Yates holds off Thomas to win Tirreno-Adriatico

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SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO, Italy — Simon Yates held off a final-stage challenge from Geraint Thomas to win the eight-day Tirreno-Adriatico race Monday and set himself up as one of the favorites for the Giro d’Italia.

In the concluding 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) individual time trial, Thomas finished 22 seconds ahead of Yates but that wasn’t enough for the 2018 Tour de France champion to overcome the 39-second deficit he opened the day with.

Yates, a British rider with the Mitchelton-Scott team who won the 2018 Spanish Vuelta, finished 17 seconds ahead of Thomas in the overall standings.

“I was not the favorite today so this result is even more important to me,” Yates said. “I went full gas. I gave my best in every stage.”

Rafal Majka dropped from second to third overall, 29 seconds behind.

Italian champion Filippo Ganna, a teammate of Thomas’ with Ineos, won the time trial in just under 11 minutes. Victor Campenaerts finished second, 18 seconds behind, and Rohan Dennis was third, 26 seconds behind.

Thomas finished fourth in the time trial, 28 seconds behind Ganna, while Yates was 18th, 50 seconds behind.

The entirely flat time trial started and ended in San Benedetto Del Tronto along the Adriatic coast.

Yates and Thomas are expected to be among the favorites for the Giro d’Italia next month.

“I’m very happy with my performance but I’m a bit sorry for Thomas who finished second in the (overall standings),” Ganna said. “We hope he can do better in the Giro d’Italia.”

Four-time Tour champion Chris Froome, who was dropped from Ineos’ Tour team this year, finished more than an hour behind Yates in the overall standings.

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.