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Lukas Postlberger wins opening Giro stage in dream debut

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OLBIA, Sardinia — Lukas Postlberger had a dream Grand Tour debut as the Austrian surprisingly won the opening stage of the 100th Giro d’Italia to claim the pink jersey on Friday.

Victory was expected to go to one of the top sprinters, but Postlberger, a leadout man, hit the front with two kilometers to go in support of Bora-Hansgrohe teammate Sam Bennett, and when a gap opened behind him he simply kept on going.

Caleb Ewan won the bunch sprint for second place followed by Andre Greipel at the end of the 206-kilometer (128-mile) leg along the northern coast of Sardinia, from Alghero to Olbia.

There are two more stages in Sardinia. The second leg on Saturday is a hilly 208-kilometer (129-mile) leg from Olbia to Tortoli.

The Giro ends on May 28.

Australia’s Michael Matthews wins Tour of Romandie prologue

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FRIBOURG, Switzerland (AP) Michael Matthews of Australia won the opening Tour of Romandie prologue on Tuesday for his first victory of the season.

Matthews was one second faster than Tom Bohli of Switzerland on the 4-kilometer (2-1/2 mile) route around Fribourg. Primoz Roglic of Slovenia was third.

After a stellar 2017, when he won two Tour de France stages and the green jersey as most consistent finisher, Matthews had a low-key European spring season.

The Team Sunweb rider told Swiss broadcaster RTS it was a “massive relief” to get his first win.

The six-day race through Switzerland’s French-speaking region continues Wednesday with a 166-kilometer (103-mile) ride from Fribourg to Delemont. It includes three category 2 climbs.

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.