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Sailing guru in as performance director at British Cycling

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MANCHESTER, England — One of the key figures behind Britain’s recent success in Olympic sailing has been hired as performance director at the country’s cycling federation.

Stephen Park’s appointment by British Cycling was announced on Friday, at a time of upheaval in the country’s most successful Olympic sport.

British Cycling is currently without a technical director after Shane Sutton’s resignation in April this year over allegations of discrimination. The organization has also been defending its integrity in recent weeks amid allegations of wrongdoing, which led to its leaders being questioned at British parliamentary doping hearings on Monday. UK Anti-Doping officials have also visited British Cycling headquarters.

The 48-year-old Park, who isn’t a specialist in cycling, becomes British Cycling’s first performance director since Dave Brailsford’s departure in April 2014 to concentrate solely on Team Sky. His main task will be to continue Britain’s dominance of Olympic cycling, with the country winning six gold medals from 10 track events at the Rio de Janeiro Games.

In his role as British Sailing’s Olympics manager, Park led Britain’s sailors to the top of the Olympic medal table in Rio and helped Britain amass 23 Olympic and Paralympic medals in his 15 years at the helm.

“Clearly cycling poses very different challenges to sailing,” Park said, “but it’s a sport I am very passionate about from a personal perspective.”

Andy Rihs, Swiss owner of cycling, soccer teams, dies at 75

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BERN, Switzerland (AP) Andy Rihs, a Swiss businessman who owned the BMC Racing cycling team and Young Boys soccer club, has died. He was 75.

Rihs died Wednesday in Zurich after “a patient and valiantly endured illness,” the BMC team said Thursday in a statement.

“Our grief is indescribable, but we will carry on his values,” the team said, praising Rihs for his “generosity, his sense of humor, and his infectious laugh.”

Rihs’s death comes with Young Boys close to winning its first Swiss league title in 32 years. Young Boys leads by 11 points with six matches left.

“Andy, thank you for everything. We will miss you,” Young Boys said in a statement.

Rihs’s brother, Hans-Ueli, is also an owner of the club and Stade de Suisse in Bern, known locally as Wankdorf. The stadium staged the 1954 World Cup final.

As BMC owner, Rihs secured a Tour de France title five years after his previous team was involved in a doping scandal. Cadel Evans of Australia wore BMC’s black and red colors to victory in the 2011 Tour.

In 2006, the Rihs-backed Phonak team disbanded after American rider Floyd Landis was stripped of the Tour title.

Cycling’s top riders set for Tour of California next month

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LOS ANGELES (AP) The top men’s and women’s teams will compete next month in the Amgen Tour of California, the premier U.S. cycling race.

The men will cover 645 miles over seven stages from Long Beach to Sacramento from May 13 to May 19. The women will have three of the top five teams for their three-day, 187-mile race that starts May 17 in Elk Grove.

Race owner AEG announced Thursday that Pete Sagan will ride for the BORA-hansgrohe team while Mark Cavendish will go for Team Dimension Data and be joined by Rafal Majka.

Tony Gallopin of AG2R La Mondiale is in the men’s field. So is LottoNL-Jumbo’s Nielson Powless, the race’s best young rider in 2016.

The women feature 2016 champion Megan Guarnier of USA Cycling National Team, Katie Hall of UnitedHealthcare and Kasia Niewiadoma of Canyon/SCRAM.