Van Aert, Vos sprint to wins at Amstel Gold Race

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VALKENBURG, Netherlands — Wout van Aert beat Tom Pidcock in a photo finish at the Amstel Gold Race, while Marianne Vos accelerated away from Demi Vollering and Annemiek van Vleuten from a reduced bunch to win the women’s edition.

Van Aert joined Pidcock and Max Schachmann in a breakaway over the famed Cauberg climb with about six miles left in the race, and the trio began jockeying for the lead with 300 meters to go. But in a reversal of the result at Brabantse Pijl earlier in the week, it was van Aert that edged Picock at the finish line to give his Jumbo-Visma team the win.

“They said I won but I don’t actually believe it,” said van Aert, who added a second major classics win to his triumph at Gent-Wevelgem. “Just two minutes ago the jury came to tell me I won.”

The finish set up perfectly for the Belgian classics specialist with a long sprint to the finish.

The 26-year-old Van Aert, who won Milan-San Remo and Strade Bianche last year, has developed into one of the best one-day racers in the world. But with an Olympics road race course in Tokyo that favors climbers, van Aert may shelve his gold medal ambitions this summer to save himself for the Olympic time trial, where he would be among the favorites.

Meanwhile, Vos is starting to show the form that won her Olympic gold in the road race at the 2012 Games in London.

The Dutch superstar stayed out of trouble before the reduced field began attacking on the final trip up the Cauburg, about 1 1/2 miles from the finish. Van Vleuten was the first to make a move, then defending champion Kasia Niewiadoma and Elisa Longo Borghini went to the front, further shattering what was left of the peloton.

Vos wound up sprinting clear of Vollering and van Vleuten over the final 500 meters to win her first Amstel Gold Race.

“Winning the Amstel Gold Race has always been a big goal for me,” Vos said. “I’ve already experienced great editions, but this is really cool. It feels different without spectators, but you notice that people care about this race. I hope we have made the people at home happy. In any case, I enjoyed it, even though it was very hard.”

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.