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Lampaert lands back-to-back wins in Flemish classic

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WAREGEM, Belgium — Belgium’s Yves Lampaert won the Across Flanders race for the second straight year after surging from the leading group in the final kilometer of the Flemish cobbled race on Wednesday.

In difficult weather conditions, Lampaert attacked with 800 meters to go on a road made slippery by rain and pulled away from a group of five riders including Edvald Boasson Hagen and Sep Vanmarcke.

Lampaert’s rivals were slow to react and when they launched the chase it was already too late.

The Belgian rider, a former black belt judoka who took up cycling at the age of 17, posted his first win of the season ahead of Mike Teunissen of the Netherlands. Vanmarcke completed the podium of the UCI World Tour event. Boasson Hagen beat Mads Pedersen for fourth place.

The quintet had ridden away from a group of breakaway riders with a bit more than 20 kilometers left.

Lampaert, who secured a 20th win this year for his Quick-Step team, joined a group of 12 riders who have won the race twice, including former classics specialist Johan Museeuw of Belgium. He is the only rider to have won the race two years in a row.

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.