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.

Andre Cardoso banned four years for doping

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AIGLE, Switzerland — The International Cycling Union says it imposed a four-year ban on Portuguese rider Andre Cardoso for doping with EPO ahead of the 2017 Tour de France.

The UCI says its anti-doping tribunal gave its verdict, in a case opened almost 17 months ago.

Cardoso tested positive for the endurance boosting hormone two weeks before the Tour.

He was suspended by Trek-Segafredo, which selected Cardoso as a specialist climber to support team leader Alberto Contador.

The 34-year-old Cardoso had career top-20 finishes in the Giro d’Italia and Spanish Vuelta, and competed in the road races at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Pro riders union upset by doping control during cycling gala

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PARIS — The professional cyclists’ union is urging anti-doping authorities to treat athletes in a more respectful manner after a Belgian rider was forced to leave a cycling gala to follow anti-doping inspectors for an out-of-competition test.

Pieter Serry, who rides for the Quick Step team, missed the Gala of the Flandrien on Tuesday after doping inspectors came to the ceremony to take samples.

In a statement published Wednesday, the riders’ association (CPA) complained about “another case of non-respect for the privacy of the riders” and criticized the odd timing of some doping controls.

“There have been cases reported where the riders were checked on their wedding day, during a funeral or on their child’s first day of school,” said Gianni Bugno, the president of the CPA. “Now we read about the case of Pieter Serry, controlled in the offseason, out of the hour scheduled, while at the Flemish cycling festival. … The riders pay 2 percent of their prizes to make these controls possible, they are the only athletes in the world who pay the anti-doping from their own pockets,” Bugno said. “The riders respect the measures required for the fight against doping, but at least they ask for the respect of their private life in return.”

Belgian media quoted Serry as saying he had already been tested two weeks ago and told antidoping authorities he was available from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at his home.

“I understand that there must be checks and that people have to do their work, but two checks immediately after each other, out of season, is simply a waste of money. I feel like a prisoner with an ankle monitor,” Serry was quoted as saying.

The CPA added it will try to find out whether it was the Belgian anti-doping agency, the national cycling federation or Cycling’s anti-doping foundation (CADF) which ordered Serry’s test.

“In addition, the CPA will present an official request to all the bodies involved in the fight against doping and the UCI to establish a code of conduct for the controllers, to ensure the respect for the private life of the athletes, at least in certain circumstances,” the CPA said.