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Kwiatkowski beats Sagan in Milan-San Remo

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SAN REMO, Italy – Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland edged out Peter Sagan in a tense finish to win the Milan-San Remo classic on Saturday.

It looked as if Sagan was going to become the first world champion to win the race since 1983 but Kwiatkowski snatched victory for Team Sky in the last meters.

“After 2013 and 2014 when I’ve been unlucky, winning Milano-San Remo is an incredible feeling,” Kwiatkowski said.

“I didn’t expect Sagan to attack on the Poggio. After he did, I expected a bunch sprint but he maintained a high speed at the front. I focused only on my own sprint. I can’t believe I’ve beaten Sagan!”

Julian Alaphilippe was third at the end of the 291-kilometer (181-mile) route from Milan to San Remo.

Alexander Kristoff won the bunch sprint for fourth place, five seconds behind the front three.

Sagan attacked near the top of the final climb up the Poggio. Alaphilippe and Kwiatkowski made contact with him just before the descent and the trio held onto their small advantage.

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.