PARIS — Riders in the 2018 Tour de France will set off from the Passage du Gois, a causeway that Atlantic Ocean tides cover twice a day.
With this year’s race set to start in the German city of Dusseldorf, cycling’s biggest event will return home for its “Grand Depart” in 2018.
On Tuesday, Tour organizers unveiled the first three stages of the 2018 route, which will start in the western Pays de La Loire region on June 30.
Stage 1 will take the peloton on a 195-kilometer ride from Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile to Fontenay-le-Comte on the windy roads of Vendee, which will stage the Grand Depart for the sixth time.
Sprinters will have another chance to grab the yellow jersey the next day between Mouilleron-Saint-Germain and La Roche-sur-Yon, a town that will host its first stage finish since 1938.
Stage 3 will be a 35-kilometer team time trial in Cholet, and Stage 4 will start from the posh sea resort of La Baule, with the peloton heading north.
The remainder of the route is to be announced in October at the official race presentation.
The Passage du Gois featured in the 2011 race.
The Gois is a four-kilometer road flooded by tide twice a day, linking the island of Noirmoutier to the mainland, and has contributed to race lore. In 1999, a handful of Tour favorites had their victory hopes ended in a massive crash on the Gois, which was still wet and slippery.
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.
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.