoid deep puddles on the road.

Television coverage was also impacted, with helicopters unable to fly in high winds.

Kiwis Paddy Bevin, Shane Archbold, Dion Smith and Jack Bauer were among the riders that failed to finish, as Denmark's Mads Pedersen claimed a historic victory - the first Dane to win the elite men's road race. 

Cycling New Zealand sporting director Craig Geater said he was surprised 46 riders managed to finish the race. 

"It was one of the toughest days I have ever had in the sport," said Geater. "The roads just could not handle that amount of water, and it was cold and dismal.

"It was disappointing for the world championships and, at times, very difficult to stay upright.

Kiwi Dion Smith during the race in Yorkshire.
Kiwi Dion Smith during the race in Yorkshire. Photo credit: Getty

"While it was not the way we wanted the week to finish, there were some good moments with Paddy's [Bevan] outstanding fourth place in the time trial and the performances from some of the young riders."

Bevan was the first succumb to the bad conditions, when he was swamped by a passing team car on a flooded section of road.

Archbold, who answered a late call to replace George Bennett, was then caught in an accident and crashed into teammate Smith, with both forced out as a result.

Bauer looked set to complete in the race, but punctured near the end. 

Pedersen won the race in 6h 27m 28s, with Italy's Matteo Trentin in second and Switzerland's Stefan Kung taking bronze.

"This is unbelievable," said Pedersen. "I didn't expect this and it wasn't the plan."