2018 Tour de France: Top moments in photos

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PARIS — The Tour de France begins Saturday with 176 riders competing in the 105th edition. Here are 10 moments, incidents or highlights that stand out from the long history of cycling’s greatest race, accompanied by Associated Press photos:

1949, July 18 – Stage 16, Cannes to Briancon in the Alps

Defending champion Gino Bartali’s duel with Italian compatriot and rising star Fausto Coppi, who would go on to win the first of his two Tours.

1964, July 12 – Stage 20, Brive to Puy de Dome

Raymond Poulidor competing against Jacques Anquetil on the Puy-de-Dome dormant volcano. Anquetil cracked but knew he could recover. The French ace prevailed and went on that year to become the first five-time Tour winner.

1975, July 13 – Stage 15, Nice to Pra-Loup

Eddy Merckx’s fight with Bernard Thevenet in the Alps. Race leader Merckx, who was punched in the stomach by a French spectator in the 14th stage, fought back but eventually ran out of energy. Thevenet persevered and left the Belgian great behind to win the Tour.

1986, July 16 – Stage 13 Pau to Superbagneres

Defending champion Bernard Hinault’s attack and Greg LeMond’s recovery. The American would go on to win the first of his three Tours.

1987, July 22 – Stage 21, Le Bourg-d’Oisans to La Plagne

Stephen Roche chasing down Pedro Delgado after giving the impression he wasn’t going to follow the Spaniard on the slopes of La Plagne. Roche, who needed oxygen after collapsing from the effort, finished just a few seconds behind Delgado and saved his Tour. He went on to become the only Irish cyclist to win it.

1989, July 23 – Stage 21, Versailles to Paris (Champs-Elysees)

Race leader Laurent Fignon’s battle with Greg LeMond in the time trial on the final day. LeMond, who entered the stage trailing the two-time champion by 50 seconds, managed to win with an eight-second advantage.

1990, July 21 – Stage 20, Lac de Vassiviere to Lac de Vassiviere

Claudio Chiappucci leading coming out of the Alps and keeping the yellow jersey until defending champion Greg LeMond finally caught him in the final time trial in the penultimate stage.

1995, July 21 – Stage 18, Montpon-Menesterol to Limoges

Lance Armstrong winning and paying tribute to Motorola teammate Fabio Casartelli, who crashed in stage 15 and died from his injuries on his way to the hospital.

1997, July 19 – Stage 13, Saint-Etienne to l’Alpe d’Huez

Marco Pantani climbing Alpe d’Huez in a record time. The Italian cyclist’s career was ended by doping allegations two years later.

2011, July 22 – Stage 19, Modane to Alpe d’Huez

Alberto Contador’s attack on Col du Telegraphe with Andy Schleck and Thomas Voeckler, before a battle between Samuel Sanchez and Pierre Rolland. Rolland went on to win the stage.

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.