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Chaves edges Rosa to become first Colombian to win Il Lomardia

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BERGAMO, Italy — Esteban Chaves became the first Colombian to win Il Lombardia in snatching victory from Diego Rosa of Italy by less than a bike wheel on Saturday.

Rosa looked set for a surprise victory after launching his sprint with 250 meters to go, but Chaves came from behind to claim his first Monument win, crossing the line to a huge sigh of disappointment from the Italian fans.

“It’s unbelievable, I can’t believe I won,” said the Orica-BikeExchange rider, who also became the first non-European to win the race in its 110-year history. “I turned pro here in Lombardy with Coldeportes, I lived in Bergamo for two years, and now I won the race. It’s really special.”

Another Colombian, Rigoberto Uran, was third in the final classic of the season, a challenging 241-kilometer (150-mile) route from Como to Bergamo, featuring 4,400 meters of climbing. All three had the same time of 6 hours, 26 minutes, 36 seconds.

Romain Bardet, who was part of the lead quartet, crossed the line fourth, six seconds slower, with the chase group more than a minute further back.

Chaves attacked at the bottom of the Selvino, and was swiftly joined by Uran and Bardet.

Rosa tried to drag Astana leader Fabio Aru back up to the front but the Sardinian told his teammate to go it alone and a fantastic effort saw him do just that, catching the front three at the top of the climb, with 30 kilometers remaining. And they distanced the peloton on the long, twisty descent into Bergamo.

Bardet was dropped on the climb to Bergamo Alta, as was Rosa briefly, but the French rider could not make it back on.

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.