Ewan wins 4th stage of Tour Down Under, Porte retains lead

0 Comments

ADELAIDE, Australia — Australia’s Caleb Ewan out-sprinted Sam Bennett of Ireland to win the fourth stage of the Tour Down Under cycle race Friday but Richie Porte retained the overall lead.

Ewan, who also won the second stage, had stronger legs than first stage-winner Bennett at the end of a testing 152.8 kilometer (95 mile) state from Norwood to Murray Bridge.

The stage featured a technical finish with a sudden narrowing of the road compressing the peloton and making it essential teams had their sprinters at the front of the bunch. There was then a very tight left-hand bend 300 meters from the finish, before the sprinters could unleash their winning bids.

Bennett went first and broke away from the bunch but Ewan mowed him down to win by almost a bike length. Jasper Philipsen of Belgium was third and German veteran Andre Greipel, winner of a record 18 stages on the Tour Down Under, was fourth.

Porte managed to stay with the leading bunch to defend the tour leader’s jersey, though his overall lead over two-time defending champion Daryl Impey was halved from six to three seconds. South Africa’s Impey picked up time bonuses on the course to cut into Porte’s lead with two stages remaining, including the famous climb to the top of Wilunga Hill.

Ewan has the chance of another stage win Friday on the 149.1 kilometer (92 mile) stage from Glenelg to Victor Harbour. The race will then be decided in Sunday’s queen stage, on the steep final climb at Wilunga.

The first half of Friday’s stage was undulating but the second half was mostly flat, setting up a technical battle for control of the peloton. A five-rider breakaway lasted more than 60 kilometers but the peloton was together for most of the last 20 kilometers, reaching high speeds on many sections.

“We knew there was going to be a lot of wind when we turned onto the flat part in the second half of the course,” Ewan said. “My team was always up the front, I was never in trouble and they did such a good job and they meant I had good legs in the finish.

“It was a very tight corner into the finish but to be honest I like it when there’s a corner and a bit of a technical finish and I just told my last man to put me on the wheel of Sam Bennett and that’s what he did.”

The race is the first event in the 2020 World Tour.

Giro d’Italia to start on former railway line in Abruzzo

Getty Images
5 Comments

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.

Norway takes gold-medal lead at world road cycling titles

CYCLING-AUS-ROAD-WORLD
Getty Images
9 Comments

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.