CYCLING: Race curtailed by avalanches

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Twelve people were injured and several dug out of the snow after a series of avalanches curtailed the 19th stage of the Giro d'Italia in the Alps yesterday.

Two of the injured suffered broken legs, and two cars - including one belonging to a Swiss journalist following the race - had to be dug out.

The leading riders were within 12km of the avalanches at the Col dell'Agnello and 84km from the designated finish at Briancon when they learned of the rearranged finish at Chianale.

Pascal Richard of Switzerland eventually outsprinted the Italian Rodolfo Massi to win, with Nelson Rodriguez of Colombia third. Switzerland's Tony Rominger is still in command, with an overall lead of five minutes eight seconds.