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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Germans Take World Team Pursuit

PALERMO, Sicily -- Germany has won its second world team pursuit title in three years as the U.S. quartet failed to produce consecutive wonders.

The American cyclists, who upset defending champion Australia by 0.027 seconds in the semifinals, could not repeat their sensation in Thursday's final and lost to the Germans by nearly two seconds at Palermo Velodrome.

The German team of Andreas Bach, Guido Fulst, Danilo Hondo and Jens Lehmann led throughout the 4 kilometers to complete the race in four minutes, 15.668 seconds at an average speed of 56.323 kph.

Carl Sundquist, Mariano Friedick , Adam Laurent, and Dirk Copeland, settled for silver in 4:17.372. It was the best finish by a U.S. quartet in the 32-year history of team pursuit at the World Track Cycling Championships.

Thursday's silver improved the U.S. team medals table to 1-2-1 and kept the United States in second place behind France, which had 2-2-0.

Australia finished third in the pursuit and also missed another gold medal chance in the women's sprint. Lucy Tyler ended fourth after losing straight semifinal sprints to France's Felicia Ballanger.

Ballanger then succumbed to Russian Galina Enukhina 2-1 in the best-of-three final series. The Russian cyclist succeeded as world champion Canada's Tanya Dubnicoff was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Defending champions Roberto Chiappa and Federico Paris of Italy qualified for the semifinals of tandem after escaping unhurt a bad spill in their quarterfinal sprint against the Slovak duo of Arnost Drcmanek and Lubomir Hargas.

On Friday, the sport's governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI) confirmed tougher penalties for doping.

"The definitive version of the anti-doping regulations, first announced provisionally in May, come into effect from November 1," the UCI executive board said in a statement issued Friday.

The new rules, already in effect on a provisional basis, do away with suspended sentences for professionals. Now they can be banned for six months to a year for a first offense.

They can be suspended for one to two years for a second infringement and banned from the sport for a third offense. All professional offenses carry fines and loss of ranking points.

The punishment for amateurs is similar suspensions but without fines.

For lesser substances there are penalties of three months maximum, six to 12 months, and exclusion. If a rider is found positive more than once in a short space of time for using the same substance or the same method it will be considered as one offense.

Cycling has joined other sports by announcing that from 1996 there will be a common racing license for professionals and amateurs.

The 1996 road team time trial championships have been switched to Switzerland because tiny Monaco, where they were due to held, faced big traffic problems.

Monaco will still stage the professional road race and the English city of Manchester's new velodrome will house the track racing in 1996, the next Olympic year. (AP, Reuters)