BREDA, the Netherlands. Sam Bennett hasn’t won a Grand Tour in two years. Now he has won two in a row.
The Bora-Hansgrohe driver took the win in another sprint finish on stage 3 of the Spanish Vuelta and Edoardo Affini took the leader’s red jersey to keep his Jumbo-Visma team and help Primoz Roglic defend his title.
Affini is the third consecutive driver from the Dutch team to lead the overall standings at the start of the Vuelta in the Netherlands.
“It all started with a time trial win and it’s amazing to be able to share those moments in our team’s country,” Affini said. “I think it was even more special for our Dutch guys, but also for me. Being the leader of the overall standings here is a truly amazing feeling. It’s crazy to be a leader.”
The top six riders in the general classification belong to Jumbo-Visma. Sam Oomen was walking behind Affini, with Roglic right behind him.
This was the last leg before the Vuelta returned to Spain after starting in the Netherlands.
Michael Woods, a two-time Vuelta stage winner and one of this year’s title contenders, was forced to withdraw from the race after an accident. Richard Carapaz also crashed but was able to continue.
Bennett has not won a Grand Tour stage since the 2020 Vuelta before snapping his winless streak in Utrecht.
“It’s really nice that this is happening two days in a row,” said Bennett, who currently has 10 Grand Tour wins, five of which are at the Vuelta.
After a 193 km (120 mile) lap around Breda, Bennett dominated the final meters and took the win ahead of Mads Pedersen and Dan Maclay. Pedersen also finished second.
“It was pretty tough because I think a lot of people were fighting for our wheel,” Bennett said. “People started coming up from inside and pushing me. It was a pretty tough fight. A big thank you to the guys, they worked all day, looked after me the whole stage.”
Roglic, looking to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive Vuelta title, finished comfortably in the peloton and remained in the lead. Robert Gesink and Mike Theunissen also wore the red jersey of Team Jumbo-Visma.
The riders will get their first rest day before the resumption of the race in the Basque Country in northern Spain.
WOLLONGONG, Australia. Søren Warenskiöld repeated the success of the Norwegians who won the gold medal at the Road Cycling World Championships the day after Tobias Voss finished first in the elite men’s time trial.
Warenskiöld won the men’s under-23 time trial on the second day of the championship with a dominant result. He showed 34 minutes 13.40 seconds over a distance of 28.8 km, ahead of the Belgian Alec Segart by 16.34 seconds.
British rider Leo Hayter, younger brother of elite rider Ethan Hayter, was 24.16 seconds behind the racer’s pace to take the bronze medal.
Foss beat the strong field to win the elite time trial, the biggest win of his career.
Norway has two gold medals and Dutch Ellen van Dijk beat Australia’s Grace Brown to win the Women’s Elite Time Trial.
The mixed relay is scheduled for Wednesday. The championship ends at the weekend with women’s road races on Saturday and men’s road races on Sunday.
WOLLONGONG, Australia. Ellen van Dijk defended her title and took her third gold medal in the women’s time trial at the opening of the Road Cycling World Championships on Sunday.
Taking advantage of the technical track, the Dutch star maintained a perfect pace to pass Australia’s Grace Brown by 12.79 seconds to defend gold in the time trial she won last year. Bronze went to Swiss Marlene Reusser.
Local favorite Brown was an early starter and had a brilliant time on the 34.2 km (21.3 miles) circuit in the picturesque waterfront city center of Wollongong, south of Sydney.
No one on the 45-man team could come close to Brown’s time of 44m41.33s until the last pairing of van Dijk and Reusser, who won silver at last year’s World Championships in Belgium, had better results on the first check.
Reusser then beat Brown’s time by over 41 seconds, but van Dijk earned her third gold medal with 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 on Sunday, Vuelta a España winner Remco Evenepoel of Belgium, two-time world champion Filippo Ganna of Italy and two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia will headline the men’s event.
Other big races are the mixed time trial relay on Wednesday and the women’s road race next Saturday before the men’s race on Sunday’s closing day, where local star and Giro d’Italia winner Jai Hindley races against the clock to recover from COVID-19 to take his place in the race.