AP

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.”

Valverde dedicates his Liege-Bastogne-Liege win to Scarponi

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LIEGE, Belgium (AP) Spaniard Alejandro Valverde dedicated his win at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic on Sunday to Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi, who died after a collision with a van while training on Saturday at the age of 37.

Valverde caught Irishman Dan Martin about 200 meters (yards) from the end and comfortably beat him in a sprint to the line. Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski finished in third place, crossing three seconds behind them on the 258-kilometer (160-mile) route.

Valverde is one of the best classics riders in cycling history and his latest win comes four days after winning the Fleche Wallonne (Walloon Arrow) for a record fifth time. Martin was second in that race as well, which was also run over hilly terrain.

Valverde, who turns 37 on Tuesday, has also secured victories at the Tour of Andalusia, Tour of Basque Country and Tour of Catalonia this season. His win at Liege-Bastogne-Liege equaled Italian Moreno Argentin’s tally and is one behind Belgian great Eddy Merckx’s record.

But Valverde’s mind was far away from his own achievements.

“My first words are to dedicate this victory to Michele Scarponi, who was a great friend of mine,” a tearful Valverde said. “My prize money will go to his family.”

A minute’s applause for Scarponi, the Giro d’Italia winner in 2011, was held prior to the start of the race.

Valverde wins Fleche Wallonne for record 5th time

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HUY, Belgium (AP) Alejandro Valverde of Spain won the Fleche Wallonne (Walloon Arrow) for a record fifth time after a fourth straight title in the Belgian classic on Wednesday.

Valverde continued his excellent form with an attack that was unanswered by his rivals 250 meters from the finish in the brutal Mur de Huy, one of cycling’s most difficult climbs.

Daniel Martin of Ireland was second and Dylan Teuns of Belgium completed the podium.

Valverde, who will turn 37 next week, last year became the first rider to win the Fleche Wallonne four times. He also won the race in 2006, 2014 and 2015.

The Spanish rider has been enjoying a great start to the season with victories at the Tour of Andalusia, Tour of Basque Country and Tour of Catalonia.

The Mur de Huy has a 26 percent gradient at its steepest point, and Valverde knows it perfectly. Right from the start of the climb, he remained well-positioned at the front and waited for the right time to surge ahead with a few hundred meters left.

The major spring classics end with Sunday’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege race. Valverde will be among the favorites, having already won it three times. The race is run over similarly hilly terrain in southern Belgium.