Froome exits Vuelta with broken foot following stage 11 crash

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MADRID (AFP) — Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Sky) has become the latest high-profile casualty in the Vuelta a Espana after withdrawing before the start of Thursday’s 12th stage due to a broken bone in his foot.

“Scans this morning confirm fractured navicular. End of the Vuelta for me,” Froome posted on his Twitter account.

Froome’s hopes of becoming just the third man to win the Tour and the Vuelta in the same year were realistically ended on Wednesday as he injured his foot while crashing on the mountainous 138-kilometer ride through Andorra, and fell over seven minutes behind general classification leader Fabio Aru (Astana).

The 30-year-old was hoping to emulate Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil (1963) and Bernard Hinault (1978) by completing the Tour-Vuelta double and was very much in contention before Wednesday’s stage, dubbed as one the hardest in the Vuelta’s 80-year history with four category 1 climbs and a special category climb on the route.

Froome got off to the worst possible start though, as a crash early in the day left him needing crutches to walk at the end of the stage.

“Knocked sideways into a barrier and stone wall today. Further scans in the morning but start unlikely as I can’t walk without crutches,” he posted on Twitter on Wednesday.

“Really appreciate all the messages of support, I did my best to hang in there today as best I could with the hope of continuing.”

Froome’s withdrawal is the latest blow for the race organizers in a race that has been mired by dangerous crashes and controversy.

The team time trial on the first stage didn’t count toward the overall classification as it was deemed too dangerous.

Italian Vincenzo Nibali, one of just six men to have won all three grand tours, was then disqualified on the second stage for being towed by his Astana team car.

Belgian rider Kris Boeckmans (Lotto-Soudal) remains in an induced coma after a serious crash on the eighth stage, which also forced general classification contenders Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) to retire.

On the same day, stage 3 winner Peter Sagan was run over by an auxiliary motorcycle, forcing him to withdraw and bringing a stinging response from his Tinkoff-Saxo team.

Tinkoff was further incensed when another one of its riders, Sergio Paulinho, was also forced to retire after being hit by a TV motorcycle Wednesday.

Oleg Tinkoff, the Russian entrepreneur who owns the team, has even threatened to withdraw from the race in protest at the safety provided to riders by the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) which runs the event.

“I’m considering now to take the team off the #Vuelta2015 . Boycott #ASO for this. They pay us NO money for the race and even damage riders,” he posted on Twitter.
Read more at http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/09/news/road/froome-exits-vuelta-with-broken-foot-following-stage-11-crash_383618#Lri8VQgUQ2DyPHym.99

Davide Rebellin dies after hit by truck while training

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MILAN — Italian cyclist Davide Rebellin, one of the sport’s longest-serving professionals, died after being struck by a truck while training. He was 51.

Rebellin was riding near the town of Montebello Vicentino in northern Italy when he was hit by a truck near a motorway junction. The vehicle did not stop, although Italian media reported that the driver may have been unaware of the collision.

Local police are working to reconstruct the incident and find the driver.

Rebellin had only retired from professional cycling last month, bringing to an end a career that had spanned 30 years. He last competed for Work Service-Vitalcare-Dynatek and the UCI Continental team posted a tribute on its social media accounts.

“Dear Davide, keep pedaling, with the same smile, the same enthusiasm and the same passion as always,” the Italian team said. “This is not how we imagined the future together and it is not fair to have to surrender so suddenly to your tragic absence.”

“To your family, your loved ones, your friends and all the enthusiasts who, like us, are crying for you right now, we just want to say that we imagine you on a bicycle, looking for new roads, new climbs and new challenges even up there, in the sky.”

Rebellin’s successes included victories at Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico as well as winning a stage in the 1996 edition of the Giro d’Italia, which he also led for six stages.

Rebellin won silver in the road race at the 2008 Olympic Games, but he was later stripped of his medal and banned for two years after a positive doping test. He had denied wrongdoing.

CAS upholds Nairo Quintana DQ from Tour de France for opioid use

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The disqualification of two-time Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana from his sixth place in the 2022 race for misuse of an opioid was confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

CAS said its judges dismissed Quintana’s appeal and agreed with the International Cycling Union that the case was a medical matter rather than a doping rules violation. He will not be banned.

The court said the judges ruled “the UCI’s in-competition ban on tramadol was for medical rather than doping reasons and was therefore within the UCI’s power and jurisdiction.”

Traces of the synthetic painkiller tramadol were found in two dried blood spot samples taken from the Colombian racer five days apart in July, the UCI previously said.

Quintana’s case is among the first to rely on the dried blood spot (DBS) method of collecting samples which the World Anti-Doping Agency approved last year.

Tramadol was banned in 2019 from use at cycling races because of potential side effects. They include the risk of addiction, dizziness, drowsiness and loss of attention.

Quintana finished second in the Tour de France in 2013 and 2015, won both times by Chris Froome. He won the 2014 Giro d’Italia.