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Froome warms up for Tour by winning Dauphine for 3rd time

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SUPERDEVOLUY, France (AP) Chris Froome warmed up for the Tour de France by winning the Criterium du Dauphine stage race for the third time on Sunday.

It may prove to be a good omen for Froome, because his other Dauphine wins were in 2013 and 2015 – the years he also won the Tour, which starts July 2.

“It’s a massive satisfaction to win the Dauphine for the third time, it’s a very important race,” the 31-year-old Froome said. “Coming into this week, I was just happy fighting for the podium. It’s a confidence booster ahead of the Tour de France, but there’s still some work to do.”

Froome finished with a winning margin of 12 seconds over Frenchman Romain Bardet, while Tour rival Alberto Contador of Spain was fifth overall.

On a good day for British riders, Stephen Cummings won the final stage thanks to a solo breakaway.

Cummings secured his first ever stage win on the Dauphine after breaking away 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the end of the mountainous 151-kilometer ( 94-mile) ride to the Alpine ski resort of Superdevoluy, beating Irishman Daniel Martin and Bardet by four minutes.

Martin finished third in the standings, while former Sky teammate and key Tour support rider Richie Porte of Australia was in fourth place overall.

Andy Rihs, Swiss owner of cycling, soccer teams, dies at 75

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BERN, Switzerland (AP) Andy Rihs, a Swiss businessman who owned the BMC Racing cycling team and Young Boys soccer club, has died. He was 75.

Rihs died Wednesday in Zurich after “a patient and valiantly endured illness,” the BMC team said Thursday in a statement.

“Our grief is indescribable, but we will carry on his values,” the team said, praising Rihs for his “generosity, his sense of humor, and his infectious laugh.”

Rihs’s death comes with Young Boys close to winning its first Swiss league title in 32 years. Young Boys leads by 11 points with six matches left.

“Andy, thank you for everything. We will miss you,” Young Boys said in a statement.

Rihs’s brother, Hans-Ueli, is also an owner of the club and Stade de Suisse in Bern, known locally as Wankdorf. The stadium staged the 1954 World Cup final.

As BMC owner, Rihs secured a Tour de France title five years after his previous team was involved in a doping scandal. Cadel Evans of Australia wore BMC’s black and red colors to victory in the 2011 Tour.

In 2006, the Rihs-backed Phonak team disbanded after American rider Floyd Landis was stripped of the Tour title.

Cycling’s top riders set for Tour of California next month

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LOS ANGELES (AP) The top men’s and women’s teams will compete next month in the Amgen Tour of California, the premier U.S. cycling race.

The men will cover 645 miles over seven stages from Long Beach to Sacramento from May 13 to May 19. The women will have three of the top five teams for their three-day, 187-mile race that starts May 17 in Elk Grove.

Race owner AEG announced Thursday that Pete Sagan will ride for the BORA-hansgrohe team while Mark Cavendish will go for Team Dimension Data and be joined by Rafal Majka.

Tony Gallopin of AG2R La Mondiale is in the men’s field. So is LottoNL-Jumbo’s Nielson Powless, the race’s best young rider in 2016.

The women feature 2016 champion Megan Guarnier of USA Cycling National Team, Katie Hall of UnitedHealthcare and Kasia Niewiadoma of Canyon/SCRAM.