Ackermann wins 2nd-straight stage at Tirreno-Adriatico

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FOLLONICA, Italy — German cyclist Pascal Ackermann won again at the Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday by sprinting to victory in the second stage.

The Bora-Hansgrohe rider edged Fernando Gaviria by less than half a wheel in the first stage and he did the same at the finish line in Follonica with another perfectly timed sprint.

“Also today we were really strong, the leadout was perfect,” Ackermann said. “It was a long sprint and probably I launched the sprint at the perfect distance to the finish.”

Rick Zabel was third at the end of the 201-kilometer (125-mile) route from Camaiore.

Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Vincenzo Nibali headline a strong field at the race, which was rearranged from March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday’s third stage is an undulating 217-kilometer (135-mile) route from Follonica to Saturnia.

There are then two stages through the mountains before another mainly flat route on the sixth leg which is suited to the sprinters and where the 26-year-old Ackermann will be looking to make it a hat trick of wins.

“The next stages are too difficult for me,” Ackermann said. “I might try again on Saturday.”

The race ends on Monday with an individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

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.