Evenepoel keeps Vuelta lead as Vine wins another stage

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LAVIANA, Spain — Jay Vine is having fun in the Spanish Vuelta.

The Australian won his second Vuelta stage, two days after overcoming a flat tire to take his first win at a Grand Tour race.

Vine impressed on the grueling final climb to beat Marc Soler, Rein Taaramae and Thibaut Pinot by more than 40 seconds in a foggy Stage 8 in northern Spain.

“It’s incredible,” the Alpecin-Deceuninck rider said. “I’ve just got so much more confidence after that first one. I got that monkey off my back. I just enjoyed today. It was such a fun day.”

Remco Evenepoel, who was second to Vine in the sixth stage on Thursday, kept the leader’s red jersey by crossing the line in fifth place. He was 1 minute, 20 seconds behind Vine but came in along with his main challengers in the overall classification – Enric Mas and three-time defending champion Primoz Roglic.

Overall, Evenepoel was 28 seconds in front of Mas and 61 seconds ahead of Roglic. Rudy Molard started Saturday’s tough mountain stage 21 seconds off the lead in second place, but dropped nearly 10 minutes behind.

“I took time on a lot of guys except for the two most important ones, Primoz and Enric,” said Evenepoel, the Belgian rider from team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl. “But it was good to see Primoz being really strong today, it’s nice to see him like this. It’s good for the race. I just did my best. My team was superb today, we controlled from the start, and it wasn’t easy.”

Roglic, going for an unprecedented fourth straight Vuelta title, had his preparations affected by a fall at the Tour de France.

Riders face another difficult mountain stage in Asturias on Sunday.

“I’m really happy with how I felt today,” Evenepoel said. “I hope I can recover really well because tomorrow I will need super fresh legs again.”

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.

Filippo Ganna breaks cycling’s hour world record

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GRENCHEN, Switzerland — Time trial specialist Filippo Ganna broke cycling’s hour record when he covered 56.792 kilometers in 60 minutes.

The Italian extended the record by more than 1.2 kilometers, the biggest jump in seven years.

Asked to describe the pain of the last five minutes, he said, “I lost energy to try to go for 57, but nothing (in the legs).”

He said he was open to another attempt at a different time of the season, when he was fresher.

Ganna took the record from British teammate Dan Bigham, who made his mark at the same Swiss velodrome on Aug. 19.