Julian Alaphilippe wins Stage 2 of Tirreno, Van Aert stays in lead

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CHIUSDINO, Italy — Julian Alaphilippe sprinted to victory on the uphill finish of the second stage of the weeklong Tirreno-Adriatico, and Belgian rider Wout van Aert remained in the overall lead.

Alaphilippe, a French cyclist for Deceuninck-Quick-Step, caught a fading Joao Almeida in sight of the line and had time to raise his arms above his head as he crossed just ahead of Mathieu Van Der Poel and Van Aert in a bunch sprint.

“Everyone was on the limit and so when I saw Joao I went full gas,” Alaphilippe said. “This victory makes me very happy.

“It’s not easy to win wearing the rainbow jersey (of the world champion) and so it’s a special feeling. The team believed in me today and we did a great job.”

Almeida had looked set to win after attacking with just over a kilometer remaining of the undulating 202-kilometer (126-mile) leg from Camaiore to Chiusdino. He finished seventh.

Van Aert has a four-second lead over Alaphilippe. Van Der Poel is third in the standings, eight seconds behind.

Unlike the pure sprinters, Van Aert can also hold his own in climbing stages and is aiming for overall victory. He won the Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo classic last year and posted three stage victories in the Tour de France over the past two years. He’s also a three-time world champion in cyclo-cross.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t the stage win but the team and I did the maximum,” said Van Aert, who rides for the Jumbo-Visma team. “In the last kilometer I was already quite on the limit so afterwards I did the best sprint possible but Julian was stronger.”

Friday’s third stage is a challenging 219-kilometer (36-mile) route from Monticiano to Gualdo Tadino.

The race ends with an individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

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.