Tadej Pogačar defends Tirreno-Adriatico title for 3rd straight victory

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SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO, Italy — Three races, three overall victories.

Two-time Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar extended his nearly perfect start to the cycling season by defending his title in the weeklong Tirreno-Adriatico.

The Slovenian rider also won the weeklong UAE Tour last month then put on a dominant display on the white, gravel roads of the Strade Bianche single-day race in Tuscany.

“I might seem unbeatable but I’m not,” Pogačar said.

In the Tirreno, Pogačar won the two toughest stages and finished with an advantage of 1 minute, 52 seconds over Jonas Vingegaard and 2:33 ahead of Mikel Landa.

The 23-year-old Pogačar , who rides for UAE Team Emirates, also won the Tirreno’s points classification and best young rider classification.

German rider Phil Bauhaus won the final stage of the sea-to-sea race, a 159-kilometer (99-mile) leg that began and finished in San Benedetto del Tronto, in a sprint finish.

Giacomo Nizzolo finished second in the final stage, which was hilly at the start then flat at the finish, and Kaden Groves crossed third.

Pogačar crossed 33rd with the same time as Bauhaus.

Up next for Pogačar is the Milan-San Remo classic.

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.