Evenepoel safely in Vuelta lead after Roglic withdraws

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ARACENA, Spain — Remco Evenepoel safely kept his Spanish Vuelta lead after three-time defending champion Primoz Roglic withdrew ahead of Stage 17 because of injuries.

Rigoberto Uran, the 35-year-old Colombian from team EF Education-EasyPost, prevailed on the final climb to win the stage and complete his treble of Grand Tour victories after previous stage triumphs in the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.

“I had been chasing it for many years,” Uran said. “When you already have victories in the Giro and in the Tour, and now in La Vuelta, as a rider for three-week events, it gives me a lot of happiness. Today is a very special day for me.”

He crossed the line two seconds ahead of Quentin Pacher and Jesus Herrada. Marc Soler was 15 seconds back in fourth place.

Roglic didn’t start after not recovering from his injuries sustained in a crash 75 meters (82 yards) from the finish line while going for the victory in Stage 16. The Slovenian from team Jumbo-Visma was seeking an unprecedented fourth straight Vuelta title.

Evenepoel finished in the group of riders who crossed the line five minutes behind Uran. The Belgian cyclist from team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl maintained a lead of more than two minutes over Enric Mas of team Movistar. Juan Ayuso was nearly five minutes back in third place.

“I think the race is as hard to control as it was with Primoz,” Evenepoel said. “But of course, on a finish like this, Primoz is a really explosive guy. I think now there is less danger from attacks like this because Enric is a bit less explosive than Primoz. I think that’s the main difference but that doesn’t make it easier, not at all.”

Roglic was 1 minute, 26 seconds behind Evenepoel before withdrawing.

“I think Enric tried to see how my legs were today but I could respond very well,” Evenepoel said. “The team brought me in a good position to the final climb. The speed was really high. It wasn’t an easy finish at all.”

Riders will face a mountain stage with three major ascents on the way to another unprecedented summit finish at the Alto de Piornal.

The three-week race finishes in Madrid.

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.