Cort Nielsen bags another win, Eiking keeps Vuelta lead


CORDOBA, Spain — Magnus Cort Nielsen earned another sprint victory at the Spanish Vuelta to win a hot and hilly 12th stage, while Odd Christian Eiking kept the race lead.

Cort Nielsen was launched by an EF Education teammate down the final stretch of the 175-kilometer (109-mile) route and stayed ahead of Andrea Gagioli to beat the Italian by almost a wheel length.

It was the Dane’s second win at this year’s edition of the Vuelta and his fifth career stage victory at the Spanish race.

“The whole team did a great job today,” Cort Nielsen said. “I managed to get over the two climbs and my team did a great job delivering me for a the sprint.”

With temperatures above 36 degrees Celsius (96 degrees Fahrenheit) at times, riders tried to stay cool as possible with the help of water bottles supplied by their teams. The route that started in Jaen traversed the medieval city of Cordoba before it went up and over two climbs and looped back to a finish in the southern city.

The results left the overall standings untouched. Eiking, a Norwegian rider for Intermarche-Wanty, leads Guillaume Martin by 58 seconds.

Two-two defending champion Primoz Roglic, who is considered the race favorite given the number of mountain stages ahead, is third at 1:56 behind.

Roglic was involved in an awkward group crash on a flat stretch when several riders tumbled into one another on a sharp corner. But he was quickly escorted back to the peloton by his Jumbo-Visma team.

High temperatures are again expected for Friday’s stage, a 203-kilometer (126-mile) flat ride from Belmez to Villanueva de la Serena in southwestern Spain.

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.