Giro d’Italia organizers outline 7 sprint stages for next year

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MILAN — Next year’s Giro d’Italia will feature seven stages best suited to sprinters.

In a break with tradition, race organizer RCS Sport has decided to release details of next year’s race in instalments. It was announced last week that the 105th edition of the Giro would start in Hungary – as it was scheduled to do last year before the coronavirus pandemic.

Two of the three stages in Hungary are suited to sprinters, although the undulating 195-kilometer (121-mile) opening leg does include an uphill finish.

“It is a Giro full of excellent opportunities for sprinters. Perhaps the arrival of the first stage is more favorable for a finisseur or a sprinter who can climb well,” said sprint specialist Elia Viviani, who claimed four of his five Giro stage wins in 2018, when he also won the points classification.

“I would like to be able to fight to win the Maglia Ciclamino (for the leader of the points classification) again and try to win some stages … There is certainly the opportunity to repeat my performance at the 2018 Giro.”

RCS Sport outlined five more stages suited to sprinters, although it will not confirm precisely when those stages will take place until the route is outlined in full, when the finale will also be announced. The hilly stages will be revealed and the high mountain ones as well.

The sprint stages include one in Sicily, from Catania to Messina, and two that are the longest of next year’s Giro. The 201-kilometer (125-mile) leg along Lake Balaton from Kaposvar to Balatonfured that is the last stage in Hungary, and another route of the same distance that is completely flat from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia.

The final stage for sprinters is a short and fast 146 kilometers (91 miles) from Borgo Valsugana to Treviso that features two Category 4 climbs and also crosses the Prosecco production area between Valdobbiadene and Refrontolo.

The Giro will run from May 6-29.

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.