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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Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024
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The 2024 Olympic marathon route will take runners from Paris to Versailles and back.

The route announcement was made on the 233rd anniversary of one of the early, significant events of the French Revolution: the Women’s March on Versailles — “to pay tribute to the thousands of women who started their march at city hall to Versailles to take up their grievances to the king and ask for bread,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said.

Last December, organizers announced the marathons will start at Hôtel de Ville (city hall, opposite Notre-Dame off the Seine River) and end at Les Invalides, a complex of museums and monuments one mile southeast of the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, the rest of the route was unveiled — traversing the banks of the Seine west to the Palace of Versailles and then back east, passing the Eiffel Tower before the finish.

The men’s and women’s marathons will be on the last two days of the Games at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). It will be the first time that the women’s marathon is held on the last day of the Games after the men’s marathon traditionally occupied that slot.

A mass public marathon will also be held on the Olympic marathon route. The date has not been announced.

The full list of highlights among the marathon course:

• Hôtel de ville de Paris (start)
• Bourse de commerce
• Palais Brongniart
• Opéra Garnier
• Place Vendôme
• Jardin des Tuileries
• The Louvre
• Place de la Concorde
• The bridges of Paris
(Pont de l’Alma; Alexandre III;
Iéna; and more)
• Grand Palais
• Palais de Tokyo
• Jardins du Trocadéro
• Maison de la Radio
• Manufacture et Musées
nationaux de Sèvres
• Forêt domaniale
des Fausses-Reposes
• Monuments Pershing –
Lafayette
• Château de Versailles
• Forêt domaniale de Meudon
• Parc André Citroën
• Eiffel Tower
• Musée Rodin
• Esplanade des Invalides (finish)

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International Boxing Association lifts ban on Russia, Belarus

Boxing gloves
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The International Boxing Association (IBA) lifted its ban on amateur boxers from Russia and Belarus over the war in Ukraine that had been in place since early March.

“The IBA strongly believes that politics shouldn’t have any influence on sports,” the federation said in a press release. “Hence, all athletes should be given equal conditions.”

Most international sports federations banned athletes from Russia and Belarus indefinitely seven months ago, acting after an IOC recommendation. It is believed that the IBA is the first international federation in an Olympic sport to lift its ban.

The IOC has not officially changed its recommendation from last winter to exclude Russia and Belarus athletes “to protect the integrity of the events and the safety of the other participants.”

Last week, IOC President Thomas Bach said in an interview with an Italian newspaper that Russian athletes who do not endorse their country’s war in Ukraine could at some point be accepted back into international sports, competing under a neutral flag.

IBA, in lifting its ban, will also allow Russia and Belarus flags and national anthems.

“The time has now come to allow all the rest of the athletes of Russia and Belarus to participate in all the official competitions of their sports representing their countries,” IBA President Umar Kremlev, a Russian, said in a press release last week. “Both the IOC and the International Federations must protect all athletes, and there should be no discrimination based on nationality. It is the duty of all of us to keep sports and athletes away from politics.”

In 2019, the IOC stripped the IBA — then known as AIBA — of its Olympic recognition following an inquiry committee report into finance, governance, refereeing and judging. The IOC ran the Tokyo Olympic boxing competition.

The IBA will not run qualifying events for the 2024 Paris Games, but it does still hold world championships, the next being a men’s event in Uzbekistan next year.

Boxing, introduced on the Olympic program in 1904, was not included on the initial program for the 2028 Los Angeles Games but can still be added. The IBA must address concerns “around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes,” Bach said last December.

On Sept. 23, the IBA suspended Ukraine’s boxing federation, citing “government interference.” Ukraine boxers are still allowed to compete with their flag and anthem.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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