Philipsen wins another Vuelta stage, Elissonde grabs lead


ALBACETE, Spain — Jasper Philipsen secured his second stage win at this year’s Spanish Vuelta, with Rein Taaramae losing the leader’s red jersey to Kenny Elissonde after crashing for the second straight day.

Philipsen prevailed at the final sprint of the fifth stage, a 184.4-kilometer (114.6-mile) route that finished in Albacete in southeastern Spain. Philipsen, a Belgian rider with team Alpecin-Fenix, also won the second stage of the three-week Grand Tour race.

Fabio Jakobsen, who won the fourth stage for his biggest victory since a horrific crash at the Tour of Poland a year ago, was second on Wednesday.

Taaramae finished more than two minutes back after getting caught in a crash in the peloton with about eight kilometers (five miles) to go. He also fell on Tuesday but recovered to stay in front. He finished only 125th on Wednesday after being among the dozens of riders who went down after the peloton collapsed near the front of the pack.

“Again, it was a lucky crash, I’m almost OK,” he said. “Actually, it was a bad idea to be in a good position because the crash happened near the front and the guys at the back passed, but I was up there and it took some minutes to go again.”

Elissonde, a French rider with team Trek-Segafredo, was able to avoid the crash and opened a five-second gap to two-time defending champion Primoz Roglic in the overall standings.

“I was in the top 10 positions when the crash happened so I did not see any of it,” Elissonde said. “This is not the way I wanted to take the jersey but we know that in cycling when there is wind, there is risk. You can lose everything in the echelons so you have to be vigilant. I don’t like the way it happened. It was not a pleasure. But at the end of the day there was nothing else I could do.”

Riders on Thursday will face a mountainous sixth stage of 158.3 kilometers (98.3 miles) that will finish near the Cullera Castle.

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.