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Vogel wins every heat for her third world sprint cycling gold

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HONG KONG (AP) Olympic champion Kristina Vogel won her third sprint cycling world championship on Friday even after the second heat of her final had to be restarted at the Hong Kong Velodrome.

Vogel received a warning for not holding her line in the last 200 meters, and still won the restart against Stephanie Morton of Australia. Vogel swept Morton 2-0, and every heat en route to the final.

She also won the sprint in 2014 and 2015.

Morton was runner-up in the team sprint on Wednesday.

Wai Sze Lee of Hong Kong was third, losing to Vogel in the semifinals.

Jordan Kerby of Australia won the men’s individual pursuit, beating defending champion Filippo Gana of Italy by more than four seconds in the final. In qualifying, Kerby set the third fastest time in history.

His teammate Kellend O’Brien was third.

Another Australian, Cameron Meyer, won his second gold of the worlds when he dominated the points race. He lapped the field twice to add to his other points race victories in 2009, 2010, and 2012.

“I’ve been away from the track for a long time, and to come back and win with the guys in the team pursuit last night is special, and then to win an individual in one of my favorite races makes it a great championship for me,” Meyer said. “Hopefully, I’ve got one more in me on Sunday in the madison.”

Kenny de Ketele of Belgium won the silver, and Wojciech Pszczolarski of Poland the bronze.

Katie Archibald of Britain dominated in winning the women’s omnium. Archibald led after the scratch and tempo races and was fifth in the elimination to go into the final points race tied on points with Amy Cure of Australia. Archibald scored in four of the sprints and won overall by eight points from Cure, who took silver on countback from Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands.

“I really thought I had lost it after the elimination race,” Archibald said. “I just needed to keep grinding and recover for those sprints, and it came off in the end.”

2019 Tour will honor 1st victory of 5-time champion Merckx

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BRUSSELS (AP) The start of the 2019 Tour de France will be all about honoring Eddy Merckx in his hometown of Brussels.

Merckx, known as “The Cannibal” for his ferocious taste for victory, won the first of his five Tours in 1969. Half a century later, the Belgian great still sees it as one of the major accomplishments for a cyclist generally considered to be the greatest ever.

“I wore the yellow jersey 96 times. It is the best memory of my career. It still gives me goosebumps,” Merckx said during Tuesday’s presentation of the Grand Depart – the opening weekend of the three-week Tour.

Merckx also won a record 34 Tour stages and is among four riders who won the Tour a record five times. French riders Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault, and Spanish great Miguel Indurain are the others.

Tour organizers said it will be the second time the race will set off from the Belgian capital, which hosted the race’s Grand Depart in 1958.

The 2019 race will also mark 100 years since the race leader’s yellow jersey was created.

When it comes to the first two stages on July 6-7, the iconic Wall of Geraardsbergen climb should take center stage.

The 192-kilometer (119-mile) first stage of the Tour will have the Wall, for decades the toughest climb in the Ronde of Flanders classic. The Wall will come early but the stage, which makes a big loop south of Brussels, is still set up for a sprint finish close to the royal palace.

It will also have its stretch of famed Flemish cobblestones and will pass through the hometown of soccer player Eden Hazard.

The second stage will be a 28-kilometer team time trial through the Belgian capital along its wide-open boulevards. The riders will also pass by St. Pieters-Woluwe in suburban Brussels, where Merckx lived as a child and where he got to pull on his first yellow jersey.

From Brussels, it is an easy trek south into nearby France for the rest of the race.

Peter Sagan wins prelude to Tour Down Under

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ADELAIDE, Australia — Three-time world road racing champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia made an outstanding start to the 2018 cycling season Sunday when he won the People’s Choice Classic, a prelude to the first World Tour event of the season, the Tour Down Under.

Sagan beat star sprinters Andre Greipel of Germany and Caleb Ewan of Australia in a bunch sprint to win the 50.6 kilometer (31.4 mile) race over 22 laps of a street course in central Adelaide.

The win means Sagan will wear the tour leader’s ocher jersey in the first stage of the six stage Tour Down Under on Tuesday. Sunday’s race does not count toward general classification.

Ewan won the race in each of the past two years and Greipel is the only three-time winner. The 132-strong field that lined up for the race Sunday included seven former winners.