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Geraint Thomas stays with Team Sky after Tour de France title

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LONDON (AP) — Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas has ended speculation over his future by signing a new three-year contract with Team Sky.

The 32-year-old Thomas, whose previous deal was set to expire at the end of 2018, had been the subject of interest from other teams.

However, the Welshman has decided to stay with the British team and is now contracted through to the 2021 season.

“I’m pleased it’s sorted and delighted to be staying with the team,” Thomas told Team Sky. “It’s working really well for me here and I’m excited about what’s still to come.”

Thomas, who picked up Olympic gold medals in team pursuit in 2008 and 2012, finally triumphed at this year’s Tour de France, having spent much of his career playing a supporting role to the likes of former champions Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.

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MORE: New star ends U.S. drought at mountain bike worlds

Kate Courtney ends U.S. drought at mountain bike worlds

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Kate Courtney, the youngest mountain biker in the 67-rider cross-country field at the world championships, became the first American to win a world title since Alison Dunlop in 1991.

“Kate has arrived and represents a new generation of American mountain bikers,” Scott Schnitzspahn, USA Cycling Vice President of Elite Athletics, said in a press release.

Courtney, 22 and in her senior worlds debut, passed 2016 World champion Annika Langvad of Denmark on the seventh and final lap in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, and won by 47 seconds in 1:34:55.

In March, Courtney and Langvad teamed to win the Absa Cape Epic in South Africa, a brutal eight-day, 400-mile stage race with more than eight miles of climbing.

“Racing in the national team kit in front of a spectacular Swiss crowd and, most importantly, in front of my friends and family, made this moment really magical,” Courtney said, according to USA Cycling. “To come away with a gold medal and the rainbow stripes for Team USA and Specialized [her bike sponsor] was beyond my wildest dreams.”

The U.S. used to dominate mountain biking, sweeping the men’s and women’s golds at the first two UCI-sanctioned world championships in 1990 and 1991, but has not fared as well since it joined the Olympic program in 1996.

Its best finishes were bronze medals for Susan DeMattei in 1996 and Georgia Gould in 2012.

Courtney has been mountain biking since age 6, sharing the back of a tandem bike with her dad to get pancakes on Sunday mornings.

She competed for the U.S. national team while in high school in California and turned professional, signing with Specialized, after two years at Stanford. She graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in human biology.

Courtney earned the 2017 World U23 silver medal and has also picked up 122,000 Instagram followers.

Swiss Nino Schurter won the men’s race Saturday for his seventh world title and fourth in a row, adding to his Rio Olympic gold.

MORE: Olympic track cycling champion paralyzed after crash

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Kristina Vogel, Olympic track cycling champion, paralyzed after crash

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German track cyclist Kristina Vogel learned she is paralyzed after a June training crash, according to Der Spiegel.

“It is s—, there’s no other way to put it,” Vogel said, according to a Reuters translation. “No matter how you package it, I can’t walk anymore.

“But I believe that the sooner you accept a new situation, the sooner you learn to deal with it,”

Vogel, a 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medalist, had suffered a spine injury in a June 26 crash in Cottbus.

The DPA news agency reported that she fell onto a concrete track following a high-speed collision with another cyclist.

The German Cycling Federation (BDR) said Vogel had been training with Pauline Grabosch, and that she accelerated when Grabosch left the track – only to collide with another unidentified cyclist who entered suddenly.

Vogel, 27 and an 11-time world champion, also had a serious accident in May 2009, when she was knocked off her bike by a vehicle. She suffered severe injuries and was placed in an artificial coma for two days.

But she returned three years later to win the team sprint for Germany with Miriam Welte at the London Olympics. Vogel became the first German to win gold in the sprint in Rio four years later despite a broken saddle.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

MORE: Mark Cavendish takes indefinite break from cycling

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