Alberto Contador wins 4th Tour of Basque Country

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EIBAR, Spain (AP) Alberto Contador won his fourth Tour of Basque Country after overcoming Sergio Henao’s lead during the sixth stage’s decisive time trial Saturday.

Contador finished the rainy 16.5-kilometer (10.25-mile) time trial around Eibar in just over 29 minutes to erase Henao’s six-second lead heading into the final stage.

The seven-time grand tour winner added this Tour of Basque Country victory to his titles in 2008, 2009 and 2014.

Henao finished the time trial 18 seconds behind Contador, leaving the Colombian runner-up for a second straight year after losing to Joaquim Rodriguez in 2015.

Contador hadn’t led the six-day race in northern Spain until the very end but the two-time Tour de France champion had put himself in a strong position during Friday’s demanding mountain stage.

“I worked very hard this winter to arrive in good shape for the season but a couple of races eluded me by a few seconds,” Contador said. “So I am very happy that I got the win this time.”

Contador finished both the Paris-Nice and the Tour of Catalonia runner-up last month after starting the season with a third-place finish at the Tour of Algarve.

The 33-year-old rider for Tinkoff said that his positive start to the year is making him rethink plans to retire soon.

“I am rethinking the future and maybe I will continue a little more,” the Spaniard said.

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.