AP Images

Yates wins 15th stage for 3rd win, extends Giro lead

Leave a comment

SAPPADA, Italy – Simon Yates made it a hat trick of wins in the Giro d’Italia on the 15th stage and the British rider consolidated his overall lead on Sunday as the race heads into its final week.

Yates set off on a solo attack with 17 kilometers remaining of the 176-kilometer (109-mile) route through the Dolomites from Tolmezzo to Sappada, after another grueling leg which had seen the riders almost continuously climbing and descending.

Miguel Angel Lopez edged out Tom Dumoulin for second to lead a group of five cyclists over the line, 41 seconds behind Yates.

Yates is clearly on a different level to his rivals and it is hard to see anyone managing to wrestle the leader’s pink jersey off the Mitchelton-Scott cyclist.

Yates extended his lead over defending champion Dumoulin to 2 minutes, 11 seconds. Domenico Pozzovivo remained third, 2:28 behind.

Monday sees the Giro’s third and final rest day before the individual time trial, which is Dumoulin’s speciality.

The Giro ends in Rome on May 27.

2021 Tour de France race to start in Denmark

AP Images
Leave a comment

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) The Tour de France will start in Denmark in 2021, beginning with a ride in Copenhagen followed by two more stages around the country.

The opening stage on July 2 will be a 13-kilometer flat run around the capital.

“It is an honor to have the grand depart in Copenhagen,” race director Christian Prudhomme said Thursday.

A 190-kilometer stage between Roskilde and Nyborg, a town on the island of Funen, will follow. That stage will include pedaling on the windy bridges that make up the Storebaelt rail-and-road link.

“The wind is very, very important for the race. It was important to have the finishing line close to the bridge,” Prudhomme said. “Stage 2 is for sports enthusiasts.”

The last stage before heading back to France will be in the hilly Jutland peninsula between the towns of Vejle and Soenderborg.

The contract for the 90 million kroner ($13.7 million) Danish start was signed Thursday by Prudhomme and Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, himself an avid cycling fan, called the Tour de France “the most iconic cycling race of all time.”

Both Prudhomme and Loekke Rasmussen noted Denmark had been picked because of the country’s interest in the race but also because many Danes bicycle to work and school every day. The Danish prime minister said ordinary people in Copenhagen bike “330 Tour de France races every day.”

In 2011, the International Cycling Union held its Road World Championships in Copenhagen.

Other details of the 2021 Tour de France route were not disclosed.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

2020 Vuelta to start with three stages in Netherlands

Getty Images
Leave a comment

MADRID — The 2020 Spanish Vuelta will start with three stages in the Netherlands.

Organizers say the race’s 75th edition will begin with stages in the provinces of Utrecht and North Brabant, with riders going through 34 Dutch municipalities in three days.

More than 400 kilometers (248 miles) of the Grand Tour event will be in Dutch territory before the riders return to Spain.

The 2009 edition of the Vuelta also started in the Netherlands.

The announcement was made Wednesday in the Dutch town of Breda.

This year’s race will have stages going through France and Andorra.

British rider Simon Yates is the defending Spanish Vuelta champion.