Richard Carapaz takes Giro d’Italia lead after frenetic Stage 14

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TURIN, Italy — Race favorite Richard Carapaz claimed the overall lead of the Giro d’Italia in an action-packed Stage 14, which was won by Simon Yates.

Carapaz, the Ecuadorian rider who won the Giro in 2019 then the Olympic gold last year, attacked on the steep climb to Superga with nearly 30 kilometers (19 miles) to go then had to hang on when Jai Hindley, Vincenzo Nibali and Yates caught him on the penultimate ascent to Colle Della Maddalena.

Yates surged on the final small climb to Parco del Nobile and immediately created a gap on Hindley, Carapaz and Nibali.

Yates, the British rider with the BikeExchange-Jayco team, finished 15 seconds ahead of Hindley, Carapaz and Nibali, who all crossed the line together, after nearly four hours.

It was the second victory in this Giro for Yates, who also won the individual time trial in stage two, and his sixth overall at the Italian Grand Tour.

Yates fell out of overall contention during the ninth stage that finished atop the fearsome Blockhaus climb.

“My original plan was to make the breakaway today but it didn’t work that way,” Yates said. “In the final move I had the advantage of not racing for GC (general classification) anymore.”

The 147-kilometer (91-mile) route from Santena to Turin included two ascents of the Superga and Maddalena hills in a challenging two-lap circuit in the second half of the stage, which resembled a single-day classic.

With the temperature soaring to 34 C (93 F) and a frenetic pace right from the start, the overall standings were completely rewritten.

Carapaz, who rides for the powerful Ineos Grenadiers team, leads Hindley by seven seconds, and Joao Almeida was third overall, 30 seconds back.

“Now we’ll try to defend the maglia rosa (pink jersey),” Carapaz said. “I didn’t remember that I also took it on stage 14 three years ago but I’m glad to do it again.”

Juan Pedro Lopez, the Spanish rider who wore the pink jersey for 10 days, was dropped when Carapaz attacked on Superga. He’s ninth, more than four minutes behind.

Tom Dumoulin, the 2017 Giro winner, abandoned midway through the stage after struggling with back pain recently.

In 1949, the Superga hill was the tragic crash site of the plane carrying the entire Torino soccer team.

Stage 15 is a 178-kilometer (111-mile) leg from Rivarolo Canavese to Cogne that features three long climbs, including an uphill finish.

The Giro ends next weekend 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.