Primoz Roglic wins Giro d’Italia over Geraint Thomas

Primoz Roglic
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Primoz Roglic expanded his Grand Tour portfolio by winning the Giro d’Italia on Sunday to add to his three Spanish Vuelta titles.

The former ski jumper became the first Slovenian rider to win the Giro and he did it in dramatic fashion, claiming the lead in the penultimate stage — taking the pink jersey from Geraint Thomas in Saturday’s mountain time trial.

It was the direct opposite of what happened in the 2020 Tour de France, when fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar took the lead from Roglic in another penultimate-day mountain time trial.

During the podium celebration, Roglic’s son, Lev, joined him on the stage and seemed more excited than his dad.

“I’m trying to enjoy all the emotions, and everything that happened yesterday,” Roglic said. “At the end, it’s always nice to win, in this spectacular city … all these amazing buildings, it’s super beautiful.”

Riding a pink bike and wearing a pink helmet and pink socks, Roglic took it easy during the mostly ceremonious final stage, an 84-mile leg through the cobblestoned streets of Rome that concluded next to the Roman Forum.

Mark Cavendish, who recently announced that he will retire at the end of this season, won the 21st and final stage in a sprint finish.

Roglic, who rides for the Jumbo-Visma team, finished 14 seconds ahead of Thomas and 1 minute, 15 seconds ahead of Joao Almeida in the overall standings.

It’s the smallest finishing gap between the top riders in the Giro since Eddy Merckx won by 12 seconds ahead of Gianbattista Baronchelli in 1974.

Roglic’s time trial victory on Monte Lussari was his only stage win of the race. He was injured after crashing on a wet and slippery descent in Stage 11, one of several falls he had during the three-week race.

It was Cavendish’s 17th career stage win in the Giro, to go with his 34 victories at the Tour de France and three at the Vuelta — for a total of 54 stage wins at Grand Tours. The British rider started his sprint early enough that he was ahead of a crash in the final straight involving several competitors.

Also, at age 38 Cavendish became the oldest rider to win a Giro stage, beating the record held by Paolo Tiralongo, who was 37 when he won a stage in 2015.

“It was a long hard slog to get here to the end of the Giro but we’ve come close a couple of times before and my boys did incredible,” Cavendish said. “I’m pretty emotional, to be fair.

“My first Grand Tour victory was in 2008 in the Giro, down in Reggio Calabria,” Cavendish added. “To win here in Rome it’s beautiful. That’s a bucket-list win to do, outside the Colosseum.”

Alex Kirsch finished second in the stage and Filippo Fiorelli crossed third.

Cavendish will next attempt to break his tie with Merckx for the most career wins at the Tour.

Roglic has now won all three races he’s entered this year after also finishing first in the Tirreno-Adriatico and the Volta a Catalunya — both week-long races.

Roglic, who excels at climbing, descending and time trialing — won three consecutive Vueltas in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Before he became a professional cyclist, the 33-year-old Roglic was a competitive ski jumper. He won a gold medal in the team jumping event for Slovenia at the 2007 junior Nordic ski world championships. He stopped jumping in 2012 and took up cycling.

The final stage concluded with six loops of an 8.5-mile circuit in the center of Rome, taking the peloton past the Baths of Caracalla, the Colosseum, the Vatican and the Circus Maximus.

The 24-year-old Almeida won the white jersey as the race’s top under-25 rider. Thibaut Pinot won the mountains classification and Jonathan Milan won the points classification.

The Tour de France starts July 1, airing on NBC Sports and Peacock.

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Mark Cavendish to retire from cycling after 2023 season

Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish, who shares the record of 34 Tour de France stage wins with Eddy Merckx, plans to retire from road cycling after this season.

Cavendish, who turned 38 on Sunday, made the announcement on Monday’s rest day at the Giro d’Italia, where he is riding for the Astana Qazaqstan team.

“Though the tough conditions, I’ve absolutely loved racing every kilometer so far, so I feel it’s the perfect opportunity to say with absolutely joy in my heart that this will be my final Giro d’Italia, and 2023 will be my final season as a professional cyclist,” he said, surrounded by his wife and children. “I will always be a cyclist, that’s for sure, but for this final period, I’d like to just enjoy doing what’s made me happy for the last 25 years, and that’s simply to race.”

If Cavendish is, as expected, on Astana’s Tour de France roster for July, he will bid to break his tie with the Belgian legend Merckx for Tour stage victories.

Last year, Cavendish was a Tour de France reserve for his previous team, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, so he didn’t get a chance to break the tie with Merckx.

In 2021, Cavendish returned to the Tour for the first time since 2018 as a last-minute replacement, coming back from an Epstein-Barr virus diagnosis. Surprisingly, he won four sprint stages to tie the career record accumulated by Merckx in the 1960s and ’70s.

Cavendish, who earned his first Tour stage win in 2008, is now older than all but two men to win a stage in Tour history, according to

Cavendish won the points classification in all three Grand Tours and ranks third in stage wins combining the Giro, Tour and Vuelta with 53. Merckx won 64. Italian Mario Cipollini won 57.

Cavendish competed at three Olympics in a different event each time — placing ninth in track’s madison in 2008 with Bradley Wiggins (as the lone British track cyclist not to win a medal), 29th in the road race in 2012 (as a hope to win Great Britain’s first medal of the London Games) and earning silver in track’s omnium in 2016.

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Ellen van Dijk, world time trial champion, announces pregnancy

Ellen van Dijk

Dutchwoman Ellen van Dijk, the two-time reigning world time trial champion in road cycling, is due with her first child in September and plans to return to competition in 2024.

“It has always been our wish to start a family and so to have this wish come true, still feels a bit unreal right now,” van Dijk said, according to her pro cycling team. “Together with the team, and the unwavering support of [partner] Benjamin, I have achieved my biggest goals over the past two years. When discussions around an extension of my contract began last year, we spoke about my seemingly conflicting ambitions: I want to win a medal at the Olympics in 2024, but I would also like to start a family. Straight away, the team was open to both scenarios and that was incredibly heart-warming.”

Last year, van Dijk became the second woman to win a third world title in the time trial after Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo. She won her first gold in 2013, then back-to-back crowns in 2021 and 2022.

At the Olympics, van Dijk’s best finish was fourth in the time trial in 2016, missing a medal by 11 seconds after a crash in a 44-minute race against the clock.

She was not selected for the Tokyo Olympic team. The Netherlands had the maximum two spots in the women’s time trial, which were given to fellow stars Anna van der Breggen and Annemiek van Vleuten. Van der Breggen since retired, and van Vleuten plans to retire after the 2023 season.

Van Dijk turns 37 next February. The last three Olympic women’s time trial champions were all older than that.

“I definitely have unfinished business with the Olympics,” she said. “We have already started to tentatively make a structured plan for my comeback in 2024 and for Paris.”

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