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100th Giro d’Italia starting with 3 stages in Sardinia

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MILAN — The 100th Giro d’Italia next year will start with three stages in Sardinia.

It will be the third time the Italian grand tour has started on the island, although it will be the first time in 10 years.

Fabio Aru, who became the first Sardinian to wear the Giro leader’s pink jersey last year, was present at the announcement on Wednesday in Milan.

“It makes me really proud to know that the Giro will be starting from my home,” Aru said. “It would be really nice to take part in a start like this. We will make our plans for 2017 in November.

“They will be three really lovely stages. There will certainly be a lot of fans. I will certainly have a lot of support and that is a source of great pride.”

The rest of the route will be unveiled on Oct. 25. It is expected the Giro will visit as many of Italy’s 20 regions as possible to mark its 100th edition.

The Giro will set off from Alghero on May 5, 2017, on an undulating 203-kilometer (126-mile) route along the island’s northern coast to Olbia.

Stage two is a hilly 208-kilometer leg from Olbia to Tortoli, which could also end in a sprint, while the final day in Sardinia is a mainly flat 148 kilometers from Tortoli to Cagliari.

Brazilian cycling team faces 2nd ban for persistent doping

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AIGLE, Switzerland (AP) Brazilian team Soul Brasil Pro Cycling faces another ban from racing after two more riders were implicated in doping.

The International Cycling Union says the team will be judged by its disciplinary panel which can impose bans of up to one year.

Cycling rules allow teams to be suspended if two riders are caught doping in a one-year period.

In December, the team’s riders were suspended for 55 days after three cases involving the banned blood booster CERA since July. They included Kleber Ramos of Brazil, who competed in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic road race.

The UCI says the latest cases involve biological passport results for Alex Correia Diniz, who is provisionally suspended, and an allegation against Otavio Bulgarelli of tampering with a doping sample.

Van Avermaet wins Gent-Wevelgem for two victories in three days

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GENT, Belgium (AP) Olympic road champion Greg Van Avermaet won his second race in three days Sunday, beating fellow Belgian Jens Keukeleire in a two-man sprint finish to take the Gent-Wevelgem classic.

World champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia, who won last year’s race, finished third.

The 249-kilometer (154.7-mile) race through Belgium included two ascents of the steep, cobbled Kemmelberg hill, one of the iconic climbs of the spring classics season.

Last year’s race was overshadowed by the death of Belgian rider Antoine Demoitie after a fall.

Sagan fell Friday in the E3 Harelbeke, which Van Avermaet also won to add to his victory last month in Het Nieuwsblad.