Storer wins 10th Vuelta stage, Roglic loses lead after crash

7 Comments

RINCON DE LA VICTORIA, Spain — Michael Storer won his second stage in this year’s Spanish Vuelta, with Primoz Roglic falling in the final descent and losing the overall lead to Odd Christian Eiking.

Roglic quickly got back on his bike but he and the other top contenders couldn’t keep up with the breakaway group at the end of the mostly flat 189-kilometer (117-mile) 10th stage that challenged riders with a summit near the end and a quick descent toward the finish line.

Storer, an Australian rider from team DSM, finished 22 seconds ahead of Mauri Vansevenant of team Deceuninck-Quick Step. Eiking was fifth and gained a 58-second lead over Guillaume Martin in the overall standings.

Eiking became the second Norwegian to lead the Vuelta, 15 years after Thor Hushovd.

“I couldn’t expect that this morning. I was nine minutes behind and it would almost take a miracle to be in the jersey,” Eiking said. “I tried to get as many minutes as possible in the end. I can’t describe what this means, it’s really really big.”

Roglic, the two-time defending champion who crossed the line nearly 12 minutes later, fell to third overall, more than two minutes off the lead. He kept a 28-second gap over Enric Mas, his closest contender for the title. Roglic had made a strong attack to the front but fell back again after going down by himself on a right-handed turn as his bike’s tire lost grip. He wasn’t seriously injured despite crossing the line with part of his shorts torn up.

Storer, who had also dominated in the climb to win the seventh stage, became only the second Australian to win two stages in a Vuelta edition, after Michael Matthews in 2013.

“It’s truly even more unbelievable than the last time. It was a massive fight for the breakaway,” Storer said. “I was feeling good on the last climb. I knew exactly what I needed to do to win today. I had to attack … I had to go fast down that descent. There are dry and slippery roads in this region. I felt my descent was just enough to hold on. I don’t realize yet that I have won two hard stages at this Vuelta after 10 days. It’s actually unbelievable.”

Riders were coming off their first rest day in the three-week Grand Tour race. They will face a winding route and a steep climb in the 133.6-kilometer (83-mile) 11th stage on Wednesday.

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.