Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin takes break from cycling

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AMSTERDAM — Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin will take a break from cycling after disclosing Saturday that he is struggling to handle the pressure of the sport and needs time to consider his future.

Dumoulin, a former time trial world champion who won the 2017 Giro d’Italia and finished second in the Tour de France a year later, made the announcement in a video statement posted on the website of his Jumbo-Visma team.

The 30-year-old Dumoulin said he has struggled for months with “how to find my way as Tom Dumoulin the cyclist. With the pressure that goes with that, with the expectations from different parties.”

Dumoulin, who has struggled with injuries in recent seasons, said he wanted to please his team, his fans and his family, “but because of that, I’ve forgotten myself a bit. What do I want?” He said that as a professional cyclist, he hadn’t found the time to answer the question.

“Who knows where this will lead,” he added.

The announcement came just a day after Jumbo-Visma had announced Dumoulin would ride in the Tour de France this year as part of a strong team that also includes Primoz Roglic, Steven Kruiswijk and Wout van Aert.

Dumoulin said making the decision to take a break was ultimately a relief.

“It feels like a 100-kilogram pack has been taken off my back,” he said.

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.