Van der Poel wins Stage 5 as Pogačar keeps Tirreno lead

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CASTELFIDARDO, Italy — Mathieu van der Poel soloed to victory during Stage 5 of the weeklong Tirreno-Adriatico as Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar extended his overall lead to more than a minute.

Van der Poel attacked with more than 50 kilometers (31 miles) remaining of the 205-kilometer (127-mile) leg from Castellalto to Castelfidardo and the Dutch champion built up a lead of around three minutes on the tough finishing circuit, which had to be covered four times.

The chasing group was happy to let him go as he posed little threat to the overall standings but Pogačar made his move with 17 kilometers remaining and slashed the gap to finish just 10 seconds behind Van der Poel.

Wout van Aert was third, 49 seconds behind Van der Poel.

“I was riding completely on empty in the last few kilometers,” Van der Poel said. “I was told that Pogačar was coming close but I wasn’t even able to listen. I just wanted to reach the finish as fast as I could.”

It was a second victory in this year’s race for Van der Poel after the Alpecin-Fenix rider also won Stage 3.

Pogačar moved 1 minute, 15 seconds ahead of Van Aert in the overall standings. Mikel Landa is third, three minutes behind the Slovenian.

“When I saw Wout van Aert suffering I went to try and get more time on GC but I never thought I would be anywhere close to catching Van der Poel,” Pogačar said.

The sixth and penultimate stage is a 169-kilometer (105-mile) leg from Castelraimondo to Lido di Fermo.

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

“I’m super happy with the advantage I have over Van Aert now before the time trial,” Pogačar 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.