Dainese claims 1st grand tour stage, López keeps Giro d’Italia lead

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REGGIO EMILIA, Italy — Alberto Dainese became the first Italian rider to win a stage in this year’s Giro d’Italia by sprinting to victory in Stage 11, as Juan Pedro Lopez kept hold of the pink jersey.

Dainese, who rides for Team DSM, was a long way behind his rivals at the start of the sprint but powered his way through to beat Fernando Gaviria and Simone Consonni for his first stage win at a grand tour.

There was a slight change in the overall standings as favorite Richard Carapaz moved into second after picking up bonus seconds during the entirely flat 203-kilometer (126-mile) leg from Santarcangelo Di Romagna to Reggio Emilia. Lopez has a 12-second lead over Carapaz and Joao Almeida as the three-week race passed the halfway stage.

Eritrean cyclist Biniam Girmay pulled out of the Giro before the start of Stage 11 after getting injured when he popped a prosecco cork into his eye during the podium celebration following his victory the previous day.

There is a wine and food stage every year in the Giro and Stage 11 was linked to the production of parmesan cheese in the area.

Filippo Tagliani and Luca Rastelli escaped at the start and had an advantage of nearly six minutes at one point. But with the prospect of crosswinds coming out of Bologna, the peloton upped the pace and the breakaway riders were caught with 90 kilometers remaining.

Dries De Bondt, who has never won a stage in a grand tour, launched an impressive solo attack with about 60 kilometers remaining but was caught with the final kilometer in sight.

Stage 12 is the longest in this year’s race – albeit only by one kilometer. There are also three third-category climbs on the 204-kilometer (127-mile) route from Parma to Genoa.

The Giro finishes on May 29 in Verona.

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.