HONG KONG — Australia defended its title in the men’s team pursuit on Thursday at the world track cycling championships.
The Olympic silver medalists beat last year’s runner-up New Zealand in the final at the Hong Kong Velodrome. Italy won the bronze medal, beating Olympic champion Britain.
In the women’s team pursuit, the United States retained its world title by beating Australia. New Zealand took bronze.
Azizulhasni Awang won the men’s keirin. Fabian Hernando Puerta Zapata of Colombia was second and Thomas Babek of the Czech Republic took bronze.
In the men’s 15-kilometer scratch race, Adrian Teklinski of Poland won gold. Lucas Liss of Germany took silver and Christopher Latham of Britain got bronze.
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.”
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.