Tour contender Roglic wins Criterium du Dauphine

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VAUJANY, France — Primoz Roglic warmed up for his Tour de France bid next month by winning the Criterium du Dauphine stage race for the first time.

His Jumbo-Visma teammate Jonas Vingegaard won the eighth and final stage in the mountains. The pair crossed the line holding hands at the summit of the Plateau de Solaison, with Roglic allowing Vingegaard to nose his wheel in front to take the stage win.

Vingegaard placed 40 seconds behind Roglic in the overall standings, with Australian Ben O’Connor from the AG2R Citroen team finishing 1 minute, 41 seconds behind Roglic in third spot.

Jumbo-Visma worked brilliantly on the final climb, with Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk accelerating to split up the leading group.

This allowed his two teammates to pull clear on the final ascent of the 135-kilometer (84-mile) trek from Saint-Chaffrey to Vaujany, which included two mammoth climbs of 23 kilometers (14.3 miles) and 29 kilometers (18 miles) and a last climb of 5.7 kilometers (3.5 miles).

Roglic and Vingegaard were both credited with a time of 3 hours, 49 minutes, 20 seconds, with O’Connor trailing them by 15 seconds to finish the stage in third.

“The guys had everything under control from the start, it was a fast start. They were controlling all day,” the 32-year-old Roglic said. “Jonas was good on the last climb. We can be confident, some more work to do and we should be ready for the Tour.”

Roglic has won the past three Spanish Vuelta titles but he dramatically missed out on a Tour de France victory to fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar in 2020.

This year, Roglic also won the Paris-Nice stage race for the first time with a brilliant attack on the final stage.

“So finally I won some races in France, so it’s nice,” Roglic said.

Vingegaard was delighted with the manner of his stage win and the teamwork involved.

“We tried to drop everyone (on the climbs) and I think we can be very happy and proud,” Vingegaard said. “This is one of the greatest races in the world, to win a stage and finish in second place (overall) is great.”

The Dane will team up with Roglic again on the July 1-24 Tour. But the 25-year-old Vingegaard expects they will face a greater challenge.

“I think it will be hard for us to be 1-2 in the Tour, because there are so many GC (overall) contenders,” he said. “The competition will be harder.”

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.