PRESOLANA, Italy - Italy's Damiano Cunego all but clinched the Giro d'Italia title Saturday by holding his overall lead with a fifth-place finish in the next-to-last stage.
Cunego held off countrymen Stefano Garzelli and Gilberto Simoni in the 19th stage in the Alps. Cunego was 52 seconds behind Garzelli, the stage winner. Simoni was trying to win his third Giro title in four years.
Cunego was ahead by more than one minute over Ukraine's Sergy Honchar and Simoni. The last stage, which finishes in Milan today, is traditionally a parade for the overall leader.
Cunego, who started the Giro at the orders of Saeco captain Simoni, proved strong in the mountains and quick in selected sprints. He won four stages, compared with Simoni's one, and held the pink jersey for 10 days.
HOCKEY: Tikhonov replaced
Viktor Tikhonov was replaced as coach of the Russian national team Friday by former star defenseman Zinetula Bilyaletdinov. Tikhonov, a member of the International Hockey Hall of Fame, is by far the most successful coach in international hockey. He led the former Soviet Union or Russia from 1978-94, winning Olympic gold medals in 1984, '88 and '92. He also led the national team to eight world championships and the 1981 Canada Cup title against NHL players. The 74-year-old Tikhonov will remain with the national team as a consultant. Bilyaletdinov first played for the Soviet team in 1976 and was on six world championship winners. He won Olympic gold in 1984.
SOCCER: Chechen team victorious
The Chechen team Terek Grozny became the first first-division team in Russia's modern history to capture the Cup of Russia in Moscow. Terek Grozny defeated the premier league's Kryliya Sovetov of Samara 1-0 on a goal by Andrei Fedkov two minutes into second-half injury time.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: The U.S. Under-19 women opened the regional qualifying tournament for the world championships with a 14-0 romp over the Dominican Republic Friday night in Ottawa. Next up for the Americans is Trinidad and Tobago today in Montreal.
GERMAN CUP: Werder Bremen completed its first league-cup double, beating Alemannia Aachen 3-2 in the German Cup final behind two goals from Tim Borowski in Berlin.
MLS: D.C. United took advantage of host New England's own goal to beat the Revolution 1-0. Defender Brian Kamler redirected United forward Earnie Stewart 's cross into the New England goal in the fourth minute. Freddy Adu had two good scoring chances in the first half for United (3-4-3). His shot in the 18th minute was stopped by goalkeeper Matt Reis . In the 28th minute, the 14-year-old Adu sent a left-footed shot just past the right post.
DECATHLON: American third
World champion Tom Pappas was third in the decathlon standings after the first day of the Hypo Meeting, behind first-place Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic. Sweden's Carolina Kluft dominated the heptathlon at Goetzis, Austria. At the first big decathlon event of the season, Sebrle totaled 4,536 points and led 2003 world bronze medalist Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan by 10. Pappas, a three-time U.S. champion, won the high jump and was third overall with 4,499 points.
FISHING: Robbie Crosnoe of Inverness caught the biggest fish of the day, hooking a 63.13-pound tuna at the 28th annual New Smyrna Beach/Daytona Beach Striker tournament. Cassandra Walker of Edgewater hooked a 58.69-pounder to win the wahoo category.
ROWING: USA captured the women's eights at the World Cup in Munich, Germany. The Americans were timed in 6 minutes, 30.16 seconds and were followed by China at 6:31.13 and world champion Germany (6:31.95).
BOXING: Humberto Soto of Mexico stopped Wilson Alcorro of Colombia in the sixth round of the lightweight main event Friday at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas. The 24-year-old Soto (34-5-2, 18 KOs) halted Alcorro at 1:23 into the sixth round of the scheduled 10-rounder with a left hook and right cross to the head.