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Israel cycling team wins first-ever Grand Tour stage in Italy

Alex Dowsett soloed to victory in the Giro d’Italia eighth stage on Saturday to give his Israel Start-up Nation team a first win in the prestigious bike race.

But the win was overshadowed by a positive coronavirus test from fellow Briton Simon Yates hours earlier, which has left the race on edge.

Nearing the end of the 200 kilometer stage from Giovinazzo in Puglia to Vieste, Dowsett produced a powerful finish to cross the line alone more than a minute ahead of Italian Salvatore Puccio of Ineos and Briton Matthew Holmes of WorldTeam Lotto.

Dowsett shook off his five breakaway companions with 20 kilometers to go, with the former world Hour Record holder finishing as in a time trial.

Teammate Mathias Brandle finished the stage in fifth place.

The victory is the first time a rider for the Israeli team has won a stage in one of the three Grand Tour races.

The win marks a major milestone for the team, which was founded five years ago and last month saw an Israeli rider finish the Tour de France for the first time.

The team, meant to sell Israelis on cycling and to sell Israel to the world, is hoping to boost its presence on the global stage with the addition next year of four-time Tour de France winner Chris…

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