Elia Viviani wins European championships road race

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ALKMAAR, Netherlands — Elia Viviani of Italy capped an already successful summer with victory in the road race at the European championships on Sunday.

Viviani won a two-man sprint ahead of Yves Lampaert of Belgium after crosswinds played havoc with the peloton during the final 11 laps of the 165-kilometer (102.5-mile) race in Alkmaar.

Pascal Ackermann of Germany finished third, eight seconds behind his breakaway companions.

Viviani’s Italian teammates worked hard throughout the day and caused the split that left a group of 13 riders at the front before the leading trio moved away from the pack with two laps to go.

“I think we did a completely different tactic from what we were thinking this morning,” Viviani said. “This morning we were thinking about the sprint, but then we wanted to make the race hard.”

With Viviani the best sprinter in the group, Lampaert attacked with 3.5 kilometers left to leave Ackermann and Viviani in his wake. Viviani waited patiently on Ackermann’s wheel then surged ahead to close the gap with Lampaert, his Deceuninck-Quick Step teammate on the World Tour.

Lampaert launched the final sprint but quickly stopped his effort when Viviani passed him with ease. Less than a week after Belgian rider Bjorg Lambrecht died following a crash during the Tour of Poland, Viviani pointed a finger to the sky as he celebrated his win, then crossed himself.

“It’s one of my best wins,” said Viviani, who won the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic last weekend and won a Tour de France stage last month. “It was totally different from a bunch sprint. After a Grand Tour, I always have a lot of resistance and big legs.”

Alexander Kristoff won the main peloton sprint to finish fourth.

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.