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Albasini wins another Romandie stage; Felline retains lead

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CHAMPERY, Switzerland —¬†Michael Albasini won his seventh career Tour of Romandie stage on Wednesday, and Fabio Felline of Italy retained the overall lead.

The 36-year-old Swiss sprinted through rain and light fog on a mountain road in Champery after a 168-kilometer (105-mile) ride.

Diego Ulissi of Italy was second and Jesus Herrada of Spain was third in the same time as Albasini. Two-time Romandie winner Chris Froome of Britain was fifth.

Albasini has at least one stage win in the six-day Romandie event for four straight years, and used this victory to be ninth in the standings.

Felline, who won Tuesday’s prologue, leads Max Schachmann of Germany by eight seconds. Herrada is in third place.

Thursday’s stage is a rolling 161-kilometer (100-mile) ride to Bulle.

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.