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Michael Phelps wondered if the itch would return; it hasn’t

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Four years ago, (a publicly but not-so-much privately) retired Michael Phelps attended the world swimming championships in Barcelona.

He left the Catalan capital even more emboldened to return to the sport. He did, officially, the following spring and, after some of the darkest times of his life, ended his competitive career with six more medals in Rio.

That 2013 feeling recently led Phelps to wonder whether visits to swim meets this year might rekindle his competitive fire.

Maybe, he would consider unretiring a second time.

“The true test will be, if I do end up going over to the worlds this summer, do I have that itch again?” Phelps said in April, according to The Associated Press.

So far, there has been nothing to scratch.

“I’ve been to one or two meets, and I don’t miss it,” Phelps told ESPN on the ESPYs red carpet Wednesday.

Phelps attended a meet in Mesa, Ariz., in April. He has also helped his longtime coach, Bob Bowman, reviewing video of Bowman’s current pupils.

Will he attend the world championships in Budapest from July 23-30? Phelps hasn’t said publicly.

For those still hoping, Phelps did recently say there was a one or two percent chance he would come back, according to Entertainment Weekly.

“Very minimal,” Phelps said after a laugh, according to the magazine. “I wanted to retire on my own terms and never have a what-if, and I’m to that point where I’m very content with everything that’s going on.”

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MORE: Phelps details Shark Week race

Chris Froome can clinch Tour de France title No. 4 in time trial

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Chris Froome moved one step closer to his fourth Tour de France title by finishing in the same time as his rivals in the 19th of 21 stages on Friday.

Now, Froome focuses on a 14-mile time trial in Marseille on Saturday, where he is heavily favored to defend his 23-second lead over Frenchman Romain Bardet and 29-second advantage on Colombian Rigoberto Uran.

Sunday’s finale — the ride into Paris — is traditionally not a day for attacking the yellow jersey.

NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold coverage starts at 7:30 a.m. ET on Saturday.

On Friday, Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen won his first Tour stage in six years on the three-week event’s longest day (138 miles). Boasson Hagen pulled away from an eight-rider group in the last two miles and crossed five seconds ahead of German Nikias Arndt.

Froome, Bardet and Uran were in the large group finishing about 10 minutes later.

TOUR: Results/Standings | Highlights | Broadcast Schedule

Froome, 32, is trying to move within one Tour title of the career record of five shared by Jacques AnquetilEddy MerckxBernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

Froome has been the anchor of cycling’s most powerful team — Team Sky — for five seasons now. Every time the rail-thin Brit has reached the Champs-Élysées in that time, he has been wearing the yellow jersey. The only miss was when he abandoned on Stage 5 in 2014 after crashing three times in two days.

Bardet, 26, was runner-up to Froome in last year’s Tour by 4:05. No Frenchman has won the Tour since Hinault in 1985 — the host nation’s longest victory drought.

Uran, 30 and the 2012 Olympic road race silver medalist, is trying to become the first South American to win the Tour.

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MORE: 10 Tour de France riders to watch

WATCH LIVE: Usain Bolt in final race before world championships

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Usain Bolt races for the last time before his farewell world championships, live during NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold‘s coverage of a Diamond League meet in Monaco on Friday starting at 2 p.m. ET.

Bolt will put his four-year winning streak on the line in a 100m race against his toughest field since the Rio Olympics.

The race start is set for 3:35 p.m. A meet preview is here.

The Jamaican will retire after racing the 100m and 4x100m worlds in London in August, with Monaco being his only other meet left this season.

WATCH LIVE: Usain Bolt races in Monaco — 2 p.m. ET

There are doubts about Bolt’s form with worlds in two weeks. He failed to break 10 seconds in his first two races this season in June before seeing his German doctor to work on his chronically balky back.

Fortunately for Bolt, nobody else is performing that well this season, either. None of his top rivals in recent years — Yohan BlakeAndre De Grasse and Justin Gatlin — have broken 9.90 seconds this season.

The Monaco field includes two of the five fastest men in the world this year — South African Akani Simbine and American Chris Belcher — and four men overall who have broken 10 seconds in 2017.

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MORE: Bolt says women are outperforming men in sprints