Scott Hamilton to cycle 444 miles in cancer fundraiser

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Scott Hamilton is back in action.

No, the figure skating icon won’t be lacing up. He’ll be sitting atop a bike and cycling 444 miles Erase the Trace, a five-day ride along the Natchez Trace Parkway. The fundraiser that goes through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee is designed to raise $1.25 million in funding for a breakthrough glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cancer research grant to treat the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

Inspired by the story of Scott Williams, who is a GBM patient and reached out to the 1984 Olympic champion’s Scott Hamilton & Friends organization a year ago for help in fundraising. Not only did Hamilton put together a skating show to help in 2021, but he also rode the final portion of the initial Erase the Trace. Now, Hamilton will join Williams for the entire ride from May 2 to May 7.

“Last year’s Erase the Trace inspired me like no other event we have ever done,” Hamilton said. “The hope, drive, and bravery of glioblastoma patient Scott Williams awakened a part of my heart that I hadn’t realized needed awakening. The instant we welcomed Scott to the finish line at the end of his ride, I knew it was something I had to do next year.

“I can’t wait to feel the wind in my face, the burn of my legs, and the pounding of my heart as I, too, rise to the 444-mile challenge. I am so excited to know that with each push of the pedal, we are getting that much closer to positively changing outcomes for people facing brain cancer.”

Erase the Trace references both the Natchez Trace itself and Williams’ battle with glioblastoma. Each mile in 2021 was ridden in honor or memory of a specific person.

“Even with 100% removal of a glioblastoma multiforme tumor, there’s always a trace of cancer cells that remain, just waiting for an opportunity to attack again,” Williams said.

A cancer survivor himself, Hamilton has never completed a bike ride of this length or magnitude. He hopes to also attract friends, whether celebrities or not, to ride with him. Or to support the cause in any manner.

“Even to this day, I don’t believe I truly understand the magnitude of the ride I’m about to go on,” the 63-year-old Hamilton admitted. “To physically complete the 444 miles of the Natchez Trace Parkway is sincerely such a feat.”

So Hamilton has been working with Johnny Burrell, a Nashville-based craniosacral therapist and a record-holding cyclist.

” I am grateful for the experience of Johnny Burrell, who has taken me out to the most difficult portion of the Natchez Trace to check out my physical ability to handle it,” Hamilton added. “We rode for 44 miles and it went pretty well. Outside of that, I’ve been training on my exercise bike when limited by travel or weather, and getting out onto the Trace to practice as much as possible on my own. I am hoping and praying that I am strong enough to complete the ride.

“I know between Johnny and Scott Williams, both of whom have completed the ride, I will be in the best hands possible. And hopefully my nerves won’t get the best of me.”

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.