Van Aert edges Alaphilippe to win Milan-San Remo

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SAN REMO, Italy — Belgian rider Wout van Aert edged defending champion Julian Alaphilippe in a two-man sprint finish to win the Milan-San Remo classic on Saturday for the first “monument” victory of his rapidly developing career.

Alaphilippe attacked on the Poggio climb shortly before the end of the 305-kilometer (190-mile) route and Van Aert caught him on the descent.

The race – one of cycling’s five single-day “monuments” – was originally scheduled for March.

It was the second win in a week for Van Aert, who also won the Strade Bianche race last weekend.

Van Aert, who rides for the Jumbo-Visma team, required 7 hours, 16 minutes to complete the lengthy route ending along the Italian Riviera.

Alaphilippe finished with the same time while Michael Matthews of Australia crossed third with the main pack, two seconds behind.

“It’s unbelievable to win Milano-Sanremo after Strade Bianche. On the Poggio, I was at the limit. Alaphilippe attacked earlier than I expected and I couldn’t hold his wheel so I had to go and chase him down,” said Van Aert, a three-time cyclo-cross world champion and the winner of a stage in last year’s Tour de France. “He played it very well. Luckily I just had enough power left to beat him on the line. It’s a beautiful restart of the season for me.”

The next “monument” race in the revised schedule is the grueling and hilly Lombardia next Saturday.

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.