Peter Sagan has surgery less than 2 weeks before Olympic road race

Getty Image
6 Comments

Three-time world champion Peter Sagan had surgery to treat an infection in his right knee that occurred following a crash at the Tour de France, leaving his status for the Tokyo Olympics in question less than two weeks before they begin.

Sagan tangled with Caleb Ewan on the third stage of the race and went down hard at high speed. The knee was hit by the chainring on his bike, leaving a deep gash that his Bora-Hansgrohe team treated with antibiotic ointment through the past 10 days. But eventually the infection became too serious for Sagan to continue with the race.

The surgery was performed near his home in Monaco and Sagan said he hopes to resume training in a couple days.

“We did everything possible on site at the Tour, but even antibiotic treatment couldn’t prevent an infection,” said team physician Christopher Edler. “The only option was to stop racing and get the bursa surgically removed. Luckily, it was only superficial infection, and the knee joint is not involved in this at all. The surgery went well, and I think Peter will be able to start with light training again in a couple of days.”

The 31-year-old Sagan is expected to compete alongside older brother Juraj Sagan for Slovakia in the Olympic road race on July 24. He is expected to make a decision in the coming days whether to travel to Tokyo.

The punchy course that starts at Musashinonomori Park, climbs the slopes of Mt. Fuji and finishes at the Fuji Speedway west of Tokyo would fit Sagan’s riding style quite well. He has the ability to hang with the climbers on the hills but also has enough power to win a bunch sprint should a select group arrive at the closing circuit together.

Sagan, one of the most accomplished cyclists of the past decade, skipped the road race at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and instead competed in the mountain biking, where a punctured tire early in the race ruined his medal chances.

“Unfortunately, antibiotic treatment couldn’t prevent an infection. The only option was to stop racing at the Tour de France and get the bursa surgically removed,” Sagan said in a statement. “Luckily, it was a superficial infection and the knee joint is not involved in this at all. I’d like to thank the doctors and medical staff at IM2S clinic in Monaco for performing an excellent surgery on such short notice and for their great cooperation with the team’s medical staff.”

Giro d’Italia to start on former railway line in Abruzzo

Getty Images
5 Comments

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

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.