Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma team wins 1st stage of Spanish Vuelta

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UTRECHT, Netherlands — Primoz Roglic got off to a good start in his quest to win an unprecedented fourth straight Spanish Vuelta title when his Jumbo-Visma team won the opening team time trial in the Netherlands on Friday.

Jumbo-Visma, competing on home soil as the Netherlands finally got to open the Vuelta after not being able to do it in previous years because of the coronavirus pandemic, finished 13 seconds ahead of team Ineos Grenadiers and 14 seconds in front of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

Roglic’s teammate Robert Gesink, who is Dutch, will get to wear the leader’s red jersey in his ninth appearance in the Grand Tour race.

“He’s the one that deserves it the most, it’s a pleasure racing for so many years with him,” Roglic said. “I started with him in the team, he taught me a lot and it’s nice to win as the home team with a home rider.”

It had been doubtful whether Roglic would be able to defend his Vuelta title after he was injured at the Tour de France, which affected his preparations.

“My condition is good enough to win today,” Roglic said. “I’m super happy about it. It was a pleasure today, the guys did a really great job. Twenty days more to come.”

The Spanish Vuelta remains the only Grand Tour event won by Roglic, who has finished second at the Tour de France and third at the Giro d’Italia. He will be trying to join Spaniard Roberto Heras (2000, 2003-05) as the only rider to win four Vuelta titles. Tony Rominger and Alberto Contador are the only other riders with three Vuelta titles.

The second and third stages will also take place in the Netherlands. The three-week race will feature eight flat stages – two of them with high-altitude finishes – as well as four hilly stages, seven mountain stages and two time trials. Riders will get three rest days.

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.

Ellen van Dijk defends time trial title at cycling worlds

95th UCI Road World Championships 2022 - Women Individual Time Trial
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WOLLONGONG, Australia – Ellen van Dijk defended her title and claimed a third women’s time trial gold medal at the opening event of the world road cycling championships on Sunday.

Taking advantage of a technical course the Dutch star maintained a perfectly paced cadence to beat Australia’s Grace Brown by 12.79 seconds to defend the time trial gold she won last year. Swiss rival Marlen Reusser took bronze.

Local favorite Brown was one of the early staters and set a blistering time around the 34.2 kilometer (21.3 miles) course at the scenic coastal town center of Wollongong, south of Sydney.

No other in the 45-strong field could get close to Brown’s time of 44 minutes 41.33 seconds until the final pair of van Dijk and Reusser, who claimed silver at last year’s world championships in Belgium, both clocked faster at the first time check.

Reusser then faded to finish more than 41 seconds off Brown’s time, but van Dijk powered on to claim her third gold medal in a time of 44:28.60.

Olympic time trial champion and two-time world champion Annemiek van Vleuten finished seventh, more than 90 seconds behind compatriot van Dijk.

Later Sunday, Vuelta a Espana winner Remco Evenepoel from Belgium, Italian two-time defending world champion Filippo Ganna and two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar from Slovenia headline the men’s event.

Other major races are the mixed relay time trial on Wednesday and the women’s road race next Saturday before the men’s race on the closing day Sunday, with local star and Giro d’Italia winner Jai Hindley racing the clock to recover from COVID-19 to take his place in the race.