Würtz Schmidt wins Stage 6; Pogačar keeps Tirreno lead

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LIDO DI FERMO, Italy — Breakaway rider Mads Würtz Schmidt won a five-man sprint to take the sixth and penultimate stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico and the overall lead of Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar remained unchanged.

It was the first World Tour victory for the 26-year-old Würtz Schmidt, a Dane who won the world championship time trial at both the junior and under-23 levels.

Brent Van Moer crossed second and Simone Velasco was third.

Würtz Schmidt was part of a small group of riders who broke away from the main pack 23 kilometers (14 miles) into the 169-kilometer (105-mile) leg from Castelraimondo to Lido di Fermo on the Adriatic coast.

The stage, which was mostly flat with some minor hills, concluded with five laps of a circuit and there was ample ground for the main pack to catch the breakaway but the sprinters’ teams didn’t get organized quick enough.

“To finally win after five years on the world tour, it’s a big relief,” Würtz Schmidt said. “I took my chance today and we worked well in the breakaway.”

Würtz Schmidt, who rides for the Israel Start-Up Nation team, finished in 3 hours, 42 minutes. The main pack, including all of the overall leaders, crossed more than a minute behind.

In the overall standings, Pogačar leads Wout van Aert by 1:15. Mikel Landa is third, 3:00 behind.

British rider Simon Carr crashed into a traffic island midway through the stage but got back on his bike and kept going.

The race ends on Tuesday with an entirely flat 10.1-kilometer (6.3-mile) individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

“Tomorrow,” Pogačar said, “the important thing is to remain in the leader’s jersey.”

The Tirreno is followed by the Milan-San Remo classic on Saturday, although Pogačar said he’s not planning to enter the single-day classic along the Italian Riviera.

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.