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Cyclists ride to honor 5 dead, 4 hurt in Michigan collision

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Cyclists are taking a 28.5-mile ride in southwestern Michigan to honor five bicyclists who were killed when they were hit by a pickup truck.

WOOD-TV reports they have joined victims’ relatives and others in the Tuesday evening event one week after the collision in Kalamazoo County’s Cooper Township that also left four injured.

The pickup driver, Charles Pickett Jr. of Battle Creek, is charged with second-degree murder and other crimes. He’s being held without bond. An attorney will be appointed to represent him.

Lance Armstrong is participating in the Kalamazoo-to-Plainwell round-trip ride. He visited injured cyclist Paul Runnels beforehand.

Bronson Methodist Hospital says Runnels is in fair condition. Another survivor, Sheila Jeske, has been discharged.

Armstrong confessed in 2013 to doping to win the Tour de France seven times.

French challenger Lappartient takes over as UCI president

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BERGEN, Norway — French official David Lappartient has beaten British incumbent Brian Cookson in a vote to become president of the International Cycling Union.

Lappartient, the European Cycling Union leader, won the vote 37-8 at the UCI’s annual congress.

Lappartient promised to “regain influence in the Olympic movement, where it has been losing ground.”

Track cycling at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be raced in a velodrome 130 kilometers (80 miles) outside the city, though two more medals were added in men’s and women’s Madison events.

Lappartient also promised to push for bans on some medications.

Elected in 2013 when cycling’s image was battered by doping scandals, Cookson told voters: “I’ve delivered change, I’ve restored the UCI’s credibility.”

Giro d’Italia to open 2018 race in Israel

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JERUSALEM — The Giro d’Italia cycling race will open next year’s event in Israel, marking the first time any leg of the sport’s Grand Tours will take place outside of Europe.

Race organizers say details of the exact route of the three-day leg in Israel will be announced next week. Italian and Israeli ministers will make the announcement, along with Spanish great Alberto Contador.

More than 175 of the world’s best cyclists will arrive in Israel for the race, one of cycling’s top three stage races along with the Tour de France and the Spanish Vuelta. For the first time in its 101-year history, the Giro will begin outside Europe.

Viewed by hundreds of millions across the globe, this will be the biggest sporting event ever held in Israel.