Campenaerts gets 1st Grand Tour stage win, Bernal keeps Giro d’Italia lead

Getty Images
5 Comments

GORIZIA, Italy — Belgian rider Victor Campenaerts won the 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia for his first victory in a Grand Tour, and Egan Bernal kept the leader’s pink jersey after a day that was marked by a large crash at the beginning of the route.

Campenaerts, who rides for Team Qhubeka Assos, edged out Oscar Riesebeek at the end of the 147-kilometer (91-mile) route from Grado to Gorizia that crossed into Slovenia and covered the fourth-category climb to Gornje Cerovo three times.

“As we don’t have climbers for the next few stages in the mountains, we decided to go all in today,” Campenaerts said. “Now we have three victories in the Giro, which is simply fantastic … We’re making an important statement as we are racing for the greater purpose of changing lives with bicycles: to provide bicycles in Africa for better education and better lives.”

The duo had attacked from a breakaway approaching the final climb, with the rain falling heavily.

Nikias Arndt won a sprint for third, seven seconds behind Campenaerts.

“I’ve missed an opportunity, perhaps the opportunity of a lifetime,” Riesebeek said. “I just made a mistake, I don’t know if I made a mistake or . of course, he was really strong. It’s hard after 15 days to find something good about it. At the minute I am very disappointed.”

Bernal crossed the line in the peloton, more than 17 minutes behind. The 2019 Tour de France champion maintained his lead of 1 minute, 33 seconds over Simon Yates and is 1:51 ahead of third-place Damiano Caruso.

The stage was halted for about half an hour shortly after the start following a mass crash. Several riders had to get medical attention at the side of the road and there were numerous bicycle changes.

Emanuel Buchmann, who had hopes of a podium finish, was one of the riders forced to retire from the race because of his injuries. The German cyclist was sixth overall, 2:36 behind Bernal.

Natnael Berhane and Jos Van Emden also had to abandon. Ruben Guerreiro rode on for a while before also quitting.

The16th stage is the Giro’s toughest leg. The so-called queen stage includes nearly 6,000 meters of climbing over the Passo Fedaia, the Passo Pordoi and the Passo Giau in the Dolomites before the descent to the finish in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

At 2,239 meters, the Passo Pordoi is also the race’s highest point.

The Giro finishes on May 30 in Milan with an individual time trial.

Davide Rebellin dies after hit by truck while training

Getty Images
3 Comments

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

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.