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German sprinter Arndt wins Cadel Evans Great Ocean race

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GEELONG, Australia — German sprinter Nikias Arndt timed his finish perfectly to deny Australian Cameron Meyer a win at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday.

Meyer launched an attack with 600 meters left in the 174-kilometer (107-mile) race at Geelong, but he was overtaken on the line. The German Sunweb rider was too quick for Australian Simon Gerrans (Orica-Scott), who finished second, and third-place Meyer.

On Saturday, Dutch Olympian Annamiek van Vleuten sprinted clear of four other lead riders to win the women’s event.

The Orica-Scott rider was leading the Rio de Janeiro Olympics road race in the last 10 kilometers in August when she crashed on a descent. Van Vleuten suffered back injuries and a severe concussion, but she soon returned to racing.

The race Saturday had 87 starters from 15 teams and covered 113 kilometers (70 miles). American Ruth Winder was second and Mayuko Hagiwara of Japan third.

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.