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Cancellara takes yellow jersey in final Tour of Switzerland

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BAAR, Switzerland (AP) Home favorite Fabian Cancellara rode on rain-slicked roads to win the opening prologue of the nine-day Tour of Switzerland on Saturday.

Cancellara, the former world and Olympic champion in time trial, was one second faster than Jurgen Roelandts of Belgium to clock seven minutes 38 seconds for the 6.4-kilometer (4-mile) route.

The 35-year-old Trek-Segafredo racer, who will retire after the season, says: “Having a win in my last Tour de Suisse means a lot.”

Luke Durbridge of Australia was third, trailing two seconds behind Cancellara.

Peter Sagan, the world road race champion from Slovakia, was 19 seconds back in 30th place.

The Swiss race, the last major warm-up for the Tour de France in July, continues Sunday with a 187.6-kilometer (116.6-mile) route around Baar.

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.