Cycling worlds moved to Imola after Swiss host backs out

Getty Images
1 Comment

AIGLE, Switzerland — This month’s road cycling world championships were moved to Imola, Italy, on Wednesday after Swiss host Aigle-Martigny backed out because of a government ruling limiting mass gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The revised event from Sept. 24-27 will feature only elite men’s and women’s categories, eliminating junior and under-23 races.

“The majority of the top athletes in the elite men and women categories are already in Europe, as opposed to their younger counterparts (juniors and under 23) whose national delegations, in a significant number of cases, will not be able to travel to Italy due to travel restrictions imposed in numerous countries,” the International Cycling Union said in a statement.

The Swiss organizers of the championships, which were supposed to be centered around Aigle, where the UCI is based, said they could not continue within a federal limit of 1,000 people for major events during the coronavirus pandemic.

The races in Imola, which hosted the worlds in 1968, will all begin and end on the city’s auto racing circuit.

“I congratulate the Imola organizing committee for the excellent quality of its bidding file which it succeeded in producing in a short lapse of time,” UCI president David Lappartient said. “I would also like to thank the three other candidates Peccioli (Italy), Alba Adriatica (Italy) and the Haute-Saone (France) who also sent solid files to the UCI. . It goes to show that even in this difficult period that we are going through, the UCI world championships are still very attractive for cities and their regions.”

The new schedule features the women’s individual time trial on Sept. 24, the men’s time trial on Sept. 25, the women’s road race on Sept. 26 and the men’s road race on Sept. 27 – exactly a week after the Tour de France ends.

CAS upholds Nairo Quintana DQ from Tour de France for opioid use

Getty Images
17 Comments

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

Getty Images
9 Comments

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.