Ellen van Dijk defends time trial title at cycling worlds Australia’s Jay Vine wins Tour Down Under France’s Coquard wins Tour Down Under Stage 4; Vine leads
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 took silver at last year’s World Championships in Belgium, showed more 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 lead 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.
ADELAIDE, Australia — Australia’s Jay Vine defended his overnight lead and won the Tour Down Under, the opening event of the 2023 World Tour.
Simon Yates of Britain won the final stage and moved up from third to second overall. Vine placed second on the stage, securing the biggest stage win of his career.
The Emirates rider from the UAE led the Tour overall standings, finishing second in Stage 2 and third in Stage 3. He advanced to the final stage with a 15-second lead in the overall standings.
The 70-mile stage included four laps of a 15.5-mile course through the Adelaide Hills before finishing just behind the top of Mount Lofty.
Yates led the decisive attack on the climb less than 1.9 miles from the finish, but Vine jumped on his wheel and was joined by Australian Ben O’Connor.
O’Connor led close to the finish line, with Vine briefly overtaking him, but Yates took the lead to take the stage victory. Vine maintained his overall lead and took the title in his debut appearance on the Tour Down Under.
The 27-year-old made a name for himself in esports before being signed by the UAE team after winning an academic program on online platform Zwift. Last year he won two stages of the Vuelta a España and the Australian time trial title.
“It’s incredible to stand here and wear this jersey,” Vine said. “The way we drove was first class. My guys were incredible.”
13 riders pulled away in the final stage, but Vine’s teammates from the UAE led the peloton chase and gave their rider the opportunity to contest the win.
Yates again ran an aggressive race but had to be pleased with the stage win.
“We came to Down Under with big ambitions. We put a lot into it and it didn’t work out for us overall, but we can walk away very happy,” Yates said. “Obviously Jay Vine is a huge talent and the public will be happy to have a local winner.”
ADELAIDE, Australia — French cyclist Brian Cockade won stage 4 of the Tour Down Under, his first World Tour victory, while Australian Jay Vine retained the overall lead by 15 seconds with a stage to spare.
Cockarde is a lightweight sprinter with 49 victories in his ten-year career but never won a World Tour until he crashed closer to the finish line and cleared the 82-mile stage with a margin of just over 100 feet.
Vine was among the leading group to share Coquard’s win time and maintain their overall lead over Britain’s Simon Yates and Germany’s Phil Bauhaus. The race culminates in Stage 5, which ends at the top of 2,329-foot Lofty Mountain.
“I have been waiting for this victory for a long time, 10 years,” said Kokar, who plays for the French team Cofidis. “I never expected and I am very happy and delighted with this victory.”
Although the stage was flat and suitable for sprinters, it had its own problems. Crosswinds and occasional inclines made the stage difficult and confusing for some riders.
After an early break from Jonas Ruch and former tour winner Daryl Impey of South Africa, the peloton split into two groups, with Vine and the other tour leaders entering the lead group.
The lead group stayed together through the last tight turn to the finish line, and Cockarde waited until his late sprint left the other riders by surprise.
“It was pretty stressful,” Vine said. “There was one moment, I thought we were going to have an easy day, and I was happy, smiling, waving to the families on the side of the road.
“Then it was 45 kilometers and it went on until the end, so it was a very hard day. A lot more calories were burned than I planned.”