Danilo Hondo banned for blood doping in Aderlass case

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BERN, Switzerland — Former professional cyclist Danilo Hondo was banned for blood doping revealed in an Austrian-led investigation and got a reduced sanction for his confession and cooperation.

Hondo was banned by a sports tribunal in Switzerland where the German was registered as a rider and worked coaching young riders when he was implicated in the Operation Aderlass case that revealed a blood doping ring.

The 48-year-old Hondo was banned from working in sports for 2 + years – backdated to September 2019 and which has now expired – with a further 5 + years suspended because of his “confession and broad cooperation,” the Swiss Olympic committee said.

Hondo competed at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 for the German pursuit team on the track. In a long road career he won two stages at the 2001 Giro d’Italia, where he was runner-up in the points classification.

He previously served a ban after being caught doping in 2005.

Hondo was a coach with the Swiss cycling federation in 2019 when Austrian investigators revealed a doping ring including blood transfusions linked to a doctor in Germany.

He admitted in an interview with German broadcaster ARD to doping from 2011 near the end of his career.

The Swiss tribunal ordered Hondo to pay 12,500 Swiss francs ($12,500) compensation plus legal costs toward his disciplinary investigation.

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.