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VN race ticker: Sagan outsprints Bernal at Giro crit; Bäckstedt, Kamp wins junior and U23 European CX titles

Here's a wrap from the races you need to know about for Saturday, November 6.

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Peter Sagan outsprints Egan Bernal at Giro d’Italia critérium

Peter Sagan outkicked Egan Bernal to win the inaugural Giro d’Italia critérium, set in central Dubai.

Sagan, wearing the ciclamino jersey of reigning Giro points champion, beat the 2021 “maglia rosa” after 30 laps of a 2-kilometer circuit through the city streets.

This first-ever Giro d’Italia crit had been organized by RCS Sports in collaboration with the Dubai Sports Council and Expo 2020 Dubai. Like the traditional post-Tour de France exhibition races, Saturday’s critérium was a largely processional affair as riders from the 30-something-strong bunch took turns to hit off the front before coming back to the group.

The event attracted a number of top Italian and Giro stars, including Elia Viviani, Fabio Aru, Filippo Ganna, and Geoffrey Bouchard, the winner of the mountains classification at this spring’s race.

Officials had explained that the critérium was a part of the region’s bid to promote cycling alongside races like the UAE Tour. Several riders from UAE Team Emirates were also present.

“We are pleased to work alongside our long-time partners RCS to bring this event to our cycling fans, and to promote the many benefits of cycling as a sport and a recreation activity,” Saeed Hareb, secretary general of Dubai Sports Council had said last week.

“Cycling has grown rapidly in Dubai and the UAE over the years, since we started with the Dubai Tour in 2014, and now the UAE Tour, and I am confident events like this will give a further boost to the popularity of this sport here.”

Zoe Bäckstedt dominates junior European cyclocross championships

Zoe Bäckstedt added the jersey of junior European cyclocross champion to her road race rainbow jersey Saturday.

Bäckstedt, 17, blasted away from the group and opened a sizable gap on the very first lap of the race and was never to be seen again. The British rider finished more than one minute ahead of lone chaser Leonie Bentveld (Netherlands), who placed second. Nienke Vinke made it a Dutch two-three, a further 20 seconds back.

The victory continues a standout season for Bäckstedt, who is daughter of the former Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus, and Megan, who competed for Wales at the Commonwealth Games.

The multi-discipline powerhouse outsprinted American rider Kaia Schmid for the road race title this September and came a close second in the worlds TT. She has also won two other ‘crosses this autumn.

“I really liked the circuit. It is technical but not too much and it is punchy like in the road worlds,” she said after the race.

“This European Championship was not really an objective but it gives confidence for the rest of the season and for the World Cup. I am really happy to have achieved this victory.”

The race was the first of a weekend of championship action set on the iconic VAM-berg, a short, steep climb south of Assen in the Netherlands.

Ryan Kamp sprints to U23 European cyclocross title

Ryan Kamp scored a home win for the Dutch at the U23 European cyclocross championships.

Kamp, 21, topped Belgian pair Niels Vandeputte and Thibau Nys after a thrilling finale to Saturday’s race.

The trio had pushed away from a group of 12 that had been locked together for much of the race. Kamp squeezed the pace to make the selection on the final lap and then clung on while under pressure from his two Belgian rivals. The Dutchman was distanced on the VAM-berg and looked in trouble, but came from behind in the final 400 meters and secured the sprint to defend his 2020 title.

Kamp has had a strong start to the CX season, landing in the top-10 of the elite field at the Iowa and Waterloo World Cups and placing 10th at the Overijse round last weekend.

2020 CX world champion Pim Ronhaar finished 10th.