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Nairo Quintana wins Tirreno-Adriatico for second time in three years

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SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO, Italy — Nairo Quintana won the Tirreno-Adriatico race for a second time in three years on Tuesday, while Rohan Dennis was fastest on the final stage, an individual time trial around San Benedetto del Tronto.

Quintana had started the day with a 50-second advantage over Thibaut Pinot and the Colombian rider’s 45th place finish, 41 seconds behind Dennis was enough to secure the overall victory.

“The Tirreno-Adriatico is a race I like very much,” said Quintana, who won it in 2015. “I’m happy to win it for the second time, and repay my team for the efforts they did for me.

“It was a fast time trial today. I was never worried because the seconds were in my advantage before the start.”

Dennis was three seconds faster than Jos van Emden on the 10-kilometer (6-mile) course to move into second place overall, 25 seconds behind Quintana.

“It’s been a great week for BMC as we started with a team time trial victory and we finish with an individual time trial victory,” said Dennis, who is Australia’s national time trial champion. “We’ve had some ups and downs but overall it’s very good.

“It was a tough course today with the headwind but I managed to keep some strength for the second half of the race.”

Pinot ended up third overall, 36 seconds behind Quintana.

Michael Hepburn of Australia was third on the day, just behind Van Emden.

Jungels wins Stage 15 of Giro; Dumoulin keeps pink jersey

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BERGAMO, Italy — Bob Jungels took a sprint ahead of several overall favorites to win the crash-filled 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday, while Tom Dumoulin had six seconds shaved off his overall lead in the final leg before the high mountains.

Jungels, of Luxembourg with the Quick Step team, surged past Nairo Quintana and Thibaut Pinot at the end of the 199-kilometer (124-mile) route from Valdengo to Bergamo, which contained two categorized climbs shortly before the finish and a shorter climb up cobblestones in Bergamo’s old city.

“It’s never easy to plan an attack like mine today in a stage like this,” Jungels said. “It was more of a classic than a Grand Tour stage. It’s what I needed to win a stage.”

Dumoulin’s lead was cut to 2:41 ahead of Quintana, with Pinot 3:21 back in third.

Not looking to take any unnecessary risks, Dumoulin rode more cautiously through the final kilometers and dropped slightly behind.

Quintana fell while negotiating a corner on a downhill stretch and had to change bikes.

Dumoulin ordered his teammates at the front to slow down and let Quintana catch up.

Tanel Kangert of Astana and Kenny Elissonde of Sky were involved in more serious crashes.

“I didn’t want to take time on Quintana when he crashed because it wasn’t the right way to do it,” Dumoulin said. “Sometimes the race goes on but this was a good moment to wait for him. My legs felt good today but I’m always looking forward to a rest day.”

Jungels wore the overall leader’s pink jersey for four days in the opening week and leads the best young rider classification. It was his first Grand Tour victory.

After the final rest day Monday, Stage 16 on Tuesday is considered the race’s toughest: a lengthy 222-kilometer (138-mile) leg from Rovetta to Bormio that features three strenuous climbs, including the legendary Mortirolo and Stelvio passes.

The 100th Giro concludes with an individual time trial in Milan next Sunday.

Huffman wins stage, Bennett overall at Tour of California

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PASADENA, Calif. (AP) Evan Huffman emerged from the breakaway for the second time this week to win the final stage of the Tour of California, and George Bennett finished safely in the chasing group to win the overall race.

Huffman and Rally Cycling teammate Rob Britton were the main agitators on the fourth stage to Santa Clarita, when they swept the top two spots on the podium. They were at it again Saturday as part of a five-man breakaway that survived to the finish in Pasadena.

Huffman was followed by David Lopez Garcia, Nicolas Edet, Lachlan Morton and Britton, while the chasing group that included all the overall contenders finished 22 seconds behind.

That allowed Bennett to hold off Rafal Majka and Andrew Talansky for the yellow jersey.