Kämna wins Giro d’Italia Stage 4, López moves into pink

Giro d'Italia
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ETNA-NICOLOSI, Sicily ⁠— German cyclist Lennard Kamna won Stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia on the slopes of Mount Etna while Juan Pedro Lopez moved into the overall lead as the Italian grand tour returned to home soil.

Kamna, who rides for Bora-Hansgrohe, had time to raise his arms over his head as he crossed the line just ahead of Lopez, who banged his handlebars in frustration.

Both of them had been part of an early breakaway, as was Rein Taaramae, who finished third at the end of the 172-kilometer (107-mile) route from Avola that culminated on the steep climb up the volcano, as the riders faced their first serious test of this year’s race.

“It was a super hard day, especially the last climb. It was really long and really hard,” Kamna said. “I almost thought I lost it when Lopez had more than 30 seconds and I just made it to bridge. Then I tried to recover a little bit for the sprint and it worked out really well.”

It was a second grand tour stage win for the 25-year-old Kamna, who won a stage on the Tour de France two years ago.

Lopez will be able to console himself by taking over the leader’s pink jersey from Mathieu van der Poel, who had worn it since winning the opening stage in Hungary.

The 24-year-old Spanish rider is 39 seconds ahead of Kamna and 58 ahead of Taaramae.

“I’m so happy today for taking the jersey. I don’t believe this moment so I need to enjoy tomorrow, today, and every moment with the jersey,” said Lopez, who rides for Trek-Segafredo.

“I tried to go on the hardest part because there I can make the difference. I tried but Kamna took me in the last 2 or 3 kilometers and we fought for the sprint. I tried to fight for the victory but it was so difficult. But I have the jersey and I’m so happy now.”

Most of the overall contenders crossed the line together although Miguel Angel Lopez – one of the favorites for the stage win and overall victory – pulled out of the Giro after struggling in the hilly opening kilometers of the route with a left hip injury that he sustained earlier in the race.

Tom Dumoulin’s chances of winning a second Giro are all but over. The 2017 champion was dropped on the climb, as was home favorite and two-time winner Vincenzo Nibali, and the Dutch cyclist lost more than six minutes to his rivals.

There was more drama earlier in the day as well, as there were two crashes. Simon Yates was involved in one of them and needed brief treatment but was able to continue.

The stage sparked into life on the approach to Etna, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

Stefano Oldani set off on a long solo attack but he was passed by Lopez with just over 10 kilometers remaining. Kamna made the catch with 2.5 kilometers to go and the duo worked together before the chase to the line.

Lopez made a mistake in the final corner but Kamna admitted that, with the Spaniard guaranteed the maglia rosa, it was almost as if they “had a silent agreement.”

The Giro stays in Sicily for Wednesday’s fifth stage, a 174-kilometer (108-mile) leg from Messina to Catania that features a category two climb shortly before the halfway point.

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.