Cycling: Boardman's second title

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The Independent Online
CHRIS Boardman wrapped up his second world title in eight days on the eve of his 26th birthday, writes Robin Nicholl from Catania, Italy. It was no gift, however, in the searing heat of a town that has been wiped out several times by the activities of Mount Etna.

Boardman, already world 4,000 metres pursuit champion, became the first to hold the new world individual time-trial title when he beat the home challenge of Andrea Chiurato by 48sec.

Temperatures reaching 42C sapped many on the 42- kilometre run that took the riders on a twisting route through the town's streets and along the coast road where the rider ahead could not be seen because of a strong heat-haze.

'The heat was incredible,' Boardman said after setting a pace of 50kph (almost 32mph) to clock 49min 34.5sec. 'I rode the first half carefully. After that, it was just a question of counting off the kilometres to the finish.'

Graeme Obree's unhappy championships continued. After his disqualification at in Palermo, he was taken ill in yesterday's heat. He finished 30th, 5min 20sec behind Boardman, but was given the all-clear after a medical check.