Team Israel Start-up Nation rider Dan Martin on Wednesday made a solo break to win the 17th stage of the Giro d’Italia, with Team Ineos Grenadiers rider Egan Bernal struggling in the mountains, but holding onto the leader’s pink jersey.
Martin, 34, resisted his rivals superbly on the final climb — more than 11.2km with an average gradient of 9.8 percent — to snatch his first Giro success, which completed his collection after stage wins on the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana.
Martin crossed the finish line alone, 13 seconds ahead of Team Deceuninck–Quick-Step rider Joao Almeida, with Team BikeExchange rider Simon Yates in third, 30 seconds behind the leader.
“I have no words to describe this success,” Martin said, after the 193km ride between Canazei and a summit finish at Sega di Ala in the north of Italy.
“I came to the Giro to do well in the GC [general classification] and try to win a stage. Today, I wanted to go on the attack and enter in the breakaway,” Martin said. “I didn’t think the peloton would let me go on the attack, but my team did a great job to help me. I have to thank them. I needed a climb like this and the sun to do well.”
Bernal appeared vulnerable for the first time since the race got underway in Turin. He lost time in the final climb, but he still holds the lead with the race finishing in Milan on Sunday.
Bernal lost nearly a minute to Yates, but held almost all of his lead on Team Bahrain Victorious rider Damiano Caruso, overall second at 2 minutes, 21 seconds.
Yates moved up from fifth to third place, at 3 minutes, 23 seconds.
“Today was not my best day, but I didn’t lose much time, just a few seconds from Caruso,” 2019 Tour de France winner Bernal said. “In the end, it’s another day out, now let’s think about tomorrow.”
“Yates went very fast. He rode an impressive climb,” Bernal said. “I tried to follow him and maybe I was wrong to follow him immediately. This Giro ends in Milan. Every day you can lose or gain a lot of time — I have to stay focused.”
As the sun returned after days of rain and freezing conditions, Team EF Education–Nippo rider Hugh Carthy, Team Astana–Premier Tech rider Aleksandr Vlasov and Team DSM rider Romain Bardet were edged out by their podium rivals, with the trio now more than six minutes behind Bernal in the standings.
After Tuesday’s rest day, the race had an animated start and was played out in the final climb with Yates’ Team BikeExchange pursuing a breakaway of 19 riders.
Among a small group of riders, Martin started the climb with a lead of 1 minute, 15 seconds.
The rider’s career wins were two “monuments”: the Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2013 and the Tour de Lombardy the following year.
Team Deceuninck–Quick-Step rider Remco Evenepoel, making his comeback nine months after a serious crash, again took a tumble.
Evenepoel went over the security barrier in a mass fall on the descent down the San Valentino Pass that involved six other riders, including Team Trek–Segafredo rider Giulio Ciccone.
After several minutes, the 21-year-old managed to get back on his bike and head toward the finish line 28km away at Sega di Ala.
Evenepoel fractured his pelvis after hitting a bridge wall and plunging into a ravine during the Tour of Lombardy in Italy in August last year.
Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying on Saturday crashed out of the BWF All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham, with South Korea’s Se Young-an denying the world No. 3 Tai a chance at a fourth All England title. In a replay of their semi-final showdown last year, the world No. 2 Se again beat Tai, saving four match points in a thrilling deciding game to prevail 17-21, 21-19, 24-22. Tai won the women’s singles title in Birmingham in 2017, 2018 and 2020. In the three times the two superstars faced each other prior to Saturday, Tai, 22, had only come out on top once, when
California-born Lars Nootbaar had never played for Japan before the World Baseball Classic, but he has become so popular in his adopted country that sales of pepper mills have shot up in tribute to his trademark celebration. The 25-year-old outfielder — the first player born outside Japan to represent the country at the tournament — mimics twisting a pepper mill after each hit to show he wants to “grind out” a win for his team. The celebration has become a smash hit during Japan’s games in Tokyo, with Nootbaar’s teammates jumping on the bandwagon and fans bringing pepper grinders to the stadium. Nootbaar
LAST ONE STANDING: The world No. 3 was the only Taiwanese left in the tournament, while there were upsets in the men’s singles and the women’s doubles Taiwanese badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying on Thursday defeated Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-19, 21-12 to reach the quarter-finals of the BWF All England Open in Birmingham. Tai, the world No. 3, needed only 40 minutes to close out the round-of-16 matchup at the Utilita Arena. In the opening game, the Taiwanese shuttler established an early 10-5 cushion, before an aggressive Ongbamrungphan fought her way back into the tie, winning nine straight points to take a 10-14 lead. The pair traded the lead to bring the scores to 18-19, but Tai held her nerve to close out the first game. After a 2-2 tie early in
When Taiwan lost to Cuba 7-1 at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) on Sunday, it was an opportunity missed. A win would have sent the team to the quarter-finals in Tokyo. Instead, the loss gave Taiwan a 2-2 record, the same as the other four teams in Pool A, but they finished last because of tiebreakers. So, was the team’s performance a success or a failure? The 2-2 record would suggest somewhere in between, but two baseball experts, National Taiwan Sport University (NTSU) associate professor Kung Jung-tang and veteran commentator Tseng Wen-cheng, gave Taiwan’s WBC performance a resounding thumbs-up. “The team’s offensive showing was