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Fernando Gaviria sprints to second Giro d’Italia victory on fifth stage

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MESSINA, Sicily — Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria won a bunch sprint at the end of the fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia on Wednesday to claim his second victory of this year’s race, while Quick-Step teammate Bob Jungels remained in the overall lead.

Gaviria, who won his first ever Grand Tour stage on Sunday in Sardinia, edged out Italy’s Jakub Mareczko at the end of the undulating 159-kilometer (99-mile) route from Pedara to Messina, the hometown of 2013 and 2016 Giro winner, Vincenzo Nibali.

Mareczko came back from a long way out, storming down the left side of the road to pip Irish rider Sam Bennett, who finished third.

“I’m happy with these two victories. My legs responded as I wanted,” the 22-year-old Gaviria said. “This win isn’t only mine, it belongs to all the people who support me, to my family who are here.”

There was an incredible moment when Luka Pibernik thought he had won the stage and raised his hands in celebration as he crossed the line, forgetting there was another 6.2K lap.

Jungels, of Luxembourg, maintained his six-second advantage over Welshman Geraint Thomas. Fellow Briton Adam Yates remained four seconds further back, with most of the overall favorites.

The crowds were out in force along the route and especially in Messina, eager to show their support for Nibali.

“It was amazing to see so many people on the road sides for Vincenzo Nibali,” Jungels said. “They were very excited. I will try to keep the Maglia Rosa (leader’s pink jersey) at least until Sunday.”

Thursday’s sixth stage sees the Giro move to mainland Italy with a 217-kilometer (135-mile) route from Reggio Calabria to Terme Luigiane.

The Giro ends on May 28 with a 28-kilometer (17.4 mile) individual time trial from Monza’s Formula One track to Milan’s cathedral.

Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin wins 100th Giro d’Italia

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MILAN — Tom Dumoulin won the 100th Giro d’Italia in dramatic fashion Sunday, reclaiming the overall lead in a final-stage individual time trial.

It’s the first Grand Tour victory for Dumoulin, a Dutchman with Team Sunweb, and it sets him up as a potential rival for three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome.

Dumoulin entered the final stage in fourth position but finished far enough ahead of his rivals over the flat 29-kilometer (18-mile) route from Monza’s Formula One race track to Milan’s cathedral to move back into the lead.

“This is crazy. I could not have imagined this,” Dumoulin said. “I was strong. I was lucky. Just everything fell into place the whole Giro.”

In the overall standings, Dumoulin finished 31 seconds ahead of 2014 champion Nairo Quintana of Colombia and 40 seconds ahead of last year’s winner, Vincenzo Nibali of Italy.

Dumoulin’s fellow Dutchman Jos van Emden won the 21st stage in 33 minutes, 8 seconds.

“It couldn’t be better,” Van Emden said. “I’m really happy for Tom. He deserves it.”

Dumoulin came second in the stage, 15 seconds behind. Nibali came 13th, 1:09 behind Emden and Quintana was 27th, 1:39 back.

Dumoulin entered the final stage 53 seconds behind Quintana.

Dumoulin also won the race’s other time trial in Stage 10 and claimed Stage 14, which had an uphill finish. Dumoulin wore the leader’s pink jersey for eight days but then struggled in the serious mountain stages and lost the lead to Quintana two days ago.

Dumoulin came close to winning the 2015 Spanish Vuelta, which he led heading into the penultimate stage. But he faded fast on the final mountain ride, and finished sixth behind winner Fabio Aru. The final stage was the traditional leisurely arrival to Madrid, which offered no chance to come back.

This time, the concluding time trial was just what Dumoulin needed, enabling him to become the first Dutch rider to win the Giro.

Relief came via the team radio.

“I was feeling good. Halfway they said `Don’t take risks anymore,’ so I thought, `Maybe I’m winning now?”‘ Dumoulin said. “They better never do that again, because it was close in the end.”

Quintana keeps lead but Dumoulin remains pick to win Giro

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ASIAGO, Italy — Nairo Quintana held on to the pink jersey in the penultimate stage of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday but likely didn’t pick up enough seconds on his most dangerous rival, Tom Dumoulin, to claim overall victory.

Thibaut Pinot of France won the 20th stage in a sprint finish ahead of Ilnur Zakarin of Russia and defending champion Vincenzo Nibali.

Entering Sunday’s concluding time trial, Quintana leads Nibali by 39 seconds with Pinot third, 43 seconds back.

Dumoulin dropped from second to fourth, 53 seconds back, although he still remains the favorite considering his time trialing skills.

The 100th Giro ends on Sunday with a flat 29.3-kilometer (18-mile) individual time trial from Monza’s Formula One race track to Milan.

Dumoulin already dominated the race’s first time trial in Stage 10.