Chaves wins Stage 19, Carapaz keeps Giro lead

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SAN MARTINO DI CASTROZZA, Italy (AP) Esteban Chaves secured an emotional victory on the 19th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Friday, and Ecuadorian cyclist Richard Carapaz remained in the overall lead.

Chaves earned his first win since being diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus while competing in last year’s Giro and taking eight months off from racing.

“This is pure happiness,” Chaves said. “It takes a heavy weight off my back. It’s a relief to be a winner again. It shows I can do it.”

Chaves, a Colombian who rides for Mitchelton-Scott, crossed the line 10 seconds ahead of Italian cyclist Andrea Vendrame, who had two mechanical failures in the final 4 kilometers of the uphill finish to San Martino di Castrozza.

Amaro Antunes was third, 12 seconds behind Chaves at the end of the 151-kilometer route from Treviso.

The trio had been part of an 11-man breakaway that escaped early in the stage and Chaves whittled down with a series of attacks on the final climb.

“Because the last climb wasn’t very steep, I had to attack many, many times,” Chaves said. “A big thank you to everyone who supported me when I had a hard time.”

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

“It’s another good day for us and we’re looking forward to tomorrow,” Carapaz said. “We’re ready to defend the Maglia Rosa in a harder stage than today.”

The penultimate stage Saturday is the last chance Carapaz’s rivals have to gain significant time on the Movistar cyclist ahead of the final time trial in Verona on Sunday.

The 20th stage is the last mountain leg, with five long, categorized climbs in the Dolomites along the 194-kilometer route from Feltre to Croce d’Aune-Monte Avena.

This story has been corrected to show it was Stage 19 of the Giro, not Stage 18.

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.