Jakobsen grabs second sprint victory at Vuelta, Roglic leads

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LA MANGA DEL MAR MENOR, Spain – Fabio Jakobsen sprinted to win the Spanish Vuelta’s eighth stage, while Primoz Roglic kept the lead before the race returns to the mountains.

The Dutch sprinter was launched by a Deceuninck-Quickstep teammate and crossed almost a complete bike length ahead of Alberto Dainese. Jakobsen also won stage four at this edition of the race, as well as two stages in the 2019 Vuelta.

“It was about being strong, fast and it’s about timing,” Jakobsen said. “On a finish like this, you have to be on time. I have been twice too late (in other stages), but this time I was perfectly right from the corner and could do a full sprint to the line. The team did a perfect job.”

Jakobsen was closely followed by the rest of the peloton as it finished the 173-kilometer (107-mile) flat trek from Santa Pola to La Manga del Mar Menor, a slim finger of land separating a salt water lagoon from the Mediterranean Sea that is popular among tourists.

A breakaway group opened up a gap of over three minutes early on the flat ride down Spain’s southeast coast, but the Astana team led the peloton back to reel them in with around 40 kilometers left.

Roglic was unchallenged as the race leader on the route made for teams hunting for a stage win.

Felix Grosschartner of Bora-Hansgrohe remained second in the general classification at eight seconds behind Roglic. Movistar leader Enric Mas is third at :25 back. Egan Bernal of Ineos Grenadiers is sixth at :41.

The race is back in the mountains on Sunday with a 188-kilometer (116-mile) ride from Puerto Lumbreras to a summit finish atop the beyond-category Alto de Velefique.

Movistar veteran Alejandro Valverde underwent surgery on his broken collarbone that he injured when he crashed on Friday and had to abandon the race.

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.