Slovenia’s Mohorič, not Pogačar, wins Milan-San Remo

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SAN REMO, Italy — Everyone was expecting it to be an uphill attack from two-time Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar to decide the Milan-San Remo race.

Turned out it was a risky, high-speed downhill attack from Matej Mohorič, another Slovenian rider, that proved to be the winning move in the spring classic.

Following four unsuccessful attacks from Pogačar on the way up the Poggio, the short but steep climb shortly before the finish of the lengthy 293-kilometer (182-mile) route, Mohorič accelerated almost as soon as the twisty descent started.

Leaning dangerously into the sharp turns on the serpentine route, Mohorič quickly created a small gap ahead of a small group that included Pogačar, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel – three of the most accomplished current riders in the sport.

Mohorič, who rides for the Bahrain Victorious team, was cutting so many corners that both of his wheels skidded at one point. Somehow, though, he remained upright, and established a lead of five seconds by the end of the descent, with 2.2 kilometers (1.4 miles) to go.

There was another moment that could have led to panic when Mohorič’s chain came loose on the flat, finishing straight but he managed to overcome that, too, and had time to celebrate before crossing the line on Via Roma.

French rider Anthony Turgis and Van der Poel finished second and third, respectively, both two seconds behind.

Michael Matthews came fourth and Pogačar ended up fifth, also two seconds behind.

The 27-year-old Mohorič also claimed two stages in last year’s Tour de France and has won one stage in both the Giro d’Italia and Spanish Vuelta.

“I was thinking about this race for the entire winter,” Mohorič said. “I knew that if I could train properly over the winter, and try to be in a good enough condition to not be dropped on the Poggio, and be with the best guys over the top that I would have a chance of doing my best descent and risking a little bit but being able to hang on for the win.”

Mohorič used a specially designed moveable seat more often seen in mountain biking so he could gain more control of his bike on the descent.

“The team set up a bike for me and we had this plan for a long, long time now,” he said.

The Milan-San Remo is the first of the five “monument” races in the cycling season. The others are the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Lombardia.

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.