Bernal wins 16th stage to extend Giro d’Italia lead; Caruso up to 2nd

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CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy – Egan Bernal took a major step toward his second Grand Tour title by winning the wet and mountainous 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia.

The 2019 Tour de France champion rode alone over the top of the snowy Giau Pass then carefully navigated the technical and wet descent into Cortina to add to his overall lead.

Snow and rain throughout the Dolomites prompted organizers to drastically shorten what was slated to be the race’s “queen” stage. Instead of a 212-kilometer (132-mile) route over three major mountain passes, the stage followed a 153-kilometer (95-mile) route over only one major pass, the Giau.

That was still enough for Bernal to leave his mark. The Colombian attacked on the Giau, caught the last remaining breakaway rider, Antonio Pedrero, and gained time on all of his challengers.

“I wanted to put on a show. This is the type of cycling I like, tough stages like these,” Bernal said. “It’s a risk but I believed in myself and the team believed in me.”

Bernal, who rides for Ineos Grenadiers, crossed in 4 hours, 22 minutes and finished 27 seconds ahead of Romain Bardet, who was quicker on the descent.

Before crossing the finish line, Bernal had time to take his raincoat off and show off his pink jersey as he celebrated.

Bernal also won the ninth stage, when he claimed the lead.

“It’s a victory with the pink jersey and I wanted to show it off,” Bernal said.

Damiano Caruso came third with the same time as Bardet and moved up from third to second overall, 2:24 behind Bernal. Hugh Carthy moved up from fifth to third, 3:40 back.

Simon Yates, who was second overall entering the stage, was dropped on the Giau and fell to fifth.

Two-time Giro winner Vincenzo Nibali was part of an early six-man breakaway that fell apart on the Giau.

Tuesday is the race’s second and final rest day, after which more mountains loom before Sunday’s finish in Milan with an individual time trial.

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.