Richard Carapaz shakes off early crash to keep Giro d’Italia lead in Stage 15

105th Giro d'Italia 2022 - Stage 15
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COGNE, Italy – Escorted up three long climbs by his powerful Ineos Grenadiers team, Richard Carapaz shook off an early crash to hold onto the Giro d’Italia overall lead during his first day wearing the pink jersey.

Italian rider Giulio Ciccone got into an early breakaway then launched a solo attack on the finishing climb to win Stage 15.

Carapaz, the Ecuadorian who took the lead a day earlier, remained seven seconds ahead of Jai Hindley and 30 seconds ahead of Joao Almeida.

Carapaz, the 2019 Giro champion and an Olympic gold medalist last year, was involved in a mass crash early on when he fell off of his bike onto the grass lining a flat road.

Carapaz said there was “no consequence at all” from the crash.

“I just had to change bikes,” he said. “Then it went smoothly. The scenario of the race was pretty good. The first part was hard. Then we had it under control.”

For his third career Giro victory after also winning stages in 2016 and 2019, Ciccone was cheered on by large crowds lining the cobblestoned streets in the finale. As is his tradition, Ciccone – who wore the yellow jersey for two stages during the 2019 Tour de France – threw his sunglasses into the crowd just before crossing the finish line.

“This is my most beautiful win. It’s better than the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, better than my first wins at the Giro because I went through difficult times in the past two years, with crashes, illnesses and COVID,” Ciccone said.

Ciccone, who rides for the Trek-Segafredo team, clocked 4 hours, 37 minutes over the 178-kilometer (111-mile) leg from Rivarolo Canavese to Cogne in the northwestern Valle d’Aosta region.

The final climb to Cogne was a lengthy 22.2 kilometers (14 miles) but was steep only at the start and had an average gradient of just 4.3%. Requiring about an hour of climbing, it was still a challenge and when Ciccone attacked with 18.8 kilometers (12 miles) to go, his breakaway companions had no answer.

Santiago Buitrago crossed second, 1:31 behind, and Antonio Pedrero was third, 2:19 behind.

Carapaz crossed nearly eight minutes behind.

“I chose to attack solo with 19 kilometers to go because it was the steepest part of the climb and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to drop everyone later on,” Ciccone said.

After the race’s final rest day on Monday, the Giro resumes Tuesday with one of the sport’s toughest climbs up the Mortirolo along the 202-kilometer (126-mile) leg from Salo to Aprica. The annual wine stage is dedicated to the Sforzato variety of the Valtellina area.

The race ends next Sunday 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.