Getty Images

Roger Walkowiak, 1956 Tour de France champ, dies at 89

Leave a comment

PARIS (AP) Former Tour de France champion Roger Walkowiak has died at the age of 89.

Walkowiak’s wife told The Associated Press her husband died early Tuesday in a hospital near Vichy.

The Frenchman had been the oldest living Tour winner after Ferdy Kuebler died in December at 97.

Walkowiak, the son of a Polish factory worker, created a major upset when he won cycling’s biggest race in 1956. The win was so unexpected that it originated a French expression still in use today: “A la walko,” which translates as “Doing a Walko” and means a surprise win by an unheralded rider.

World champ Peter Sagan to race in Tour Down Under

AP Photo
Leave a comment

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

AP Photo
Leave a comment

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.