Caruso wins Vuelta Stage 9, Roglic keeps overall lead

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ALTO DE VELEFIQUE, Spain — Damiano Caruso won the ninth stage of the Spanish Vuelta, with Primoz Roglic finishing second to keep the overall lead.

Caruso was in front for the last 70 kilometers (43 miles) of the 188-kilometer (116-mile) ride from Puerto Lumbreras to a summit finish atop the beyond-category Alto de Velefique.

Caruso was coming off a second-place finish overall at the Giro d’Italia, his best finish yet at a Grand Tour race.

“It’s incredible for me to achieve this after the Giro,” said Caruso, the Italian rider for Bahrain Victorious. “The last climb was so long. I knew it was getting tight. I focused on my own tempo. When we did the last few kilometers, I realized I had a chance to win.”

Caruso finished more than a minute ahead of Roglic, the Vuelta’s two-time defending champion. Enric Mas was third, crossing the line just behind Roglic.

Roglic’s strong finish gave him a 28-second gap to Mas in the overall standings. Miguel Angel Lopez was third overall, more than a minute behind Roglic.

Riders have their first rest day on Monday ahead of a mostly flat stage with a single mountain pass near the end.

“We deserve the rest day,” Roglic said. “It was a hard day. Again it was super hot, with some big climbs so I’m looking forward to tomorrow (Monday). It’s the beginning. Now we have the rest day and we need to stay in one piece with the full team and I’m looking forward to the next stages.”

The three-week Grand Tour race finishes at Santiago de Compostela.

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.