2018 Tour de France: Top moments in photos

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PARIS — The Tour de France begins Saturday with 176 riders competing in the 105th edition. Here are 10 moments, incidents or highlights that stand out from the long history of cycling’s greatest race, accompanied by Associated Press photos:

1949, July 18 – Stage 16, Cannes to Briancon in the Alps

Defending champion Gino Bartali’s duel with Italian compatriot and rising star Fausto Coppi, who would go on to win the first of his two Tours.

1964, July 12 – Stage 20, Brive to Puy de Dome

Raymond Poulidor competing against Jacques Anquetil on the Puy-de-Dome dormant volcano. Anquetil cracked but knew he could recover. The French ace prevailed and went on that year to become the first five-time Tour winner.

1975, July 13 – Stage 15, Nice to Pra-Loup

Eddy Merckx’s fight with Bernard Thevenet in the Alps. Race leader Merckx, who was punched in the stomach by a French spectator in the 14th stage, fought back but eventually ran out of energy. Thevenet persevered and left the Belgian great behind to win the Tour.

1986, July 16 – Stage 13 Pau to Superbagneres

Defending champion Bernard Hinault’s attack and Greg LeMond’s recovery. The American would go on to win the first of his three Tours.

1987, July 22 – Stage 21, Le Bourg-d’Oisans to La Plagne

Stephen Roche chasing down Pedro Delgado after giving the impression he wasn’t going to follow the Spaniard on the slopes of La Plagne. Roche, who needed oxygen after collapsing from the effort, finished just a few seconds behind Delgado and saved his Tour. He went on to become the only Irish cyclist to win it.

1989, July 23 – Stage 21, Versailles to Paris (Champs-Elysees)

Race leader Laurent Fignon’s battle with Greg LeMond in the time trial on the final day. LeMond, who entered the stage trailing the two-time champion by 50 seconds, managed to win with an eight-second advantage.

1990, July 21 – Stage 20, Lac de Vassiviere to Lac de Vassiviere

Claudio Chiappucci leading coming out of the Alps and keeping the yellow jersey until defending champion Greg LeMond finally caught him in the final time trial in the penultimate stage.

1995, July 21 – Stage 18, Montpon-Menesterol to Limoges

Lance Armstrong winning and paying tribute to Motorola teammate Fabio Casartelli, who crashed in stage 15 and died from his injuries on his way to the hospital.

1997, July 19 – Stage 13, Saint-Etienne to l’Alpe d’Huez

Marco Pantani climbing Alpe d’Huez in a record time. The Italian cyclist’s career was ended by doping allegations two years later.

2011, July 22 – Stage 19, Modane to Alpe d’Huez

Alberto Contador’s attack on Col du Telegraphe with Andy Schleck and Thomas Voeckler, before a battle between Samuel Sanchez and Pierre Rolland. Rolland went on to win the stage.

Giro d’Italia to start in Hungary next year

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BUDAPEST, Hungary — The Giro d’Italia will start in Hungary next year.

The prelude stage will take place in Budapest, followed by two further stages on Hungarian soil.

Giro d’Italia organizers made the announcement on Tuesday at the Italian Cultural Institute in Budapest.

It will be the Grand Tour’s 14th start outside of Italy, with the most recent being in Israel last year.

This year’s Giro d’Italia will begin in Bologna on May 11 and conclude in Verona on June 2.

Gilbert beats Politt to win Paris-Roubaix

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ROUBAIX, France — Veteran cyclist Philippe Gilbert beat German rider Nils Politt right at the end of Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix race to win it for the first time.

Gilbert strategically placed himself behind the 24-year-old Politt, and then attacked him down the left to win by about a length after nearly six hours of riding. Belgian rider Yves Lampaert finished in third.

The race is one of cycling’s five high-profile classics, along with the Tour of Flanders, Milan-San Remo, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Giro di Lombardia. The 36-year-old Gilbert, a former world road race champion, has won all except Milan-San Remo.

“I still have this dream to win all them. Little by little I’m getting there,” an elated Gilbert said afterward. “Politt’s very courageous. In the end the best rider won, and thankfully it was me.”

Last year’s Paris-Roubaix winner Peter Sagan joined Gilbert and Politt near the front with about 20 kilometers left. But Sagan dropped off, leaving Gilbert and Politt to contest victory as they reached the Roubaix velodrome in northern France.

Paris-Roubaix is known as the Queen of the Classics because it is the most prestigious of the five, which are otherwise known as “monuments” of cycling.

But the grueling and dangerous 257-kilometer trek is also known as the “Hell of the North,” because of its treacherous profile including more than 50 kilometers (31 miles) of cobblestones spread out over 29 sectors.

“A lot of people said cobblestones aren’t for me. But I’ve won Tour of Flanders and now I’ve won here,” Gilbert said. “I rode a good race tactically.”

Belgian cyclist Tiesj Benoot crashed into the back of a Jumbo-Visma team car near the end of Sunday’s race, smashing the back window completely. He was taken to hospital but his injuries were not immediately known.

Last year’s Paris-Roubaix was overshadowed by the death of Belgian rider Michael Goolaerts, following a crash.