Madsen wins time-trial battle between two Danes

The Chrono des Nations is one of the world’s most prestigious cycling races. (AFP pic)

LES HERBIERS: Dane Martin Toft Madsen won the prestigious French time-trial event the Chrono des Nations on Sunday, edging his compatriot Mikkel Bjerg by seven seconds.

It was a second straight victory for experience over youth in the event. The 19-year-old Bjerg, recently crowned world under-23 time trial champion, could not gain revenge for last year, when he also finished second to Madsen.

Bjerg led at the intermediate time check but the 33-year-old Madsen was stronger in the closing stages.

French veteran Sylvain Chavanel, 39, finished fifth in his last race. He won the Chrono in 2014.

Vincenzo Nibali, who had replaced world champion Alejandro Valverde as the event’s headliner and was racing a day after finishing second in the 241-kilometre Tour of Lombardy, finished eighth almost three minutes behind.