Van Dijk, Foss win road cycling worlds time trials; American OK after crash over barrier

Ellen van Dijk
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WOLLONGONG, Australia — Ellen van Dijk defended her title and claimed a third time trial gold medal at the opening event of the world road cycling championships on Sunday.

Taking advantage of a technical course at the coastal town of Wollongong, south of Sydney, van Dijk 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.

In the men’s event, unheralded Norwegian Tobias Foss had a shock win for his maiden world title.

In the women’s event, Brown was one of the early starters and set a blistering time of 44 minutes, 41.33 seconds around the 21.3-mile course, which none of the other 45-stong field could get close to until the final pair of van Dijk and Reusser 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 over the two-lap circuit.

“It was the perfect course for me. (But) I never thought I would win today, actually,” said the 35-year-old who won her first gold in 2013. “I had no idea how I was riding … I paced my effort really well.

“It was nice to see Reusser a little bit ahead of me near the end, so I knew it wasn’t a bad day for sure. But I was so surprised at the finish.”

The U.S. has gone three consecutive years without a women’s time trial medalist for the first time since 2002-04.

Leah Thomas, the lone U.S. Olympian between the men’s and women’s races, and Kristen Faulkner were fifth and sixth, respectively.

Chloé Dygert, the top American road cyclist, missed worlds after last month undergoing a third left leg surgery as a result of her horrific September 2020 World Championships time trial crash.

Olympic time trial champion and two-time world champion Annemiek van Vleuten finished seventh, more than 90 seconds behind compatriot van Dijk. Van Vleuten, 39, said in June that she plans to retire after the 2023 season.

Foss clocked 40:02.95 over the same course for the biggest win of his professional career and capped a remarkable upset at the end of the opening day of the world road championships.

Most expected a gold medal showdown between Italy’s two-time defending world champion Filippo Ganna and rising star Remco Evenepoel, who last week became the first Belgian in 44 years to win a Grand Tour when he took the Vuelta a Espana.

But Evenepoel could only manage bronze, 9.16 seconds off the pace, while Swiss Stefan Kung took second at 2.95 behind Foss, who could be seen shaking his head in apparent disbelief as the more fancied rivals failed to better his time.

Ganna finished seventh, 55.32 seconds behind Foss, with Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, the two-time Tour de France champion, in sixth.

Magnus Sheffield, a 20-year-old American, was in fourth place at the last intermediate split, about 15 miles into the 21-mile course. He then crashed over a barrier and got back up to finish 17th.

“I just got a bit too greedy through one of the corners, but I think I left it all out there,” Sheffield said, according to SBS in Australia.

British rider Ethan Hayter held the lead at the first checkpoint, but he had to swap bikes when he dropped his chain and finished fourth at 39.95 seconds.

Foss’ only previous professional victories were two Norwegian time trial championships and the national road race title, but he showed his emerging potential by winning the 2019 Tour de l’Avenir.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships TV, live stream schedule

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Every race of the world Alpine skiing championships airs live on Peacock from Feb. 6-19.

France hosts the biennial worlds in Meribel and Courchevel — six women’s races, six men’s races and one mixed-gender team event.

Mikaela Shiffrin is the headliner, in the midst of her most successful season in four years with a tour-leading 11 World Cup wins in 23 starts. Shiffrin is up to 85 career World Cup victories, one shy of Ingemar Stenmark‘s record accumulated over the 1970s and ’80s.

World championships races do not count in the World Cup tally.

Shiffrin is expected to race at least four times at worlds, starting with Monday’s combined. She earned a medal in 11 of her 13 career world championships races, including each of the last 10 dating to 2015.

Shiffrin won at least one race at each of the last five world championships (nobody has gold from six different worlds). Her six total golds and 11 total medals are American records. At this edition, she can become the most decorated skier in modern world championships history from any nation.

She enters one medal shy of the record for most individual world championships medals since World War II (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt) and four medals shy of the all-time record. (Worlds were held annually in the 1930s, albeit with fewer races.)

She is also one gold medal shy of the post-World War II individual record shared by Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson.

The other favorites at these worlds include Italian Sofia Goggia, the world’s top female downhiller this season, and the two leading men: Swiss Marco Odermatt (No. 1 in super-G and giant slalom) and Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (No. 1 in downhill).

2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships Broadcast Schedule

Date Event Time (ET) Platform
Mon., Feb. 6 Women’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Tues., Feb. 7 Men’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 8 Women’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 9 Men’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 11 Women’s Downhill 5 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 12 Men’s Downhill 5 a.m Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Tue., Feb. 14 Team Parallel 6:15 a.m. Peacock
Men’s/Women’s Parallel Qualifying 11 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 15 Men’s/Women’s Parallel 6 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 16 Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Fri., Feb. 17 Men’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 18 Women’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 19 Men’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock

*Delayed broadcast
*All NBC coverage streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for TV subscribers.

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