Valverde wins 7th stage, Lopez regains overall Vuelta lead

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MAS DE LA COSTA, Spain (AP) Veteran Spaniard Alejandro Valverde made a successful charge in the final 150 meters to win the seventh stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Friday, with Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez finishing third to regain the overall lead.

The 39-year-old Valverde remained strong in the challenging final climb to finish just ahead of second-place Primoz Roglic at the end of the 183-kilometer (113-mile) stage from Onda to Mas de la Costa in eastern Spain. Lopez crossed the line six seconds behind Valverde, followed by Nairo Quintana and Rafal Majka.

It was the 12th stage win in the Vuelta for Valverde, who moved to third place overall, 10 seconds behind second-place Roglic and 16 seconds behind Lopez. Quintana, Valverde’s Movistar teammate, was 27 seconds off the lead in fourth place.

Lopez, a Colombian racing for Astana Pro Team, will be wearing the leader’s red jersey for the third time in this year’s Vuelta.

On Saturday, riders face a hilly 166.9-kilometer stage that will start in Valls and finish with a sprint in Igualada after a steep climb of more than seven kilometers.

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.