Roglic falls near Vuelta finish but gains time on Evenepoel

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TOMARES, Spain — Primoz Roglic crashed with the finish line in sight in the Spanish Vuelta but still gained ground on Remco Evenepoel after the overall leader had a puncture a few kilometers from the end.

Neither rider lost time because of their mishaps as they benefitted from a 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) protection zone at the end of the stage.

Roglic was bleeding from his right shoulder, arm, and leg as he crossed the line in Stage 16. The three-time defending champion was going for the victory but went down hard with 75 meters to go while trying to catch up to the leading breakaway group of four riders.

Mads Pedersen won the stage for his second victory with team Trek-Segafredo in this year’s Vuelta. He prevailed over Pascal Ackermann and Danny van Poppel.

“Everyone was really on the limit,” Pedersen said. “It’s a pity that (Roglic) crashed, he hasn’t been lucky this year. I hope he’s not too bad, so he can keep contending for the victory.”

Roglic, seeking an unprecedented fourth straight Vuelta title with team Jumbo-Visma, had his preparation for the final Grand Tour race of the season hindered by a crash at the Tour de France.

The Slovenian would have been at least fifth in the stage. He ended finishing 35th but was given the time of the leading group.

Evenepoel also didn’t lose time because of his puncture in the final kilometers, losing only eight seconds to Roglic, who now is 1 minute, 26 seconds back entering the decisive final stages. Enric Mas is more than two minutes behind Evenepoel in third place.

“I wanted to move up on the steep bump but my rear wheel just went off,” said Evenepoel, the Belgian rider from team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl. “I’m happy that the 3-kilometer rule exists, otherwise I would have lost a lot of time today.”

It is the 11th consecutive stage Evenepoel has held the leader’s red jersey, the longest run since Roglic took his first Vuelta win in 2019.

“I expected him to attack,” Evenepoel said of Roglic. “We all know that Primoz is really explosive so a finale like this is really made for him. That makes it even more a pity that he crashed. You never want anybody to crash.”

Riders were coming off a rest day. In Stage 17, they will face another difficult test with an unprecedented summit finish at Monasterio de Tentudia.

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.