Bode Miller

Tough day for Ligety, Miller as Mario Matt wins Val d’Isere slalom

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Ted Ligety and Bode Miller didn’t take any World Cup points from two races in Val d’Isere, France, this weekend, failing to qualify for the second run in Sunday’s slalom.

The Americans went one-two in last Sunday’s giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., but neither was among the top 30 skiers Saturday or Sunday at the Stade Olympique de Bellevarde course.

Ligety was 39th in the first run Sunday. Miller skied off the course. Both had failed to finish the first run in the giant slalom Saturday.

“It was tough conditions where it was very hard snow but very grippy,” U.S. men’s Alpine coach Sasha Rearick said. “We’ve been training on ice getting ready for Val d’Isere and we didn’t make that transition very well today. So that’s something we’ve got to work on in the future.”

Instead, Austrian Mario Matt won his 15th career World Cup race (14th slalom) with a two-run time of 1 minute, 44.59 seconds. Swede Mattias Hargin was second, .53 behind. Italy’s Patrick Thaler took third.

Matt, 34, became the oldest man to win a World Cup slalom race, according to Infostrada.

“Over all the years, plenty of nice races,” Matt said on Eurosport. “I hope in this shape now, I can have many good results.”

David Chodounsky was the only American to earn a second run and finished seventh, his second-best World Cup result in 26 career races.

Austrian Marcel Hirscher, the reigning world and World Cup slalom champion, failed to qualify for the second run. That snapped a 10-race podium streak in slalom.

The Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a super-G and a downhill in Val Gardena, Italy, on Friday and Saturday.

Val d’Isere Slalom
1. Mario Matt (AUT) 1:44.59
2. Mattias Hargin (SWE) 1:45.12
3. Patrick Thaler (ITA) 1:45.37
4. Jean-Baptiste Grange (FRA) 1:45.41
5. Markus Larsson (SWE) 1:45.46
6. Andre Myhrer (SWE) 1:45.52
7. David Chodounsky (USA) 1:45.55
8. Manfred Moelgg (ITA) 1:45.57
9. Benjamin Raich (AUT) 1:45.63
10. Felix Neureuther (GER) 1:45.70

Ligety, Miller ski out of giant slalom

Jessica-Ennis Hill gives birth to second child

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Great Britain’s two-time Olympic medalist, heptathlete Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, announced the birth of her second child on Instagram inviting her family, friends and fans to welcome Olivia Ennis-Hill to the world.

In her Instagram post, Olivia is holding Ennis-Hill’s three year old son Reggie’s finger as the two siblings meet for the first time.

Reggie meeting his beautiful baby sister 😊 Olivia Ennis-Hill, she was born Saturday night. We are all so in love with her 💕

A post shared by Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill (@jessicaennishill) on

After winning heptathlon gold at the 2012 London Olympics and a silver in the same event in Rio in 2016, Ennis-Hill announced her retirement from competition in October of last year.

About that title of Dame, in April at a ceremony held in Buckingham Palace, the Duke of Cambridge (aka Prince William) bestowed damehood upon Ennis-Hill.

Getty Images

The Ennis-Hill family are darlings of the English press, so expect to see more photos in the future of the now two-time Olympic mom.

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MORE: Top Americans set for major marathon next month

Slovakia’s Sagan first to win three-straight road race world titles

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In a dramatic photo finish, Slovakia’s Peter Sagan became the first man ever to win three consecutive men’s world championship road race titles when he crossed the finish line in Bergen, Norway.

Norway’s Alexander Kristoff rounded the final turn toward home with a slight lead, churning for the finish, but Sagan sprinted up his right side to edge the Norwegian on the final extension at the finish.

An estimated 100,000 spectators watched the riders repeatedly try to establish a lead pack throughout the race which ended with 12 loops through the streets of Bergen, but no one could find a way to make a clean break. Sagan would bide his time in the peloton for much of the race.

Adding even more drama to an already thrilling road race, with 3km left France’s Julian Alaphilippe began pulling away from a bunched peloton, which kicked off the final lap en masse. With Alaphilippe appearing in control, the cameras shooting from the lead pack motorcycle lost power.

Television commentators and everyone watching on TV or online were left in the dark, waiting to catch a glimpse of the lead riders. Tension mounted while viewers were stuck looking at a road void of cyclists near one of the final turns toward the finish.

“Where are the riders at the front of this race!” lamented NBC’s Paul Sherwen.

When the riders finally came into view, Alaphilippe was no longer in the lead, and 25-30 riders were jockeying for position as they rushed to the finish, but it was Sagan who would cross first in the end.

“For the last five kilometers, I said to myself, it’s already done. But it’s unbelievable. This is something special. You saw in the climb, we were in pieces. And at the finish, it all happened in seconds,” Sagan said after the race according to The Guardian.

“I want to dedicate this win to Michele Scarponi, it would have been his birthday tomorrow. And I want to dedicate this victory to my wife. We are expecting a baby.”

Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi was killed after being hit by a van while training near his home in Filottrano back in April. The loss was one that was felt across the entirety of the cycling world.

Michael Matthews of Australia finished the race in third.

Full results can be found here.

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