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Kittel wins Tour of Romandie stage cut short by snow

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MOUDON, Switzerland — German sprinter Marcel Kittel won the second day of racing in the Tour of Romandie on Wednesday after the course was shortened because of overnight snow and slippery roads.

Jon Izagirre of Spain, who won Tuesday’s prologue, kept his overall lead after stage one of the six-day race. A second-category climb and 60 kilometers (37 miles) of racing were removed on Wednesday.

Kittel finished a wheel’s length ahead of Niccolo Bonifazio of Italy. They reeled in a late move by Michael Albasini of Switzerland, who placed third.

Izagirre retained his six-second lead over Dutchman Tom Dumoulin. Britain’s Geraint Thomas moved up a place to third, trailing Izagirre by seven seconds.

Thursday’s stage two is a 173.9-kilometer (108-mile) ride to Morgins ski station, home of 2010 Olympic downhill champion Didier Defago.

World champ Peter Sagan to race in Tour Down Under

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ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) Three-time world road race champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia has confirmed he will compete in the Tour Down Under in January, the opening World Tour event of the season.

Sagan won the world title last month for the third straight year, becoming the first cyclist to do so. He competed in the Tour Down Under for the first time last year, finishing second on three stages behind Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan.

Sagan, who rides for the BORA-hansgrohe team, said the six-stage Tour Down Under is “the perfect start to the UCI World Tour season each year … a challenging and tough course, warm weather and the passionate fans that cheer for us day in day out no matter what.”

Former Olympic cycling champ fired after positive drug test

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) Former Olympic road cycling champion Samuel Sanchez, who returned a positive doping test in August, had his B-sample confirmed Wednesday and was promptly fired by the BMC Racing Team.

Sanchez’s out-of-competition test revealed growth hormone-releasing peptide 2, or GHRP-2, a drug that increases a body’s level of growth hormone. Several cyclists have tested positive for the drug, among them Italian rider Stefano Pirazzi, who was given a four-year ban earlier this week.

The U.S.-based BMC Team said in a statement Wednesday that it was adhering to its zero-tolerance policy toward doping by terminating the Spaniard’s contract “with immediate effect.”

The 39-year-old Sanchez, who had been provisionally suspended, won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.