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Dideriksen edges favorite Wild in women’s road cycling championships

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DOHA, Qatar — Amalie Dideriksen surprised even herself when her late surge edged her ahead of favorite Kirsten Wild and won the women’s race at the road cycling world championships on Saturday.

Lotta Lepisto of Finland was third with the same time, and defending champion Elizabeth Deignan of Britain fourth.

The 20-year-old Dideriksen was the world junior champion in 2013 and 2014, and finished fifth in the omnium at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. But the quality of the field at the road worlds made her consider only a top-10 finish.

“Winning here is a surprise for me, too,” the Dane said. “I had such good teammates. I had a small crash and they brought me back.”

The Netherlands team was in control heading toward the sprint finish, with Marianne Vos in perfect position to win her fourth road race world title as the group entered the final 300 meters. Her compatriot Wild, considered a Doha specialist having won the Ladies Tour of Qatar four times, then took over.

But Dideriksen, who was 17th with one lap to go, unleashed an even better finish.

The 134-kilometer race started in 35-degree heat, and Japan champion Eri Yonamine was the first to attack.

On the second of seven laps of the man-made island Pearl, Wild crashed, got up quickly, and was soon brought back into the peloton.

Yonamine was joined by Switzerland’s Nicole Hanselmann up front, and the duo was ahead by 40 seconds with 84 kilometers to go.

There were relentless attacks by Netherlands, Germany, Britain, and Australia, and the leaders were reeled in around the halfway mark.

American Amber Neben attacked with three laps to go, and opened up a gap of 45 seconds with two laps to go, which was brought down to 24 seconds after another lap. But the Dutch, Australians, and British soon took over and were bunched up closing on the finish.

On Sunday, the championships end with the men’s race. Peter Sagan of Slovakia is the defending champion.

Quintana keeps lead but Dumoulin remains pick to win Giro

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ASIAGO, Italy — Nairo Quintana held on to the pink jersey in the penultimate stage of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday but likely didn’t pick up enough seconds on his most dangerous rival, Tom Dumoulin, to claim overall victory.

Thibaut Pinot of France won the 20th stage in a sprint finish ahead of Ilnur Zakarin of Russia and defending champion Vincenzo Nibali.

Entering Sunday’s concluding time trial, Quintana leads Nibali by 39 seconds with Pinot third, 43 seconds back.

Dumoulin dropped from second to fourth, 53 seconds back, although he still remains the favorite considering his time trialing skills.

The 100th Giro ends on Sunday with a flat 29.3-kilometer (18-mile) individual time trial from Monza’s Formula One race track to Milan.

Dumoulin already dominated the race’s first time trial in Stage 10.

Quintana reclaims pink jersey with 2 stages to go in Giro

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PIANCAVALLO, Italy — Nairo Quintana reclaimed the pink jersey from Tom Dumoulin with two stages to go in the Giro d’Italia on Friday, setting up what could be a tense finale in Milan on Sunday.

Dumoulin couldn’t keep up with his main rivals in the final uphill finish of the three-week race and trails Quintana, the 2014 winner from Colombia, by 38 seconds.

Two-time winner Vincenzo Nibali is third overall, 43 seconds behind Quintana.

With Thibaut Pinot of France fourth overall, 53 seconds back, the top four are grouped within less than a minute.

“It’s pretty complicated. We have to adapt the strategy day-by-day,” Quintana said.

Spanish rider Mikel Landa won the 19th stage in a breakaway, finally tasting victory after two second-place finishes and one third-place result.

Landa required nearly five hours to complete the 191-kilometer (119-mile) route from San Candido to Piancavallo. He finished nearly two minutes ahead of Rui Costa, with Stage 17 winner Pierre Rolland crossing third.

On Thursday, Dumoulin criticized the tactics of Quintana and Nibali, saying they were merely racing to make him lose – remarks that earned a sharp rebuke from Nibali.

Before Friday’s stage, Dumoulin apologized to Nibali and the pair shook hands.

If anything, Dumoulin’s comments appeared to have motivated Quintana and Nibali, who temporarily dropped Dumoulin on a downhill section midway through Friday’s stage.

While the Dutchman caught up on the ensuing Sella Chianzutan climb, he didn’t have the legs to keep up on the 15.4-kilometer climb to Piancavallo, which began at an average gradient of nearly 10 percent.

“I had bad legs from the start and I made a rookie mistake at the beginning, sitting at the back of the bunch on the downhill,” Dumoulin said.

“In the final I tried to limit my losses and I did that very well. My team saved me a couple of times, so I have to thank them. Otherwise it would have been a much worse day. Bad legs today, but I hope they’ll be better tomorrow.”

Quintana wore pink for one day after winning Stage 9. Dumoulin then took control by dominating a time trial in Stage 10 and had led ever since.

Quintana has also finished on the Tour de France podium three times.

The penultimate stage on Saturday is the last mountainous leg, a 190-kilometer (118-mile) route from Pordenone to Asiago featuring two first-category climbs – a long 24-kilometer ascent to Monte Grappa and a shorter but steeper 14-kilometer rise to Foza.

The 100th Giro ends on Sunday with an individual time trial from Monza to Milan.

“Tomorrow there will be another important stage and then I’ll give it all in the time trial,” Quintana said.