Schmid claims 1st pro victory, Bernal extends Giro d’Italia lead

Getty Images
5 Comments

MONTALCINO, Italy — Swiss cyclist Mauro Schmid won the 11th stage of the Giro d’Italia for the first victory of his professional career, and Egan Bernal extended his overall lead on the tricky gravel roads.

There were four unpaved sections that made up half of the final 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) of the Wine Stage of this year’s race and Remco Evenepoel – one of the Giro favorites – struggled.

Evenepoel had been second overall, 14 seconds behind Bernal. But he was dropped on the third gravel section and Bernal took the opportunity to up the pace in the peloton. Evenepoel crossed the line more than two minutes behind Bernal.

Bernal, a former Tour de France champion, now holds a 45-second lead over Aleksandr Vlasov. Nobody else is within a minute of him, with third-place Damiano Caruso 1:12 behind.

“Today we rode well and I increased my lead in the GC but the Giro is still long, all the big climbs are still to be ridden,” Bernal said. “I’m confident but I have to keep my feet firmly on the ground.”

Schmid, who rides for Qhubeka Assos, was part of an early breakaway on the 162-kilometer (101-mile) route from Perugia to Montalcino. He and Alessandro Covi attacked from the break with 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) remaining and the 21-year-old Schmid won a sprint finish, edging the UAE Team Emirates rider by one second.

“Actually I cannot believe it,” Schmid said. “I was only selected for the Giro team about two weeks before the race. My preparation was good but at the beginning of the season, I was not even thinking about riding a Grand Tour.

“In the last two stages I suffered a lot, but today I really wanted to go on the attack because I really like riding on gravel. In the breakaway, I felt I had good legs and I went for it.”

Harm Vanhoucke was third, 26 seconds behind Schmid.

Bernal led the peloton over the line, more than three minutes later, and ahead of all his main rivals.

Thursday’s 12th stage features four categorized climbs on the 212-kilometer (132-mile) route from Siena to Bagno di Romagna.

The Giro finishes on May 30 in Milan with an individual time trial.

Norway takes gold-medal lead at world road cycling titles

CYCLING-AUS-ROAD-WORLD
Getty Images
9 Comments

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
Getty Images
5 Comments

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.