Yates wins Giro d’Italia Stage 2, Van der Poel stays in pink

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BUDAPEST, Hungary — A storming time trial from Simon Yates saw the British rider win the second stage of the Giro d’Italia while Mathieu van der Poel kept hold of the pink jersey.

Yates, one of the title favorites, clocked 11 minutes, 50 seconds on the nine-kilometer (six-mile) individual time trial through Budapest that included a steep uphill finish.

Van der Poel, who won the opening stage, was last down the ramp and the Dutch cyclist came close to claiming a second successive stage win on his Giro debut but finished three seconds behind Yates.

It was only Yates’ second time trial success and his first in a grand tour.

“For sure this is my best time trial victory,” Yates said. “Of course really happy, a little bit unexpected but I’ll take them as they come.

“I was never confident, Van der Poel was close as well, but you always have that belief you would win and I managed to hang on.”

Tom Dumoulin was third, five seconds behind Yates.

Yates, who rides for Team BikeExchange-Jayco, is looking to overcome Giro disappointment. He led the race for 13 days in 2018 before cracking in the mountains and eventually finishing 21st. He redeemed himself somewhat by finishing third last year.

Yates moved into second spot in the standings and has built a slender lead over his main rivals for the maglia rosa. He is 11 seconds behind Van der Poel and five ahead of 2017 Giro winner Dumoulin.

“I would have signed for this before,” Van der Poel said. “I did a really good TT. The difference between winning and second is pretty close. I bought myself an extra day in the pink jersey so I think I can be really happy with it.”

This Giro includes just two time trials that total just over 26 kilometers (16 miles), the lowest amount since 1962.

The third stage is the final one in Hungary and another one for the sprinters, on a 201-kilometer (125-mile) route along Lake Balaton from Kaposvar to Balatonfured.

The race will then have its first rest day as the riders transfer to Italy.

“Tomorrow should be a sprint stage so I hope to take the jersey to Sicily for sure and then we’ll see what happens,” Van der Poel added.

The Giro was due to start in Hungary in 2020 but the pandemic forced organizers to reschedule the race to October and move the start to Sicily.

The Giro finishes on May 29 in Verona.

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.