AP Photo

Germany’s Andre Greipel wins 2nd stage of Giro to move into overall lead

Leave a comment

TORTOLI, Italy (AP) Andre Greipel of Germany won a bunch sprint to take the second stage of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday and the pink jersey for the first time.

Greipel edged out Roberto Ferrari at the end of the hilly 221-kilometer (137-mile) leg from Olbia to Tortoli, crossing the line in just over six hours.

Jasper Stuyven was third on another slow day at the Giro, with lots of crosswinds and some headwinds.

It appeared as if it would be a three-way sprint between Caleb Ewan, Fernando Gaviria, and Greipel, but Ewan’s foot slipped out of the pedal after rubbing shoulders with Gaviria. The Australian, who was second on Friday, banged his handlebars in frustration.

Ewan was third in the overall standings, eight seconds behind Greipel. The latter, who rides for Lotto Soudal, has a four-second lead over Lukas Postlberger, who was the surprise winner on the opening day.

The third stage on Sunday is a 148-kilometer (92-mile) route from Tortoli to Cagliari, and the final leg in Sardinia. Monday is a rest day and the transfer to Sicily.

The 100th Giro ends on May 28.

Australia’s Michael Matthews wins Tour of Romandie prologue

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

AP Images
Leave a comment

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.