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France win big on final day at UCI Track Cycling World Championships

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HONG KONG — Francois Pervis of France won the men’s 1km time trial on Sunday at the world track cycling championships in Hong Kong.

Pervis, who is also the world record holder, won his fourth rainbow jersey in the event with a time of 1 minute 0.714 seconds.

“My rainbow jersey missed me last year but now I can put again every day for training and it’s good,” Pervis said

Pervis’ countryman Quentin Lafargue and Tomas Babek of the Czech Republic both won their second medals of the championship sharing silver with a time of 1:01.048. No bronze medal was awarded.

Elinor Barker of Britain won her first individual world title. She beat American Sarah Hammer in the women’s 25km points race. Barker led the field after the fourth sprint but Hammer gained a lap in the penultimate sprint to take the lead with 51 points. But Barker fought back, taking the lead back with four laps to go by gaining a lap on her opponent, and finished on 59 points. Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands won bronze with 35 points.

“Before the race I didn’t really want to get a lap,” Barker said. “I just wanted to win the sprints and I was just kind of forced into it by other people getting laps and there was no other way to win the race so I thought, `yeah let’s do it.”‘

Germany’s Kristina Vogel retained her world title in the women’s Keirin event. Vogel beat out the No. 3-ranked Martha Bayona Pineda of Columbia who finished second and Nicky Degrendele of Belgium in third place.

France won the men’s Madison race in the final event of the day. Morgan Kneisky and Benjamin Thomas secured the gold medal with 45 points. They were followed closely by Cameron Meyer and Callum Scotson of Australia with 41 points and Moreno De Pauw and Kenny De Ketele of Belgium on 32 points.

“We had a very very hard start from all the French team,” said Kneisky. “It was hard the first two and three days and the morale of the French team was so good that everyone was motivated to give everything in the end of the week. And the last two days was so incredible for us with Benjamin because he give us the first world title for the French team and today it was Parvis with the kilometer and now we won the Madison and we are very happy.”

Australia finished the world championships with 11 podium finishes – including three gold medals, five silvers and three bronze. France, which had a shaky start to the week but won big on the final two days, finished with five medals in total including three golds, one silver and one bronze. Russia finished third with three golds and a bronze.

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.