Remco Evenepoel increases Spanish Vuelta lead with time-trial victory

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ALICANTE, Spain — Remco Evenepoel came into the Spanish Vuelta with the goal of winning a stage.

He accomplished that in style and now also sees himself in position to take the general classification title as well.

The Belgian rider from team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl pulled off an impressive time-trial victory in the 10th stage in Alicante, increasing his overall lead.

“It’s super nice to win this time trial in the red jersey,” the 22-year-old Evenepoel said. “It’s an amazing feeling. I think I achieved my dream.”

Evenepoel was 48 seconds faster than second-place Primoz Roglic, taking his general classification lead over the three-time defending champion to 2 minutes, 41 seconds with 11 stages left.

“That’s a big surprise,” Evenepoel said when told of his gap to his rival from team Jumbo-Visma. “Now we’re going to fight and we’re going to try to win this Vuelta. The pressure is off. I won a stage. Now the whole team is super confident. Everybody is performing so well. Now we just have to fight to keep this jersey and take it home.”

Evenepoel is the first rider to beat Roglic in an individual time trial in the Vuelta. He is also the first Belgian to win an individual time trial in the Vuelta since Fons De Wolf in Valladolid in 1979.

Enric Mas, the Spaniard from team Movistar, dropped from second to third in the general classification, sitting more than three minutes off the lead. Fellow Spaniard Carlos Rodriguez was nearly four minutes behind Evenepoel in fourth place.

Riders will face a flat Stage 11 that will favor the sprinters on.

Nearly two dozen riders had to withdraw from the race because of positive coronavirus tests, including Sam Bennett, a two-time stage winner this year.

The rest day came in handy for Astana rider Alexey Lutsenko, who took advantage of the time off to be with his wife for the birth of his son.

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.