More cycling races canceled due to spread of coronavirus

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MILAN — More cycling races were canceled Friday due to the coronavirus outbreak spreading around the world.

RCS Sport, which organizes cycling events in Italy, canceled the Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo races as well as the Giro di Sicilia.

On Thursday, the Strade Bianche men’s and women’s races were canceled.

“RCS Sport will request the UCI, via the Italian Cycling Federation, to allocate new dates on the international cycling calendar for the three races, as has already been requested for Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite,” RCS said in a statement.

The Italian government issued a decree on Wednesday that all sporting events in the country must take place without spectators until April 3.

Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo were scheduled for this month, while the Giro di Sicilia was due to take place from April 1-4.

The canceled races will have implications as riders prepare for the year’s biggest events, such as the Giro d’Italia (May 9-31) and the Tour de France (June 27-July 19). The Tour is slated to start a week earlier this year to avoid conflict with the Tokyo Olympics.

Italy is the epicenter of Europe’s coronavirus outbreak. More than 100 people have died and more than 3,000 have been infected, mainly in the northern part of the country.

Cycling teams had already begun withdrawing from the Strade Bianche and other races this month in Italy and France, with some stopping racing altogether for much of March.

Spain-based cycling team Movistar also announced Friday that it was suspending participation in all races until March 22. The team led by Alejandro Valverde will miss the Paris-Nice race, among other events.

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

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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

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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.