Roglic overcomes crash to keep Spanish Vuelta lead

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TOLEDO, Spain — Primoz Roglic needed to change bikes after a crash but recovered to finish safely in the peloton on Friday, keeping his lead entering the final competitive stage of the Spanish Vuelta.

The day was marked by an attack from team Movistar after Roglic’s crash, a move that drew criticism from other riders.

Remi Cavagna made a strong solo charge to win the 19th stage in Toledo, a mostly flat ride of 165.2 kilometers (102.6 miles). The French rider from team Deceuninck-Quick Step broke away with about 25 kilometers to go and finished five seconds ahead of the pack for his first Grand Tour stage victory.

“I suffered a lot at the end of the race,” the 24-year-old Cavagna said. “The last 25 kilometers were terrible. It was pretty much headwind. I wanted to go faster but I couldn’t. I was afraid they would come back and in the end it worked out.”

Roglic was caught in the crash following a fast turn with about 65 kilometers to go and had to push hard to make his way back to the peloton.

“I was a little unlucky with the crash but I’m still here,” said Roglic, a former ski jumper from Slovenia. “I don’t really know what happened. I didn’t see it. I just tried to come back to the front, full gas. We went as fast as possible to get a new bike and return to the bunch. It could be better, but it could also be a lot worse. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. We’re one day closer.”

Several of Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma teammates also were involved in the crash, with Tony Martin having to retire. Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana Pro Team was also involved and continued with minor injuries.

It took about 15 kilometers before Roglic and Lopez could rejoin the main group.

Alejandro Valverde and his Movistar teammates were criticized after launching an attack following the incident but eventually reduced the pace on orders from race officials, allowing the rest of the riders involved in the crash to rejoin.

“It is a lack of respect for the red jersey,” Lopez said. “Some 20 riders or more fell. They are always the ones who take advantage in these moments. It’s not the first time it has happened. We have seen it before.”

Movistar criticized race officials for telling the team to slow down.

“This happened to us before and nobody said anything,” team director Jose Luis Arrieta told Spanish media. “(The officials) are deciding who wins the races.”

Roglic will take a lead of nearly three minutes over Valverde into Saturday’s decisive 20th stage, a 190.4-kilometer (118.3-mile) ride with five mountain passes, including a Category 1 climb in Puerto de Pena Negra. Nairo Quintana, Valverde’s teammate, was more than three minutes behind Roglic in third place, followed by Lopez.

The three-week race ends Sunday in Madrid.

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.