Giro d’Italia to start on former railway line in Abruzzo Australia’s Jay Vine wins Tour Down Under France’s Coquard wins Tour Down Under Stage 4; Vine leads

L’AQUILA, Italy. The 2023 Giro d’Italia will kick off with an individual time trial on a coastal bike path recreated on the site of a former railway line in the Abruzzo area.

At a ceremony in the Abruzzo capital L’Aquile, race organizers announced that the Grand Tour would run from 6 to 28 May, starting with a 18.4 km (11.4 mi) time trial on the Adriatic coast.

Almost the entire time trial will take place on the scenic Costa dei Traboci bike path that circles the coastline before a short climb to the finish line in Ortona.

“I am excited about the idea of ​​the Grande Partenza (Great Start) Giro in Abruzzo. It’s a dream come true, especially with regards to the prologue on the Costa dei Trabocci,” said Trek-Segafredo cyclist Dario Cataldo from the region.

“I remember well that when the cycle track project was born and I saw the first tracks, I imagined the beauty of the Giro d’Italia passing along the route. It looked perfect.”

Stage 2 is a 204 km (127 mile) stage from Teramo to San Salvo that was hilly in the first part but is expected to finish with a fast sprint.

Stage 3 will also start in the Abruzzo region, in Vasto, but will then head south and be detailed when the full route is revealed in Milan on 17 October.

The Giro will also return to the region for Stage 7, a challenging climb up the Gran Sasso d’Italia to Campo Imperatore. The high-altitude stage on May 12 will be the first finish at an altitude of more than 2000 meters.

Australian Jai Hindley won the Giro this year.

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 with second place 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 victory.

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 win, while Australian Jay Vine held onto 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.”


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