Bennett wins Stage 3; Roche keeps Spanish Vuelta lead

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ALICANTE, Spain — Sam Bennett won the third stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Monday, with fellow Irishman Nicolas Roche keeping his overall lead ahead of Nairo Quintana.

Bennett dominated the final sprint in the 188-kilometer (117-mile) mostly flat stage from Ibi to Alicante, beating Edward Theuns and Luka Mezgec to the finish line.

There were no major changes to the overall standings as Roche and Quintana finished in the main peloton. Roche will keep a two-second lead going into Tuesday’s 175-kilometer (109-mile) ride from Cullera to El Puig on Spain’s eastern coast.

It is the first time that Ireland has had both the stage winner and overall leader at the Vuelta on the same day.

Quintana, the 2016 Vuelta winner, was briefly held by a mechanical issue early in Monday’s stage but easily recovered to rejoin the peloton.

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.

Filippo Ganna breaks cycling’s hour world record

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GRENCHEN, Switzerland — Time trial specialist Filippo Ganna broke cycling’s hour record when he covered 56.792 kilometers in 60 minutes.

The Italian extended the record by more than 1.2 kilometers, the biggest jump in seven years.

Asked to describe the pain of the last five minutes, he said, “I lost energy to try to go for 57, but nothing (in the legs).”

He said he was open to another attempt at a different time of the season, when he was fresher.

Ganna took the record from British teammate Dan Bigham, who made his mark at the same Swiss velodrome on Aug. 19.