Majka wins second stage, takes Tour of California lead

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SAN JOSE, Calif. —¬†Rafal Majka won a heads-up sprint with George Bennett after they helped a breakaway stay clear of the field, winning the second stage of the Tour of California on Monday and taking the overall lead.

Majka and Bennett were joined by Lachlan Morton and Ian Boswell in the breakaway, which knew it would stay away when it had a 50-second advantage on the peloton inside the final 2 miles.

The four of them kept attacking on the punchy climb to the finish, Morton going first and then Bennett making a move. Majka quickly responded and those two went clear, and the Polish rider for Bora-Hansgrohe managed to edge Bennett at the finish line.

The third stage Tuesday takes riders 120 miles from Pismo Beach to Morro Bay.

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.