Cima gets 1st pro win on Stage 18; Carapaz keeps Giro lead

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SANTA MARIA DI SALA, Italy (AP) Damiano Cima of Italy earned his first professional victory by winning the 18th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Thursday, and Ecuadorian cyclist Richard Carapaz remained in the overall lead.

Cima, who rides for Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane, had been part of a three-man breakaway which was caught by the peloton in the final meters of the mainly downhill, 222-kilometer (138-mile) route from Valdaora to Santa Maria di Sala.

However, the 25-year-old Cima held on in the bunch sprint to get his team’s first ever Giro victory, in his first Grand Tour.

“I can’t believe what just happened,” Cima said. “I’ve spent so many kilometers in breakaways during this Giro. I thought I’d never make it but I’ve won today. It’s insane. It’s the dream of a lifetime.”

Pascal Ackermann was second, with Simone Consonni third. Ackermann, who was bidding for a third stage victory in this year’s race, hit his handlebars in frustration as he was pipped to the line by Cima.

“For sure I’m a little disappointed I did not win,” Ackermann said. “If you saw how the breakaway went, for sure he’s a lucky winner today. He was the strongest today. They were fighting really hard against our team when they were pulling.”

Carapaz remained 1 minute, 54 seconds ahead of Vincenzo Nibali and 2:16 ahead of Primoz Roglic of Slovenia.

“It’s been a quiet stage but a long one, intense at the beginning only,” said Carapaz, who rides for Movistar. “I’ve had a good support from my team again. Tomorrow will be an important test but I’m confident to keep the Maglia Rosa.”

The Giro heads back into the mountains for Friday’s 18th stage, a 151-kilometer route from Treviso, with an uphill finish to San Martino di Castrozza.

The three-week race finishes in Verona on Sunday.

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Norway takes gold-medal lead at world road cycling titles

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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.

Ellen van Dijk defends time trial title at cycling worlds

95th UCI Road World Championships 2022 - Women Individual Time Trial
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WOLLONGONG, Australia – Ellen van Dijk defended her title and claimed a third women’s time trial gold medal at the opening event of the world road cycling championships on Sunday.

Taking advantage of a technical course the Dutch star maintained a perfectly paced cadence to beat Australia’s Grace Brown by 12.79 seconds to defend the time trial gold she won last year. Swiss rival Marlen Reusser took bronze.

Local favorite Brown was one of the early staters and set a blistering time around the 34.2 kilometer (21.3 miles) course at the scenic coastal town center of Wollongong, south of Sydney.

No other in the 45-strong field could get close to Brown’s time of 44 minutes 41.33 seconds until the final pair of van Dijk and Reusser, who claimed silver at last year’s world championships in Belgium, both clocked faster at the first time check.

Reusser then faded to finish more than 41 seconds off Brown’s time, but van Dijk powered on to claim her third gold medal in a time of 44:28.60.

Olympic time trial champion and two-time world champion Annemiek van Vleuten finished seventh, more than 90 seconds behind compatriot van Dijk.

Later Sunday, Vuelta a Espana winner Remco Evenepoel from Belgium, Italian two-time defending world champion Filippo Ganna and two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar from Slovenia headline the men’s event.

Other major races are the mixed relay time trial on Wednesday and the women’s road race next Saturday before the men’s race on the closing day Sunday, with local star and Giro d’Italia winner Jai Hindley racing the clock to recover from COVID-19 to take his place in the race.