CHAMPERY, Switzerland — Stefan Kueng won a shortened Tour of Romandie stage Thursday that started on snow-lined roads, ended in chilling rain and left the top of the overall standings unchanged.
The Swiss rider outlasted Andriy Grivko of Ukraine in a two-man sprint more than 3-1/2 hours after racers left Aigle instead of the planned start at Champery ski station.
Organizers cut about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the route to “protect the peleton from unnecessary risks” in snow and cold temperatures.
Third-place Sonny Colbrelli of Italy won the bunch sprint 20 seconds behind the leaders.
Fabio Felline of Italy finished safely in sixth to retain his overall lead in the six-day race, which finishes Sunday.
The 23-year-old Kueng also won a stage in cold and rain in the 2015 Tour of Romandie, and is seen as a contender to inherit the now-retired Fabian Cancellara’s status as the Swiss cycling star.
Friday’s stage is a 187-kilometer (116-mile) ride starting and finishing in Payerne.
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.