Madrazo wins 5th stage, Lopez takes overall lead in Vuelta

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ARCOS DE LAS SALINAS, Spain (AP) Angel Madrazo of Spain proved strongest on the final climb to win the fifth stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Wednesday, while Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez used a late charge to take the overall lead.

Madrazo took charge in the final 500 meters (547 yards) of the 170-kilometer (105-mile) stage, which ended on a mountain top by an astronomical observatory in the city of Arcos de las Salinas.

The rider from team Burgos-BH had stayed near the front throughout the final kilometers (miles) in a breakaway group that included teammate Jetse Bol and Jose Herrada of team Cofidis. Bol crossed the line in second place, 10 seconds off the lead, with Herrada coming in 12 seconds later.

Lopez, of Astana Pro Team, finished fourth in the stage, 47 seconds behind Madrazo. Alejandro Valverde, of Movistar Team, was fifth. Lopez and Valverde had been more than six minutes behind the breakaway group entering the final climb but cut most of the gap.

Lopez opened a 14-second gap to Primoz Roglic in the overall standings. Nairo Quintana was 23 seconds off the lead, while Valverde trailed by 28 seconds in fourth place. Irish rider Nicolas Roche, who held the leader’s red jersey entering Wednesday’s stage, fell to fifth place overall, 57 second behind Lopez.

Thursday’s sixth stage will take riders nearly 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Mora de Rubielos to another mountain-top finish in Ares del Maestrat.

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.