Dutchman Dylan van Baarle wins Paris-Roubaix for 1st time


ROUBAIX, France — Dylan van Baarle timed his attack on the final cobblestone sections perfectly to win the Paris-Roubaix race for the first time.

The 29-year-old Dutchman, who rides for the Ineos Grenadiers team, won in 5 hours, 37 minutes after 257 kilometers (159 miles) of grueling racing. His average speed of 45.8 kilometers-per-hour (28.4 miles-per-hour) was a record.

Belgian Wout van Aert edged a tight sprint to finish second ahead of Swiss rider Stefan Kung in third – both 1 minute, 47 seconds behind Van Baarle.

Although he won the Dwars door Vlaanderen (Across Flanders) race last year, this was by far Van Baarle’s biggest victory and he milked the applause upon entering the Roubaix Velodrome alone.

The sunny conditions were far removed from last year’s mud-splattered and rain-soaked race held in October. Mathieu Van der Poel was third then, but the Belgian rider was ninth this time.

The race is one of cycling’s five high-profile classics, along with the Tour of Flanders, Milan-San Remo, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Giro di Lombardia.

But it is known as the Queen of the Classics because it is the most prestigious one, and is also called the “Hell of the North,” because of its treacherous profile including more than 50 kilometers (31 miles) of cobblestones.

Several riders crashed or picked up punctures on the cobbles, which will feature again on this year’s Tour de France from July 1-24.

With 50 kilometers (31 miles) left, the front three of Frenchman Laurent Pichon, Slovenian Matej Mohoric and Belgian Tom Devriendt led by 50 seconds but the gap was closing quickly.

Pichon was dropped but Van Baarle and Belgian Yves Lampaert joined Mohoric and Devriendt.

Heading into the final cobblestone section, Van Baarle surged ahead on the tough Carrefour de l’Arbre section as the crowd roared.

Lampaert crashed heavily after catching the arm of a spectator on the side of the cobbles, but got back up to finish 10th.

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.