AP

Vogel wins every heat for her third world sprint cycling gold

Leave a comment

HONG KONG (AP) Olympic champion Kristina Vogel won her third sprint cycling world championship on Friday even after the second heat of her final had to be restarted at the Hong Kong Velodrome.

Vogel received a warning for not holding her line in the last 200 meters, and still won the restart against Stephanie Morton of Australia. Vogel swept Morton 2-0, and every heat en route to the final.

She also won the sprint in 2014 and 2015.

Morton was runner-up in the team sprint on Wednesday.

Wai Sze Lee of Hong Kong was third, losing to Vogel in the semifinals.

Jordan Kerby of Australia won the men’s individual pursuit, beating defending champion Filippo Gana of Italy by more than four seconds in the final. In qualifying, Kerby set the third fastest time in history.

His teammate Kellend O’Brien was third.

Another Australian, Cameron Meyer, won his second gold of the worlds when he dominated the points race. He lapped the field twice to add to his other points race victories in 2009, 2010, and 2012.

“I’ve been away from the track for a long time, and to come back and win with the guys in the team pursuit last night is special, and then to win an individual in one of my favorite races makes it a great championship for me,” Meyer said. “Hopefully, I’ve got one more in me on Sunday in the madison.”

Kenny de Ketele of Belgium won the silver, and Wojciech Pszczolarski of Poland the bronze.

Katie Archibald of Britain dominated in winning the women’s omnium. Archibald led after the scratch and tempo races and was fifth in the elimination to go into the final points race tied on points with Amy Cure of Australia. Archibald scored in four of the sprints and won overall by eight points from Cure, who took silver on countback from Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands.

“I really thought I had lost it after the elimination race,” Archibald said. “I just needed to keep grinding and recover for those sprints, and it came off in the end.”

After Giro crash, Thomas back to support Froome in Tour

Getty Images
Leave a comment

PARIS (AP) Chris Froome will have support rider Geraint Thomas alongside him again as he pursues a fourth Tour de France title in five years.

Thomas opened the year aiming for victory in the Giro d’Italia but was forced to abandon that race because of injuries sustained in a crash caused by a police motorbike.

Thomas recently returned in the Route du Sud and gives Team Sky a second overall option if Froome struggles.

Also named to Sky’s squad Thursday were: Sergio Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees, Michal Kwiatkowski, Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve and Luke Rowe.

Landa was injured in the same Giro crash as Thomas but stayed in the race, winning the 19th stage and posting three more podium finishes to claim the mountains classification.

Henao and Landa should also escort Froome in the mountains.

Froome won the Tour in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

“Aiming for that fourth victory has given me a lot of motivation,” Froome said. “To me, each Tour tells a different story. Every Tour is a different battle in terms of getting that yellow jersey and then trying to hold on to it.”

Froome preceded each of his Tour victories by winning the Criterium du Dauphine but he finished only fourth in the warm-up race this year – with former Sky teammate Richie Porte taking victory. But the Kenyan-born British rider believes he’s still the man to beat.

“We’re ready as a team and I can’t wait for the Tour to start now. Honestly, I just love it. It’s a feeling that you don’t get from any other race,” Froome said.

Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain share the record with five Tour wins each – after Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven victories for doping.

“To win the Tour once is a huge achievement, but to win it a fourth time would be remarkable,” Sky team principal Dave Brailsford said. “We’ve selected a strong and experienced lineup who will support (Froome), and we’ll be looking to use the strength of the team to our advantage.”

The Tour begins July 1 in Duesseldorf and concludes in Paris three weeks later.

Cavendish back racing with Tour de France still possible

Leave a comment

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) Mark Cavendish returned to cycling for the first time since March on Thursday at the Tour of Slovenia, and the sprint star remains hopeful he can start the Tour de France next month.

Cavendish had not raced since Milano-Sanremo in March. He came down with mononucleosis caused by the Epstein-Barr virus in April, forcing him to the sideline during his typical Tour prep.

The 32-year-old British cyclist has 30 stage wins in France, four shy of Eddy Merckx’s record.

This year’s Tour begins with a short time trial July 1 in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Cavendish said he’s “fit as I can be after four weeks of training,” but his health will be closely monitored during the four-day Tour of Slovenia. Sam Bennett won Thursday’s opening stage in a sprint.