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Mark Cavendish wins fourth stage on Tour

Mark Cavendish. Credit: PA

British rider Mark Cavendish claimed his fourth stage win of the 2016 Tour de France – and 30th of his stellar career – with a sprint victory in Villars-les-Dombes.

Cavendish enjoyed his best ever first week of Le Tour with victories on stages one, four and six, and the Dimension Data sprinter proved he still has strong form after coming through the first mountain stages.

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Nice attack: Tour de France goes ahead amid tight security

Tour de France leader Chris Froome. Credit: Reuters

The Tour de France's 13th stage went ahead under tightened security on Friday following the deadly attack in Nice which has left at least 84 dead.

Riders observed a minute's silence in tribute to the scores of victims of the Bastille Day attack, which President François Hollande called a terrorist act.

The stage began at 08.05 BST, later than scheduled, after race organisers held a crisis meeting with the prefect of the Ardeche department and the gendarmerie - France's military force tasked with police duties.

Race Director Christian Prudhomme said: "We want this day to be a day of dignity as a tribute to the victims. We asked ourselves [whether the stage should be cancelled] but we think, after agreeing with authorities, that the race must continue."


Cyclist given 18-month ban for taking cocaine

The Katusha rider said in Gazzetta dello Sport he sought help for addiction to sleeping pills. Credit: PA

Italian Luca Paolini has been suspended for 18 months following his positive test for cocaine at the 2015 Tour de France, the UCI has announced.

Paolini was provisionally suspended on July 10 after testing positive on July 7 for a metabolite of the recreational drug after the cobbled fourth stage of the Tour.

The case was heard by the UCI anti-doping tribunal, which ruled the 39-year-old's positive test was "non-intentional" and, if the 18-month ban is applied from the date of his positive test, which is ordinarily the case, he will be eligible to return in January 2017.

The Katusha rider said in Gazzetta dello Sport he sought help for addiction to sleeping pills after his positive test for cocaine.

A statement from the UCI, cycling's world governing body, read: "The anti-doping tribunal found the rider guilty of a non-intentional anti-doping rule violation (presence of a cocaine metabolite - benzoylecgonine) and imposed an 18-month period of ineligibility on the rider."

The full decision was to be published on the UCI website.

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