MELBOURNE, Australia — Australian Damien Howson kept the Herald Sun Tour lead on Friday after overcoming a tire puncture late in the 165.6-kilometer second stage of the four-stage race.
The tire blowout with 20 kilometers to go on the stage from Mount Beauty to Beechworth put Howson on the defensive, but his Orica-Scott teammates dropped back to help him and he did not lose any time to his main rivals.
“Trying to remain calm was pretty difficult, but I had them all around me,” Howson said of his teammates. Mitch Docker gave Howson his front wheel when the Tour leader sustained the puncture.
Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome’s British teammate Luke Rowe won the stage with a solo breakaway for his first professional stage win since 2012.
It follows teammate Danny van Poppel’s prologue time-trial win, but Froome gained no time on Howson and even went down one place on the overall standings.
Howson retained his 38-second overall lead over compatriot Jai Hindley. Froome stayed one minute and 12 seconds behind Howson, but dropped from fifth to sixth overall.
Froome also showed some racing protocol on the climb, reported by race officials to have eased off the pace and honoring cycling’s unwritten rule not to attack the leader if he had experienced a mechanical problem.
The Tour continues on Saturday with a 167.7-kilometer stage from Benalla to Mitchelton, followed by the concluding stage Sunday at Kinglake north of Melbourne.
L’AQUILA, Italy — The 2023 edition of the Giro d’Italia will start with an individual time trial on a coastal cycle path that has been recreated from a former railway line in the region of Abruzzo.
At a ceremony in the Abruzzo capital of L’Aquila, race organizers announced that the Grand Tour will run from May 6-28 and begin with an 18.4-kilometer (11.4-mile) time trial on the Adriatic coast.
Almost the entire time trial will be on the spectacular Costa dei Trabocchi cycle path that hugs the coast line before a short climb to the finish in Ortona.
“I am excited at the idea of the Grande Partenza (Big Start) of the Giro in Abruzzo . It is a dream come true, especially with regard to the prologue on the Costa dei Trabocchi,” said Trek-Segafredo cyclist Dario Cataldo, who is from the region.
“I well remember that when the cycle path project was born and I saw the first tracks, I imagined the beauty of a Giro d’Italia passing along the route. It looked perfect.”
Stage 2 is a 204-kilometer (127-mile) leg from Teramo to San Salvo that is hilly in the first part but expected to end in a bunch sprint.
Stage 3 will also start in the Abruzzo region, in Vasto, but it will then head south and will be detailed when the full route is revealed on Oct. 17 in Milan.
The Giro will also return to the region for Stage 7, a daunting climb on the Gran Sasso d’Italia to Campo Imperatore. The high mountain stage, on May 12, will be the edition’s first finish above 2,000 meters.
Australian Jai Hindley won this year’s Giro.
WOLLONGONG, Australia – Soren Waerenskjold repeated Norway’s gold medal success at the world road cycling championships a day after Tobias Foss finished first in the elite men’s time trial.
Waerenskjold won the men’s under-23 time trial on the second day of the championships with a dominant performance. He clocked 34 minutes, 13.40 seconds over the 28.8-kilometer course to beat Belgian Alec Segaert by 16.34 seconds.
British rider Leo Hayter, the younger brother of elite rider Ethan Hayter, was 24.16 seconds off the pace for the bronze medal.
Foss beat a strong field to win the elite time trial, the biggest win of his career.
Norway has two gold medals, while Dutch ace Ellen van Dijk beat Australian Grace Brown to take out the women’ elite time trial.
The mixed relay time trial is set for Wednesday. The championships conclude on the weekend with the women’s road race on Saturday and the men’s on Sunday.