Former Tour de France winner Egan Bernal still in intensive care

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BOGOTA, Colombia — Former Tour de France champion Egan Bernal remained in intensive care in Colombia after undergoing what his team described as “two successful surgeries.”

The 2019 Tour champion from Colombia, where he is a beloved celebrity, collided with a bus parked on the shoulder of a road outside Bogota on Monday morning while training with his team Ineos Grenadiers.

Bernal was transferred to the University of La Sabana Hospital near the capital. His team said he fractured his right femur, right kneecap, several ribs and a vertebrae and suffered a punctured lung and chest trauma.

“Doctors were able to medically pin his right leg and stabilize the vertebrae fracture in two separate surgeries last night,” Ineos said. “He is now in an intensive care unit where other potential secondary injuries are being managed, as well as his body’s response to the trauma.”

Colombian President Ivan Duque went on social media to wish the cyclist a speedy recovery.

Camilo Pardo, a sports doctor in Bogota, said cyclists usually take around eight months to recover from a fractured femur, while a kneecap injury like the one sustained by Bernal could take even longer to heal.

“I doubt he will be able to compete this year, not even in the Vuelta a Espana in September,” said Pardo, who has been treating cyclists for three decades.

Bernal had trained with several members of his team recently near his hometown of Zipaquira, which is 2,650 meters (8,600 feet) above sea level.

Police said Bernal hit the back of a bus that had pulled over to drop off a passenger and was parked on the emergency lane.

Col. Juan Carlos Castro, deputy director for Colombia’s transport police, said Bernal had split from the rest of his teammates as he trained for a time trial, and was hunched over his bike in an aerodynamic position, which prevented him from seeing the bus that had pulled over ahead of him. He said Bernal was traveling at around 50 kilometers per hour (31 miles per hour) when the crash occurred. Bus stops are rare along rural roads in Colombia and it is legal for buses to use emergency lanes to pick up passengers.

Bernal’s accident puts one of cycling’s most promising careers in jeopardy. The Colombian cyclist was victorious in the Tour at the age of 21, becoming one of the youngest riders to win the prestigious race. He also claimed the Giro d’Italia title last year and placed in the top 10 in the Vuelta a Espana.

The accident highlights the challenges faced by cyclists of all levels in Colombia, where potholes are common and lanes for cyclists are limited. Last year more than 470 cyclists died in traffic accidents in the South American country.

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.