Van der Poel wins penultimate stage, Yates leads Tirreno-Adriatico

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LORETO, Italy — Dutch champion Mathieu van der Poel caught and passed breakaway rider Matteo Fabbro in the last few hundred meters of an uphill finish to win the penultimate stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race Sunday.

Simon Yates’ overall lead remained unchanged entering the concluding individual time trial Monday.

Van der Poel, who rides for the Alpecin-Fenix team, finished four seconds ahead of Ruben Guerreiro and Fabbro crossed third with the same time as Guerreiro.

The 181-kilometer (112-mile) Stage 7 route from Pieve Torina to Loreto concluded with a 25-kilometer circuit with two short but steep climbs that had to be completed three times.

“It was an incredible stage, much tougher than I expected,” said Van der Poel, who has won world championship titles in cyclo-cross, plus a European championship in mountain bike racing. “The team did a great job getting me into the break. I knew I had to go full gas on the last climb before the finish. Fabbro was ahead of me and when I passed him I knew I had won. I am very happy for this victory that I have been looking for since the beginning of the Tirreno-Adriatico.”

Yates, the 2018 Spanish Vuelta winner, remained 16 seconds ahead of Rafal Majka and 39 seconds ahead of 2018 Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas.

Thomas will be favored to gain time in the 10-kilometer time trial in San Benedetto Del Tronto.

“Big day. It is what it is,” Yates said. “Everyone is thinking Rafal Majka is not a good time trialer but that’s not the case. The race is not won.”

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.