Bouwman wins Giro d’Italia Stage 19; Carapaz still leads overall

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SANTUARIO DI CASTELMONTE, Italy – Dutch cyclist Koen Bouwman won the penultimate mountain stage of the Giro d’Italia and Richard Carapaz kept the pink jersey heading into the final two days.

Bouwman, who rides for Teambo-Visma, edged Mauro Schmid and Alessandro Tonelli in a sprint to the line at the end of Stage 19 an incident on the final corner.

Schmid complained that Bouwman cut him off around the final corner, causing him to force Andrea Vendrame and Attila Valter wide when they were also vying for the stage win.

“In my opinion it was not a fair sprint, pretty clear, because my handlebars were still in front and he nearly crashed in the last corner. He just knows that he’s slower in the sprint so he pushed me away,” Schmid said. “You’ll see when you watch the last 100 metres, I can do nothing.

“It was not fair in my opinion. Second place is first loser, so I’m not happy with that. I had it in the legs today.”

It was a second victory in this Giro for Bouwman after he also won the seventh stage for his second ever professional win.

“After my first victory I said it would be really nice if I could have another one, but then I also said I need to be realistic, it was only my second victory as a pro,” Bouwman said. “Now, winning two stages in the Giro, wow, I’m just so happy.

“I knew there was a corner to the left but I didn’t know it was this sharp. I had to brake quite hard and I knew I had to take the inside. I don’t know if anyone crashed and otherwise I will be sorry for that.”

The 178-kilometer (111-mile) route from Marano Lagunare had four classified climbs, including the second-category ascent up to the summit finish at Santuario di Castelmonte. The stage also crossed briefly into Slovenia.

A breakaway of 12 riders went early and was allowed to build a large advantage of about 10 minutes. That broke up on the top-category Kolovrat climb and there were only five escapees remaining on the descent.

There were attacks behind in the general classification group, towards the top of the final climb, but nothing stuck and the main rivals crossed together, nearly four minutes behind Bouwman.

Carapaz, the 2019 champion and Olympic gold medalist in Tokyo, remained three seconds ahead of 2020 runner-up Jai Hindley and 1:05 ahead of Mikel Landa in third.

There was bad news for Carapaz, however, as Ineos Grenadiers teammate Richie Porte – his main support rider in the mountains – had to pull out of the Giro with sickness early in the stage.

“Truth is, it’s been a really difficult day,” Carapaz said. “I’m really disappointed about Richie, it’s unlucky. But the team is doing a good job and of course we’re dealing with everything the best we can. We’re all at a great level.

“It was a little bit give and take today but we’re all pretty much on the same level at the top.”

All could be decided on the race’s penultimate leg on Saturday. The 20th stage has been given the maximum difficulty rating of five stars and features three grueling climbs: the Passo San Pellegrino, the Passo Pordoi – which is the race’s highest point – and the final Passo Fedaia to the foot of the Marmolada glacier at the end of the 168-kilometer (104-mile) route from Belluno.

“Tomorrow is a good day, it’s at altitude, which I like,” said Carapaz, who prepared for the Giro with altitude training in his home country of Ecuador.

The Giro ends on Sunday in Verona with an individual time trial.

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.