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Peter Sagan edges Mark Cavendish for world road race championship

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Peter Sagan repeated as world road race champion, edging British star Mark Cavendish in a sprint in Doha on Sunday.

The Slovakian Sagan became the first man to repeat since Italy’s 2004 Olympic champion Paolo Bettini in 2006 and 2007.

“I don’t believe it,” Sagan said several minutes after the finish. “I am still in shock.”

Sagan, Cavendish and third-place Tom Boonen of Belgium, all past world champions, led 12 riders with the same finishing time of 5 hours, 40 minutes, 43 seconds, after 160 miles.

Eritrean Natnael Berhane placed 13th, four seconds behind. The top American was three-time Olympian Taylor Phinney in 43rd, 5:26 back. Full results are hereA race replay is here.

Sagan, 26, captured the green sprinter’s jersey at each of the last five Tours de France, totaling seven individual stage wins. Only German Erik Zabel has won more green jerseys, his six straight from 1996 through 2001.

Sagan raced only the mountain bike event at the Rio Olympics, puncturing a tire, getting lapped and finishing 35th. He said he planned to celebrate his title Sunday with a party, perhaps to a later hour than last year, when he took the title in Richmond, Va.

“Last time in America, they close everything at 12,” Sagan said.

The 2017 World Road Cycling Championships will be Sept. 16-24 in Bergen, Norway.

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USA Hockey to start reaching out to potential replacement players

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USA Hockey will begin reaching out to “alternate players” to determine their interest in playing for the U.S. at the women’s world championship next week amid a potential boycott by its national team.

The contact is taking place in the event a resolution cannot be reached between USA Hockey and the women’s national team in a wage dispute.

“It’s important for everyone to understand clearly that our objective is to have the players we named as the U.S. women’s national team be the ones that compete in the world championship,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, in a statement. “Productive conversations have taken place this week and are ongoing in our collective efforts to reach a resolution.”

The alternate players are in the professional NWHL and college, according to USA Today, a report that USA Hockey would not confirm.

U.S. captain Meghan Duggan has said every player in the U.S. national team player pool, plus under-18 national team players, committed to not playing at worlds unless the wage dispute is resolved.

The world championship tournament starts March 31 in Plymouth, Mich.

As of Thursday evening, no resolution has come between USA Hockey and its women’s national team. They met formally on Monday for more than 10 hours, with both sides calling it productive.

Neither side has said when its next scheduled meeting will take place.

On Tuesday, USA Hockey said it postponed a pre-worlds camp that was to run through next Tuesday in Traverse City, Mich., and canceled a scheduled Friday exhibition against Finland.

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MORE: NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

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International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel tells The Associated Press he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in the South Korea Olympics next year.

NHL team owners have made it clear they don’t want to stop their season again for the Winter Games and put their stars at risk of injury. The reluctance has come up before and yet the NHL has participated in the Olympics since 1998. This time, however, there seems to be an impasse.

The head of the NHL Players Association, Donald Fehr, says the players want to participate and hopes the league will take advantage of the chance to market the game in Asia.

However, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says without “material change to the current status quo, NHL players will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.”

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MORE: 2018 Olympic hockey groups set