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Izaguirre wins stage, Jungels keeps Giro lead despite crash

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PESCHICI, Italy — Spanish rider Gorka Izaguirre profited from a crash on the short but steep concluding climb to win the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday while Bob Jungels held on to the pink jersey despite a minor crash.

Izaguirre had time to raise his arms and celebrate his first individual Grand Tour win while Giovanni Visconti crossed second, five seconds behind, and Luis Leon Sanchez finished third, five seconds further back.

Valerio Conti was leading the four-man breakaway at the start of the concluding 1.5-kilometer climb but he lost control and crashed to the pavement while negotiating a tight turn. That’s when Izaguirre made his decisive attack.

“Visconti was probably the most dangerous rival for the stage victory in the front group,” Izaguirre said. “I got an opportunity and I’m glad I didn’t miss it.”

Izaguirre also won a team time trial with Movistar in the 2014 Spanish Vuelta.

Jungels and the other overall favorites finished 12 seconds behind Izaguirre.

Jungels, of Luxembourg with the Quick Step team, maintained his six-second advantage over Geraint Thomas of Wales. Fellow Briton Adam Yates remained third, 10 seconds back, with most of the overall favorites.

The 189-kilometer (117-mile) stage began in Molfetta and hugged the coast of the Puglia region and the Gargano peninsula before finishing in the picturesque town of Peschici amid its white stone homes.

Jungels, who claimed the pink jersey after the fourth stage, crashed on a downhill section with 35 kilometers to go and bloodied his left knee.

“It’s not a problem,” Jungels said. “I just didn’t pay attention and I hit the back wheel of my teammate on a low-speed corner.”

Jungels and the other leaders also had to chase down an attack by Sky’s Mikel Landa.

“We knew it would be a hard start but nobody expected such a competitive stage,” said Jungels, who at age 24 also leads the under-25 classification.

Stage 9 on Sunday concludes with a serious climb to Blockhaus.

The 100th Giro ends in Milan on May 28.

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.