Michael Woods wins Stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico to take lead

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SATURNIA, Italy — Powering up a climb so steep that bystanders gave riders helping pushes, Canadian racer Michael Woods won Stage 3 of the Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday and took the overall lead.

Woods, who will race alongside four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome next season on the Israel Start-Up Nation team, was unbeatable on the final ascent up the Muro di Poggio Murella climb that preceded the uphill finish at Saturnia.

“Amazing work by my team, they really pulled a lot for me,” Woods said. “Great teamwork and I finished it. Teamwork makes the dreams work.”

Woods left behind rivals including 2018 Tour champion Geraint Thomas on the 20% gradient and summited alone. Polish rider Rafal Majka managed to catch Woods on the twisty downhill on the other side. But on the rolling uphill that then followed to the finish, Woods outsprinted Majka to the line.

“The last climb, it was real hard,” said Thomas, who was 10th, 20 seconds behind Woods. “Woodsy sort of kicked with 500 (meters/yards) to go and I was close to the limit there, I didn’t want to go all the way into the red.”

The 217-kilometer (135-mile) stage started in Follonica.

Majka, who rides for the Bora-Hansgrohe team, is now five seconds behind Woods.

Wilco Kelderman of the Sunweb team is third overall, 26 seconds behind Woods.

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.