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Italy’s Davide Cimolai wins opening stage of Tour of Catalonia

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CALELLA, Spain (AP) Davide Cimolai of Italy won the opening stage of the Tour of Catalonia by less than a wheel on Monday.

The FDJ rider pushed his wheel just in front of Nacer Bouhanni as the two broke away in the final meters of the 179-kilometer (111-mile) mountainous stage starting and ending in the coastal town of Calella.

“The objective was to win one stage, and now I work for the team,” Cimolai said after finishing the stage in 4 1/2 hours.

It was his second career win at the Tour of Catalonia after also winning a stage last year.

Tour de France winner Chris Froome and top rivals Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde finished safely in the peloton.

The stage on Tuesday is a 41-kilometer (25-mile) team time trial to and from Banyoles.

The week-long race in northeastern Spain concludes on Sunday in Barcelona.

Italy’s Felline wins Tour of Romandie prologue for Scarponi

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AIGLE, Switzerland — Fabio Felline of Italy won the Tour of Romandie prologue and dedicated his victory to compatriot Michele Scarponi, whose funeral was taking place on Tuesday.

Felline says his best win of the season “is also for Scarponi” – the 2011 Giro d’Italia winner who died Saturday after a collision with a van while training near his home.

On Swiss roads made slick by rain, Felline timed 5 minutes, 57 seconds for a 4.8-kilometer (3-mile) route around the International Cycling Union’s home town.

The Trek-Segafredo rider was two seconds faster than runner-up Alex Dowsett of Britain, and seven seconds ahead of Australian Alex Edmondson.

Two-time Romandie winner Chris Froome of Britain was 29 seconds back in his first race for a month.

The six-day race heads into the mountains Wednesday.

Michele Scarponi funeral to take place in Italy on Tuesday

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FILOTTRANO, Italy — The funeral of former Giro d’Italia winner Michele Scarponi will be on Tuesday in his hometown of Filottrano, near Ancona.

Scarponi, who won the Giro in 2011, died after a collision with a van while training near his home on Saturday. He was 37.

A service will be held in the town’s football stadium and will be officiated by Ancona cardinal, Edoardo Menichelli.

Italian National Olympic Committee President Giovanni Malago is expected to attend, along with the head of the Italian cycling federation, Renato Di Rocco, and numerous teammates and rivals, including Fabio Aru and Vincenzo Nibali.

Thousands of people have visited the chapel where Scarponi’s body lies.

Scarponi’s body was dressed in his Astana kit, while drawings by his four-year-old twin sons have been placed beside him in the coffin.

Scarponi was awarded the 2011 Giro trophy after Alberto Contador was stripped of the title because of doping.

The Italian had also faced doping sanctions. He was banned for 18 months in July 2007 following the long-running Operation Puerto doping scandal, while he served a three-month suspension from the end of 2012 after working with the banned physician Michele Ferrari.

Scarponi had been named as Astana’s leader for the upcoming Giro d’Italia, which starts in less than two weeks, after Aru pulled out with a knee injury.

Scarponi was one of the most liked riders on the circuit, with his sense of humor and jovial disposition. He often started training rides with his parrot on his shoulder, posting videos which quickly went viral.

The parrot, Frankie, has been seen perched on a signpost at the site of the accident, where flowers and tributes have been placed.