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VN news ticker: José Manuel Díaz wins Tour of Turkey stage 5, Androni punches Giro d’Italia ticket

Here's what's making headlines on Thursday, April 15.

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José Manuel Díaz wins Tour of Turkey summit finish

José Manuel Díaz (Delko) won a closely fought stage 5 summit finish to Elmali at the Tour of Turkey to take the overall race lead by four seconds.

The Spanish rider won a three-man sprint to the line, beating Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix) and Kevin Rivera (Bradiani CSF Faizane).

The peloton rode steady tempo up the final climb, and the key attacks did not come until inside the last two kilometers.

Anthon Charmig (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) opened it up and attacked with Merhawi Kudus (Astana), who was soon dropped.

Charmig looked as though he might have enough to take it to the line, but was reeled in by the three-man chasing group of Díaz, Vine and Rivera with just under 300 metres to go.

Overnight race leader Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), who had won three straight stages, was dropped midway up the final ascent.

Androni Giocattoli Sidermec punches Giro d’Italia ticket

Androni Giocattoli Sidermec will be racing the Giro d’Italia after all.

The second-tier Italian team is a late-hour replacement for Vini Zabù, which pulled out Thursday following a doping case within in its ranks.

Vini Zabù pulls out of Giro d’Italia

Italian team Vini Zabù pulled out of the 2021 Giro d’Italia on Thursday, team officials confirmed.

The announcement comes following weeks of controversy in the wake of an EPO doping control with rider Matteo De Bonis. With its second doping case within 12 months, the team is also facing a possible suspension by the UCI.

Team officials announced that it would voluntarily withdraw from the Giro, in what they said was a signal against riders “looking to take shortcuts.” Officials insisted that the team had nothing to do with doping practices, and said the team is considering legal action against De Bonis.

“Our withdrawal to the most important race for the Italian cyclists is an act of love for cycling,” a team statement read. “The sponsor, sharing the institutional principles of the team, ensures the contract of sponsorship for the whole season, in order to let the sport win.”

Also read: Inside the Giro d’Italia’s wildcard selections

The team’s departure means Giro organizer RCS Sport could replace the invitation to another team. Long-running Italian team Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, which was overlooked this year, could be first in line.

The Giro starts May 8 in Torino, and ends May 30 in Milano.

Julian Alaphilippe extends through 2024

Julian Alaphilippe will stay put at Deceuninck-Quick-Step through 2024. The reigning world champion is the latest top rider to extend with the Belgian WorldTour team following the five-year deal for Remco Evenepoel.

“It was the logical thing to do, and at no moment there was the question of doing anything different,” Alaphilippe said. “It’s incredible to think of what we achieved together and all the beautiful memories we have. We are the ‘Wolfpack’ and we race to win. It’s our mentality and one of our strengths, we all go in the same direction, and this is one of the reasons I feel good here and do what I do with immense pleasure. I am looking forward to more great results with Deceuninck-Quick-Step this season and in the coming years.”

Team boss Patrick Lefevere has yet to publicly confirm the future of the team, but a wave of recent contract deals suggests the team’s finances are lining up beyond 2021.

CPA to challenge UCI on controversial bottle-tossing rules

The CPA vowed to challenge the UCI on its decision to maintain a ban on tossing bottles to fans outside designated areas.

The UCI toned down its controversial punishments for chucking a bottle Wednesday, after many accused them of being too harsh, but did not change its mind on outlawing the practice. Riders can still be disqualified if they are caught tossing a bottle more than once during a one-day race.

Also read: Tour of Flanders: UCI ejects Michael Schär for illegal bottle toss

“The CPA and CPA Women are not satisfied with the Professional Cycling Council results on the revision of the new rule that prohibits throwing bidons to fans. After consulting with their members and riders they will decide what the next steps will be,” the CPA wrote on social media.

Michael Schär and Letizia Borghesi were chucked out of the men’s and women’s Tour of Flanders, respectively, for throwing a bottle.